As we continue to look back on the magical Chiefs’ Super Bowl season, we’re breaking down one of the biggest midseason moments from last year.
The Chiefs had lost three games at this point and had been dealing with numerous injuries on both sides of the ball with Frank Clark, Eric Fisher, and Patrick Mahomes sitting out.
It’s November 3rd. The Chiefs lead the division at 5-3 but are coming off three losses in four weeks. The 6-2 Minnesota Vikings traveled down I-29 to Arrowhead, but to face backup quarterback Matt Moore with an injured Mahomes up and moving all over the Chiefs sideline that day. By this time Chiefs, fans were worrying about the season being derailed by injuries and money being spent poorly on Frank Clark who did not start the year as strong as he and several others had hoped.
Mid-season games are rarely must-win, but this one felt like it.
The Chiefs struck quickly in the first quarter with Moore hitting Tyreek Hill on a 40-yard corner route between two defenders. The following drive the Vikings marched all the way down the field to score before the first quarter came to an end.
Moore did his job by keeping the Chiefs in the game and making several big throws while under pressure. Running back Damien Williams earned the starting job with his big run up the middle for a touchdown that gave the Chiefs the lead again on the same play that Tyreek Hill raced down Williams and beat him to the endzone. Hill and Sammy Watkins were very reliable for Moore who went to them often in big moments on third down.
Everybody stepped up this game, including kicker Harrison Butker who was 4-4 on field goals. He hit a 54-yard field goal to tie it with 2:31 left in the game. Daniel Sorensen busted up a screen by the Vikings and had a seven-yard tackle for loss. The Vikings were forced to punt with 1:55 remaining on the clock on a play where underrated veteran Sorensen sniffed out the play in a big moment for the defense.
Moore led the Chiefs to a victory with a big throw to Travis Kelce on 2nd & 21 and then a 3rd down conversion to Hill once again. This set up the 44-yard game-winning kick from Harrison Butker and then the Chiefs all celebrated on the field, including Mahomes who was jumping around.
This defining moment is when the Chiefs faced the most adversity of the 2019 season—something that would come in handy during three playoff games with 10 point (or more) deficits. Their starting quarterback, left tackle and new starting defensive end were out ,they had lost three games up to this point and hope was starting to fade. But after this game fans knew Mahomes was coming back the following week.
With Mahomes returning and the resolve shown in Week 8, both the Chiefs organization and its fans knew something special was possible.