MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter, one to Travis Kelce after the All-Pro tight end briefly left the game with an ankle injury, and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-20 on Sunday.
Mahomes went 31 for 41 for 281 yards and no turnovers in his most efficient performance of the season for the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs (4-1), who once again won while not at their best.
Kirk Cousins threw for scores to Jordan Addison and Alexander Mattison for the Vikings (1-4). They had two chances at the tying touchdown in the final five minutes, but a late hamstring injury to star wide receiver Justin Jefferson and a lack of timeouts from earlier mismanagement of the game were ultimately too much to overcome.
Jefferson slipped on the turf while trying to make a cut on his route during a third-down pass deep in Kansas City territory. He grabbed the back of his right leg and limped slowly to the sideline.
Mahomes hit Justin Watson with a 33-yard heave on third-and-18 from his own 17 to extend the Chiefs’ first possession of the second half. The two-time MVP finished that drive with a tiebreaking 8-yard scoring toss to Rashee Rice.
All four of Minnesota’s losses have come by eight points or fewer this year after a record 11 wins in 11 one-score games in 2022. The Vikings lost a fumble on their opening possession, again, a turnover by tight end Josh Oliver that the Chiefs recovered at the Minnesota 45. Isaiah Pacheco’s touchdown run capped the drive and gave Kansas City the early lead.
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The victory gave Mahomes at least one against every other team in the league. The Vikings were the only team he’d never beaten in six years as Kansas City’s starter. This was the first time he’d ever faced the team that plays in the city where his father, Pat Mahomes, pitched for the Minnesota Twins.
Chiefs: Kelce fell awkwardly to the turf after catching a pass in the second quarter and went for X-rays. He watched the first possession after halftime from the sideline and went back in for the next one. … LB Nick Bolton (ankle) was sidelined for the third straight game, replaced in the middle of the defense by Drue Tranquill.
Vikings: CB Akayleb Evans (knee) limped off in the third quarter. … QB Nick Mullens (back) was inactive, elevating rookie Jaren Hall to the backup spot for Cousins.
Chiefs: Host Denver on Thursday night.
Vikings: Visit Chicago next Sunday.