November 5, 2023 -FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Patrick Mahomes said teammate Bryan Cook looked as if he was running the anchor leg of a 4×100-meter track and field relay on his touchdown.
The Chiefs safety took a fumble return 59 yards for what turned out to be an important touchdown in Kansas City’s 21-14 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Deutsche Bank Park.
“He got those knees up and was rolling down the field,” Mahomes said. “Huge play that obviously mattered a ton in the game.”
Mahomes threw two touchdown passes and the Chiefs (7-2) did just enough to slow the NFL’s top-ranked offense in the first-ever regular season game in Frankfurt, Germany, but the defending Super Bowl champions nearly blew a big lead.
Miami’s comeback fell short when quarterback Tua Tagovailoa couldn’t handle a snap on fourth-and-10 from the Kansas City 31 with 1:03 to play.
“I’m always going to blame myself — I’ve got to catch the ball,” Tagovailoa said. “Can’t end the game like that when we have an opportunity like that against a really good team.”
Mahomes connected on first-half scoring passes to Rashee Rice and Jerick McKinnon as Miami (6-3) kept getting stuck in third-and-long situations. The Dolphins also fell to 0-3 on the season against teams with winning records.
Mahomes finished 20 of 30 for a season-low 185 yards in his European debut, but the Chiefs’ offense struggled in the second half. Tight end Travis Kelce had just three catches for 14 yards, which was just enough to become the franchise’s career leader in receiving yards.
“Obviously, penalties and then me not connecting on guys deep down the field hurt us, but luckily for us our defense is playing their tail off and we got the win,” Mahomes said.
Three Chiefs players combined to put Kansas City up 21-0 just before halftime on one of the top defensive plays of the season so far.
And it came at the expense of former teammate Tyreek Hill.
With the Dolphins driving late in the first half, cornerback Trent McDuffie stuffed Hill on a short pass in the flat and stripped the ball from the All-Pro receiver. Mike Edwards scooped it up and after Hill tried to tackle him, Edwards lateraled to Cook, who returned it for the score.
Cook said the most recent time he scored a touchdown was while playing collegiately for Howard in 2018.
Hill finished with a team-high eight catches for 62 yards.
Taylor Swift was a no-show, as was Miami’s offense early on. The only thing more surprising than Miami’s first-half struggles on offense was referee Clay Martin making a “false start” call in German in the first quarter.
Miami hadn’t been shut out in the first half of a game since Week 2 of the 2021 season.
But Tagovailoa got the comeback started with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Wilson Jr. in the third quarter.
Bradley Chubb’s strip-sack of Mahomes then gave Miami the ball on the Kansas City 27, and Raheem Mostert ran it in from 13 yards after an unnecessary roughness call on Chris Jones on a third-and-20 keep the drive alive. Mostert had 12 carries for 85 yards.
Tagovailoa finished 21 of 34 for a season-low 193 yards.
After a game that could have playoff implications — the Chiefs have hosted a record five straight AFC championship games — Chiefs coach Andy Reid said the flight home will feel shorter.
“There’s nothing worse than going into a bye week with a loss first of all, and then an eight-hour plane ride on top of that,” Reid said.
The Chiefs haven’t lost back-to-back games since early in the 2021 season and stayed undefeated in international games. They won in London in 2015 and in Mexico City in 2019.