By Brett Martell, AP Game writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Patrick Mahomes was fully featured for side-arm throws, basketball-style push passes and underhand flips for 254 yards and three touchdowns, and Kansas City tied their winning order with nine. Extended to the game. 32–29 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
The Kansas City defense did their part to spoil the return of Drew Breeze from a rib fracture and a perforated lung that kept the record-setting passing out for four games.
While Breeds passed for 234 yards and three TDs, he completed less than half of his passes and was intercepted for just the fourth time this season.
The win overtook the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs (13-1) in the Pole Bowl to capture the AFC’s lone playoff as the No. 1 seed. Meanwhile, the Saints (10-4) missed an opportunity to bring the NFC South straight into the second week and are now long to capture the top seed of the NFC.
Mahomes’ scoring passes went 5 yards for each to Tirik Hill and Mekol Hardman, with the latter leading as Qile backs throwing to the left flank to avoid pressure and into the back corner of the end zone A throw was released, where Hardman was able to narrowly hit it while getting two feet inbound.
Mahomes’ second TD toss looked like a basketball assist, a chest-pass to cut Travis Kelce past the blockers for a 1-yard score.
The Mahomes later pushed Kells ahead 29-15 in the fourth quarter for a 2-conversion after a 12-yard touchdown run by Le’Veon Bell.
The Bells TD played a play when Cameron Jordan was relegated to a personal foul after the Saints defensive end and an incomplete pass was thrown out to punch right guard Andrew Wyllie.
The Saints won 29-22 when Trey Hendrickson snatched the Mahomes, making the second half of the game, setting Alvin Kamara’s 14 yards score on a short catch and a flurry of players along the right sideline. Ran through.
Kansas City responded with a field goal with 4:18 left, but Brees pulled New Orleans with a 17-yard scoring pass to Lill’Jordon Humphrey within a field goal with 2:06 to go.
With two time elapsed, the Saints kicked deep, but Mahomes & Co. could not be prevented from running the clock.
Just 3,000 tickets were sold for this marquee matchup between the playoff contenders at the Superdome, but those in attendance joined hands for the first time in Mahomes’ enchanted and unconventional theatrics.
On a third-and-8 conversion in the first half, Mahomes darted defensively to avoid David Onimata, then abruptly stopped and stepped in as Jordan, stumbling into the near past. Mahomes gave Sammy Watkins a pass for 23 yards. The play led to a drive that ended with a Kelce TD.
The Saints took a 15–14 lead at the start of the third quarter, when the Breeds found Latavius Murray open late in a play that appeared to break and scampered the running back for a 24-yard touchdown.
The major went back to the top for a good performance in his next series.
The return of the trees got off to a difficult start. His first three passes remained incomplete before being intercepted by L’Jarius Sneed at the New Orleans 36-yard line, setting up the Hills TD, which made it 7–0.
Trees needed more than a full quarter to complete the pass or take down the saints first. His first perfection came on his seventh pass. After a few plays, he hit Emmanuel Sanders on the right sideline from 51 yards out to set up Tysam Hill’s 1-yard TD run.
The Saints cut it to 14-9 with a safety at the end of the half during a Chiefs punt return in the final zone fouled by Demursk Robinson. Saints linebacker Alex Angelon tried to fall on him in the end zone, but it stretched far and wide over the end line.
Head: Rocky overtook Clyde Edwards-Heilair in the fourth quarter with the locker room needing help, not putting any pressure on his left leg. The Chiefs also announced linebacker Emmanuel Smith, with an injury to his hamstring.
Santa: Receiver Tre’Kuan Smith and safety Marcus Williams each left with ankle injuries in the second half.
Chief: Hosts Atlanta on Sunday in two home games to end the regular season.
Santa: Close your home schedule against Minnesota on Christmas day.
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