The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 24-10, on a chilly afternoon at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday behind a tremendous defensive effort that held Seattle to just 2-of-14 on third down.
Seattle – which entered Saturday's contest with the No. 7 scoring offense in the NFL – was held out of the end zone until just over two minutes remained in the fourth quarter in a game that the Chiefs consistently led by double-digits.
"I thought, overall, our defense had just a great day," said Head Coach Andy Reid. "Some of those young guys, [cornerback Trent McDuffie], [safety Bryan Cook] and [cornerback Jaylen Watson] – those guys played their tails off. [Linebacker Nick] Bolton had another big day with 17 tackles, and I thought the defensive line was extraordinary."
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 16-of-28 passes for 224 yards and three total touchdowns in the game, flipping a quick, "pop pass" to wide receiver Kadarius Toney on the Chiefs' second possession that Toney took around the edge for an 8-yard touchdown. It marked Toney's second touchdown of the season and his first since returning to action from a three-week absence.
The Chiefs then added to their advantage a bit later when Mahomes found tailback Jerick McKinnon for a 9-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter. The score – which pushed Kansas City's lead to 14-0 – was McKinnon's sixth touchdown in his last four games.
Kansas City added a field goal on its next drive, but despite possessing a three-score lead, the game was far from over. Seattle – which tallied only one first down across its first five possessions – marched to the Chiefs' 3-yard line in the closing seconds of the first half, but Kansas City forced the Seahawks to settle for a field goal.
It may seem inconsequential in the context of the final score, but the Chiefs' ability to hold Seattle out of the end zone at the end of the first half was significant. The Seahawks were set to get the ball following the break, and a touchdown in the closing seconds of the second quarter would have made it only a 10-point game. The Chiefs defense, however, ensured that such a scenario didn't occur.
"I was extremely proud [of the defense today]," Mahomes said. "That's a really good offense. They've put up points on a lot of teams this year, so for our defense to stop them in so many critical moments, that's what we need going forward. When they play like that, we're going to be a hard team to beat."
The defense continued to come up clutch in the second half, too. In fact, Seattle tallied three-straight drives of at least seven plays each during the third and fourth quarters without any points to show for them. The first two ended in failed fourth down attempts before safety Juan Thornhill ended the third with his second interception of the season.
"Man, it felt great. I felt like I was in a little drought for a while, and I finally got me one," Thornhill said. "They've called back two – they called one back [earlier in the game] today, and they called one back [against Cincinnati], but I finally got one, so I'm proud of that."
The Chiefs proceeded to ice the game following Thornhill's pick, as Kansas City went on 5-play, 80-yard scoring drive that ended in a diving, 3-yard touchdown scramble by Mahomes that effectively put the game out of reach. The series included back-to-back receptions by tight end Travis Kelce that covered a total of 72 yards, pushing the All-Pro tight end over 100 receiving yards (113 on six catches) for the second-straight game.
That collective performance was all the more impressive considering the weather, as Saturday's game – which kicked off at 12 degrees – marked the coldest game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in six seasons. It was the fifth-coldest game at the venue since at least 1994.
"Coach Reid said all week that it was going to be a mindset game," McKinnon said. "Obviously, it's cold out there, but we feel like that's an advantage [for us] being in the cold and being in Kansas City – having the fan base that we do. It definitely makes it tough on opposing teams."
The Chiefs persevered through those chilly conditions to secure their fifth-straight 12-win season, which is the third-longest streak for any team in NFL history. Only the Indianapolis Colts (7, 2003-09) and the New England Patriots (8, 2010-17) compiled longer streaks.
In terms of injuries, Coach Reid didn't have any news to report following the game. The Chiefs exited the game with a clean bill of health.
The Chiefs will now turn the page to a divisional matchup with the Denver Broncos this upcoming Sunday at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.