In Frankfurt, Germany, the Miami Dolphins’ comeback fell short when quarterback Tua Tagovailoa couldn’t handle a snap on fourth-and-10 from the Kansas City 31 with 1:03 to play.
The Kansas City Chiefs scored all the points they needed in the first half for a 21-14 win over the Dolphins at Deutsche Bank Park.
Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes, and the Chiefs (7-2) defense forced the NFL’s top-ranked Dolphins (6-3) offense out of rhythm in the first-ever regular season game in Frankfurt, Germany.
“We are going to get this offense figured out; until then, this defense is legit,” Mahomes said. “It is real, and everyone will see it.”
Bryan Cook returned a fumble that was lateraled to him 59 yards for what turned out to be the final touchdown for the Chiefs.
“We have to find a way to finish games; it does not have to be pretty. It does not have to be flashy,” Mahomes added. “We have to find a way to finish our defense. Did it for us today. As the season goes on, we have to find a way to do it as an offense.”
Mahomes finished 20 of 30 for a season-low 185 yards in his European debut, but the Chiefs’ offense struggled in the second half.
Mahomes connected on at least one pass with nine different receivers.
Taylor Swift did not make the trip to Germany to cheer on boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
Kelce had just three catches for 14 yards, enough to become the franchise’s career leader in receiving yards.
“This guy’s a great player. I mean, he gets better and better,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “They were aware of him, allowed other guys to make some plays with some of the schemes they were using. But what a great player and a good kid on top of that.”
Even after breaking the record, Kelce’s performance at Sunday’s game proves the Swift statistic — that when the music icon is at Chiefs games, Kelce averages more than double the number of yards than when she isn’t — is still in effect.
Chiefs have won five straight versus the Dolphins.
The Dolphins were down 21-0 at the half, were 0-5 on third down, and committed one turnover in the first two quarters. It was the first time the Dolphins were shut out in a half in 40 games.
“Last play of the game, I am going to blame myself. I have to catch the ball, rather that is getting in a better position to catch it,” Tagovailoa said. “I can’t end the game like that when we have an opportunity like that against a really good team.”
Tagovailoa finished 21 of 34 for a season-low 193 yards.
“I was very, very proud of the resolve. I’m very encouraged about the team. To be in that position on that final drive takes a lot of — there were a lot of expectations not met in the first half, and for those guys to — for the defense to shut them out in the second half and only allow 14 points, and for us to be in that situation with one minute to go, I think that’s the bigger picture from the players’ perspective,” Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said. “I told the team that you don’t have to worry about me learning from mistakes. It will be a hard one to digest, but we’ll make it purposeful.”
Dolphins average 39 points per game against teams with losing records and 17 points per game against teams with winning records.
“Against the Super Bowl champions. We believe every game is a missed opportunity if we lose, man. It’s our job to come out here and win these games,” Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill said. “Especially the way that our defense played today. Those guys played tremendous. If we want to say that we’re the No. 1 offense in the league, we’ve got to be able to make plays when it counts.”
Hill finished with a team-high eight catches for 62 yards against his former team.
Dolphins have lost six games in a row versus teams with winning records.
The Dolphins have lost their past four international games. They are 2-5 in games played outside the United States.
Miami has to show up and win a game this caliber.
Dolphins’ offense is innovative. However, the Chiefs played old-school, old-fashioned defense with sound tackling and kept the offense from getting behind the secondary, neutralizing an innovative offense like the Dolphins.
Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle was slow to get up after blocking on a rushing attempt on Miami’s first drive. He returned on the second drive and took a reverse for a 12-yard gain. OL Robert Jones was helped off the field early in the fourth quarter. Reid said there were no Chiefs injuries to report.
Dolphins: Bye week and then host the Las Vegas Raiders on Nov. 19.
Chiefs: Bye week before a Monday night Super Bowl rematch against the Philadelphia Eagles at Arrowhead Stadium on Nov. 20.