The Kansas City Chiefs scored 20 unanswered points to defeat the Carolina Panthers, 20-17, in regulation time, improving to 7-2 on the season. The Chiefs now stand alone in first place in the AFC West.
Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos hit a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give the Chiefs the win.
The Panthers received to start the game, and quarterback Cam Newton got his team as far as the Kansas City 24-yard line, but on third-and-7, linebacker Tamba Hali and defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches pressured him and he had to throw the ball away. The drive led to a 42-yard field goal for Graham Gano and an early 3-0 lead.
After the game's initial drive, there were five empty possessions in a row.
The Panthers changed that trend in the second quarter. Starting on the Carolina 20-yard line, Newton put together an 11-play drive, finishing with a 4-yard touchdown run on first-and-goal.
Later in the quarter, Newton found wide receiver Devin Funchess way down the field behind the Chiefs secondary for a 38-yard touchdown and a 17-0 lead.
Santos got the Chiefs on the board with a 47-yard field goal as the second quarter came to an end, making it 17-3 at the half.
In the second half, Carolina had a 20-play drive that took more than 10 minutes off the clock, but at the Kansas City 20-yard line, Dee Ford and Chris Jones recorded sacks on back-to-back downs, and the Panthers were forced to punt. It was Ford's 10th sack of the season.
Off the punt, the Chiefs drew closer on the next possession with a 36-yard yard field goal, making it 17-6.
The Panthers got the ball back, and on third-and-4 at the Carolina 29, Newton threw across the middle, but it was intercepted by Chiefs safety Eric Berry. Utilizing key blocks from the rest of the defense, Berry took the ball all the way across the field and into the Carolina end zone.
On the two-point chance, Smith threw to tight end Travis Kelce for a successful conversion. The Chiefs kicked off to the Panthers trailing, 17-14.
After a three-and-out from the Panthers, the Chiefs tied the game with a 33-yard Santos field goal.
The Chiefs would get the ball back but would have to punt it back to the Panthers, who had a final opportunity in the fourth quarter with no timeouts to get into field goal range. On first down, Newton hit WR Kelvin Benjamin across the middle, but Marcus Peters ripped the ball out of his hands for a fumble and fumble recovery.
After a delay of game penalty, the Chiefs took over at the Carolina 29-yard line. Running back Spencer Ware broke off an 11-yard run, bringing the Chiefs to the Carolina 18-yard line, and Santos came on for the game-winning kick.
Berry finished as the team's leading tackler with nine (7 solo). Alex Smith was 25 of 38 for 178 yards and an interception. Hill had 10 receptions for 89 yards receiving. Ware finished with 13 carries for 61 yards in his return.
The Chiefs return to Arrowhead Stadium next week to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kickoff is at 12:00 p.m. CT.
Photos from the Chiefs Week 10 matchup against the Panthers