Nov 09, 2020 12:33 PM

Chiefs defense struggles to slow down Panthers, win in 33-31 nailbiter

Posted Nov 09, 2020 12:33 PM
Photo Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs
Photo Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs

Associated Press—

Patrick Mahomes threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill each went over 100 yards receiving, and the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat Carolina 33-31 on Sunday when Panthers kicker Joey Slye missed a 67-yard field-goal attempt wide right on the final play.

Christian McCaffrey finished with 18 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown while catching 10 passes for 82 yards and another score in his return from an ankle injury. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 310 yards and two TDs with Curtis Samuel catching nine balls for 105 yards and the other score.

Carolina pulled within two points early in the fourth quarter, as Panthers' quarterback Teddy Bridgewater scrambled for a 4-yard touchdown to keep their hopes live, but a failed surprise onside kick provided Kansas City with excellent field position and set up a 2-yard scoring strike from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

That put the Chiefs up by nine points, but Carolina kept fighting, as a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Panthers' tailback Christian McCaffrey again brought the margin within just two points in the closing minutes of the game.

The Chiefs couldn't pick up a first down on their ensuing possession, and with just 1:33 left in the game, Bridgewater drove the Panthers to midfield to set up a potential game-winning, 67-yard field goal by Joey Slye. The kick sailed wide right as time expired, however, and that was the game.

The result was a hard-fought victory for Kansas City, who trailed for much of the contest as Carolina took quick 14-3 lead behind an aggressive approach that included a fourth-down conversion and a fake punt. The Chiefs worked away at that deficit over the first three quarters, however, outscoring the Panthers by 13 points following Carolina's early advantage.

That included a 55-yard field goal by kicker Harrison Butker, who connected on a pair of attempts in the contest and tallied his third kick of 55+ yards this season. Entering Sunday's slate of games, no other kicker had more than two such kicks.

The Chiefs will now head into their bye week before taking on the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football on Nov. 22.