(AP) Patrick Mahomes bobbled the snap, picked the ball off the turf and threw a laser to Tyreek Hill in the corner of the end zone, giving the Kansas City Chiefs another touchdown on a night full of them.
Even the young quarterback’s mistakes rarely end up awry.
The Chiefs’ record-setting quarterback wound up throwing for 358 yards and four touchdowns Sunday night, Kareem Hunt totaled three scores and Kansas City rebounded from a last-second loss in New England by throttling the Cincinnati Bengals 45-10 before a boisterous crowd at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I mean, you always think you’re going to have success,” said Mahomes, whose 22 touchdown passes in his first eight career games set an NFL record, “but I didn’t think it would happen this much.”
Mahomes was 28 of 39 with his only costly mistake an underthrown interception, though the Chiefs (6-1) were already so far ahead of Cincinnati (4-3) by that point it didn’t really matter.
He spread the wealth, too, connecting with eight targets. Hill had seven catches for 68 yards and a touchdown, Travis Kelce had five catches for 95 yards, and Demetrius Harris hauled in the other TD catch as the Chiefs piled up 551 yards total offense.
“We’re just rolling,” Harris said. “We’re unstoppable when it’s clicking like that.”
Meanwhile, the Bengals’ Andy Dalton was held to just 148 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception by the NFL’s worst defense. Joe Mixon managed only 50 yards rushing.
“We had a lot of plays,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said, “where we’ve got to do better.”
The Chiefs, wearing their all-red uniforms for the primetime matchup, flexed some rare defensive muscle to open the game, creating a three-and-out for their first forced punt in 17 possessions.
Mahomes and Hunt immediately went to work.
With their quarterback shredding the Bengals’ depleted backfield, and Hunt making the rest of the defense look downright foolish, the Chiefs marched 95 yards for a score. Hunt capped it with a short TD grab, but it was his play immediately before that set social media ablaze.
Hunt spun loose from a clutch of Bengals, then hurdled safety Jessie Bates on a 21-yard run .
“That was just one of those to get the team going,” Hunt said. “You just got to want it. You need touchdowns instead of threes in the red zone. We learned that last week.”
Mahomes connected with Hunt again early in the second quarter, when the Pro Bowl running back left Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict grasping at air on his way to the end zone. And he answered a TD toss by Dalton with one to Harris as the Chiefs took a 24-7 lead into halftime.
Run the ball and protect the lead? Nah.
Mahomes opened the second half by hitting Sammy Watkins for 50 yards. And six plays later, Hunt punched it in from a couple yards out for his third touchdown and first on the ground.
Ron Parker’s pick-6 on the ensuing play gave Kansas City two TDs in 9 seconds, and Mahomes connected with Hill — just after the speedster dropped a touchdown catch — to make it 45-10 in the fourth.
By that point, it was hard to tell what was more entertaining — the Chiefs’ offense or their crazy touchdown celebrations — because the reality is there were plenty of both.
Harris celebrated his score by jumping into a camera well and using it as a foxhole while chucking the football as if it were a grenade. Hill fainted at the foot of an official and got CPR from offensive lineman Eric Fisher after his score, then reeled off a backflip before sprinting to the sideline.