Patrick Mahomes has led the Kansas City Chiefs to another strong start, setting records along the way.
The reigning NFL MVP is the first player in league history to have at least 350 yards passing, and three touchdown passes without an interception in three straight games. In his first 20 starts, he has another league record with 13 300-yard passing games.
And if the 24-year-old superstar quarterback throws at least two TD passes for a 15th straight game against Detroit, he will match one of Peyton Manning’s league records set during the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Denver Broncos.
“The way Pat’s going, he’s going to break every record in NFL history if he keeps this up,” Lions safety Quandre Diggs said.
Mahomes, though, is not coming to the Motor City cocky about his chances to match the mark after watching Detroit’s defense forced three fumbles, recovering two, and allowing Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz to barely complete half his passes in a 27-24 win over the Eagles in Week 3.
“They played physical football,” Mahomes said. “They played a lot of man coverage. They really get up in everyone’s face, and they stopped the run. I think with the Eagles, they really capitalized on turnovers. That’s the big thing they focus on. We’re going to try to protect the ball.”
Here are some other things to watch when Kansas City (3-0) plays the Lions (2-0-1) on Sunday:
MAKING A MARK
Detroit is the first NFL team with four players to have 100 yards receiving and a TD in a game through Week 3. Receiver Danny Amendola and rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson did it in the season-opening tie at Arizona. Receiver Kenny Golladay followed suit in the Week 2 win over the Chargers. In last week’s victory at Philadelphia, Marvin Jones became the fourth player on the team with 100 yards receiving and a score.
“Anytime we can spread the ball around and give the defense a lot to think about, I think it’s a positive for us,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “It’s a credit to those guys going out there and making plays. I’m happy for all of those guys that have done it and hopefully we’ll get more of it.”
SPREADING THE LOVE
Mahomes has also found a different receiver to target each week.
Sammy Watkins had 198 yards receiving and three TDs in the season-opening, 40-26 victory at Jacksonville. Demarcus Robinson had 174 and two scores in Week 2, a 28-10 win at Oakland. Mecole Hardman had the 83-yard TD reception in a 33-28 win against Baltimore last Sunday.
“That’s what it’s all about when you have a team of this stature and players on this team, it’s about spreading the ball around,” Watkins said. “Nobody has to go out there and struggle or try to do something don’t have to do.”
Detroit is unbeaten through Week 3 for the first time since 2011. Of course, few outside of the Lions’ locker room expect them to upset the Kansas City to extend the solid start.
“It’ll be a good test for us,” Stafford acknowledged.
The Chiefs’ new defense under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has gone through some growing pains, getting beaten through the air by Jacksonville in Week 1 and dominated on the ground by everyone else. Kansas City is giving up a league-high 6.2 yards per carry and allowing nearly 140 yards rushing per game.
“We play well in stretches,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “The first drive of every game hasn’t been a great drive for us defensively. I think we’ve given up a touchdown every time. Then, in the fourth quarter, we get lax as well. End of the day that falls on me.”
The previous five seasons, Detroit allowed Stafford to get sacked nearly three times a game on average. After seeing Stafford to get sacked three times in Week 1, the Lions have not surrendered a sack.
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