The Kansas City Chiefs hold on to a commanding 21-point first-half lead to beat the Miami Dolphins in the first ever regular season game to be held in Frankfurt, Germany; Miami fall to 0-3 against teams with winning records in 2023.
Monday 6 November 2023 05:18, UK
Behold Arrowhead abroad, where a red sea of Kansas City Chiefs fans swarmed Frankfurt to watch on as their defending Super Bowl champions held off a Miami Dolphins fightback to clinch a dramatic 21-14 win at Deutsche Bank Park on Sunday.
The Miami Dolphins had trailed 21-0 at half-time, before pulling within seven points thanks to touchdowns from Cedrick Wilson and Raheem Mostert to threaten overtime.
Such has been the story of their season, it was Steve Spagnuolo's Chiefs defense that would prove defining as they recovered Tua Tagovailoa's fumble from the snap on fourth-and-10 to close the show with a minute to play.
Tyreek Hill was limited to 62 yards on the ground while Travis Kelce made just three catches for 14 yards in a game that delivered on its promise of fireworks without needing two of the league's most talked-about offenses to light things up.
It had been touted as a potential AFC Championship Game preview. On that assessment, few would turn it down.
Patrick Mahomes finished 20 of 30 for 185 yards and two touchdowns while Tagovailoa went 21 of 34 for a season-low 193 yards.
Bedlam had been brewing across a historic week for Frankfurt, which glistens among the foundations of Europe's NFL love affair having staged the first ever World League of American Football game in 1991.
Bedlam arrived in the closing seconds of the first half when Bryan Cook returned a Tyreek Hill fumble 59 yards for a touchdown to hand Kansas City a stunning 21-0 lead at the break.
Trent McDuffie had been the man to rip the ball from the hands of Hill, with Mike Edwards on the scene quickly to recover before flipping it to Cook, who scooted past would-be tacklers down the sideline for a remarkable end to the half.
Kansas City Chiefs
Carnage continued in the third when Tagovailoa connected with Wilson for a 31-yard touchdown to put the Dolphins on the board for the first time in the game.
Miami's comeback was suddenly on, Raheem Mostert running in for a 13-yard touchdown to punish an unnecessary roughness call against Chris Jones after the Chiefs thought they had held the Dolphins to a field goal.
The drive had stemmed from Bradley Chubb's forced fumble, recovered by Zach Sieler at the Chiefs' 27-yard line to prompt wild celebrations from the Dolphins sideline as they sensed a swing in momentum.
With the Dolphins driving, up stepped 2020 undrafted free agent Tershawn Wharton to sack Tagoailoa for a loss of 11 to blow up the drive on second-and-16.
Miami's hopes were dealt another blow when Tua overthrew Jaylen Waddle on a shot downfield on third-and-27 to bring out the punt unit with four minutes to play.
The Chiefs laid down an immediate marker in the game when Rashee Rice turned a screen pass into an 11-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, Justin Watson's catch at the back of the end zone having been ruled incomplete following a review on the previous play.
Spagnuolo's defense would hold the Dolphins to four straight punts before Jerick McKinnon doubled Kansas City's lead with a 17-yard touchdown on a sneak route to cap a 13-play 95-yard drive lasting 8.28.
Kadarius Toney had ignited the drive by breaking three tackles for a catch-and-run of 18 yards, before Mahomes found Justin Watson on a deep over route for a gain of 23 yards down to the 24.
|Dolphins 0-7 Chiefs
|Patrick Mahomes 11-yard TD pass to Rashee Rice (extra point)
|Dolphins 0-14 Chiefs
|Patrick Mahomes 17-yard TD pass to Jerick McKinnon (extra point)
|Dolphins 0-21 Chiefs
|Bryan Cook 59-yard fumble return TD (extra point)
|Dolphins 7-21 Chiefs
|Tua Tagovailoa 31-yard TD pass to Cedrick Wilson Jr (extra point)
|Dolphins 14-21 Chiefs
|Raheem Mostert 13-yard rushing TD (extra point
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid: "Defensively, what a first half. What a second half. The fourth quarter was really something, which made a very exciting. The McDuffie strip of Tyreek, punching the ball out, Mike Edwards picking it up, Cook scoring. Doesn't get any better than that. Sneed's ability to match up most of the day on Tyreek was big, although Tyreek is a heck of a football player. He made a couple real nice plays in there, too."
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes: "It's got to be the top defense in the NFL. That's a great offense. To hold them to 14 points where I fumbled in our own area for seven of those points, that's a tremendous job. I think they're going to continue to get better because they're young and they love it."
Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill: "I had a lot of fun [on Sunday], man. That's what football is about. I feel like this is football's new rivalry, so it was a fun day to play football in a different location. Had a blast."
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa: "You never want to end the game like that, how that happened. But I think any competitor in our field that would be in my position would wish they had that play back. At least they'd give the team an opportunity. I wasn't able to do that."
The Chiefs now enter a bye week before returning to action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Arrowhead in Week 11, while the Dolphins follow up their bye week at home to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Week Nine continues on Sunday with the Baltimore Ravens against the Seattle Seahawks from 6pm live on Sky Sports NFL, followed by an all-NFC East clash between the Dallas Cowboys and Eagles before the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals meet in Sunday Night Football.
The Los Angeles Chargers then visit the New York Jets to conclude the week in Monday Night Football.