Patrick Mahomes 'faster than people think' as run plays lift Chiefs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets had answers for Patrick Mahomes the passer Sunday night after he threw his only touchdown of the game, a 34-yarder to tight end Noah Gray, in the first quarter.

The Jets couldn't solve Mahomes as a runner, which is why the Kansas City Chiefs escaped MetLife Stadium with a 23-20 victory.

Mahomes rushed for 51 yards -- including 32 on the game's final drive, which saw the Chiefs kill the last 7½ minutes of game clock. His 25-yard run on third-and-23 was the big play of the drive. He also had a 9-yard run on third-and-8 with 2 minutes remaining and could have scored, but he went down intentionally at the Jets' 2-yard line so the Chiefs could maintain possession and run out the clock.

Mahomes has had bigger rushing games for the Chiefs but perhaps none as impactful. His late-game scrambling helped make up for his two first-half interceptions, which helped the Jets pull into a tie after an early 17-0 deficit.

That's why Mahomes was particularly fired up after his 25-yard run. He got up pumping his fist in celebration.

"We needed that play in that time,'' Mahomes said. "We were trying to do what we can to keep the defense off the field. They'd been playing their tail off in that second half.

"I'm a little upset. I kind of stumbled. I was thinking I could maybe get around the side a little bit, but it was a big first down and then we were able to kind of keep it moving down the field.''

Mahomes will never be confused as a runner with, say, the Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson. But he joked that he doesn't get enough respect for that part of his game.

"I've told a lot of people I'm faster than people think,'' Mahomes said. "I don't run pretty, so people think I'm slow, but I move a little bit better than people think.

"Maybe one day I'll get a spy. That's my goal. If I get a spy, I'll know I made it.''

Mahomes has two career 50-plus-yard rushing games against the Los Angeles Chargers. Linebacker Drue Tranquill, in his first season with the Chiefs after four with the Chargers, overheard Mahomes' request for a defensive spy and said, "We didn't spy him for four years and we paid the price.''

Later, Tranquill said, "That's why [Mahomes] is the greatest in the world. Even on a night when he throws two or three picks, whatever it was, for him to be able to convert on third-and-20 with his legs, for him to be able to convert on third-and-8 down there to close out the game ... it speaks to the toughness and the grit of the entire offensive personnel and then the belief this organization has in [Mahomes] to get the job done.''

With his throw to Gray, Mahomes also became the fastest to 200 NFL touchdown passes, reaching the milestone in his 84th game to break Dan Marino's NFL record. Marino threw his 200th TD pass in his 89th NFL game with Miami in 1989.

"It means a ton -- the people that are on the list, the quarterbacks that came before me. You just got to keep going, the game has changed," Mahomes said. "I think someone will pass me before too long, so you just got to go out there and keep playing.

"The one thing that doesn't change is Super Bowls, so I'm going to try to keep getting those."