The Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) picked up their fifth straight victory in impressive fashion on Sunday, as they came back to beat the Carolina Panthers (3-6) by a score of 20-17 after trailing 17-3 early in the fourth quarter.
Here are 14 quick facts following the comeback victory:
- They just keep winning
The Chiefs have won 17 of their last 19 regular-season games, including a span of 10 straight home games dating back to October 11 of last season.
- The Chiefs sit among the best in the league
- The "Comeback Kids"
At one point in the game, ESPN had the Panthers with a 98.1 percent chance of winning.
- Marcus Peters is a turnover machine
Most people know second-year cornerback Marcus Peters as one of the most formidable cornerbacks in the NFL when it comes to making plays and coming up with interceptions, having picked off 13 passes since the beginning of last season, which leads the NFL.
Peters, the NFL's reigning "Defensive Rookie of the Year," is still tied for the NFL lead with five interceptions this season.
But over the past two weeks, Peters has come also up with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries—one of which was the key moment in the improbable comeback victory over the Panthers on Sunday.
Peters has had the ball in his hands for a takeaway in six of the Chiefs' nine games this season.
- Second-year center Mitch Morse getting some love from MMQB's Peter King
- The Chiefs have the best second-half defense in the NFL
The Chiefs have only allowed 54 total points in the second half of their nine games this season, which averages to just six points per game.
This includes Sunday's second-half shutout of the Panthers, who came into Sunday's game averaging 28 points per game as one of the league's top offenses.
When the pressure rises, so does the play of this group.
- Tyreek Hill was the top target on Sunday
With veteran Jeremy Maclin missing Sunday's game against the Panthers because of a groin injury, the question became, who would become Alex Smith's top target?
In this particular game, the answer was rookie fifth-round pick, Tyreek Hill, who finished with a game-high 13 targets.
It was the most targets for a Chiefs player this season since Maclin's 15 targets back in Week 2 against the Houston Texans.
Hill's 10 receptions were also the most for any Chiefs player this season. In fact, no other player had even had as many as eight receptions this season.
- Dee Ford is an animal
Not only did former first-round pick and third-year outside linebacker Dee Ford pick up his NFL league lead-tying 10th sack of the season late in the third quarter of Sunday's game, the fact is Ford keeps picking up these sacks and making plays in crucial situations.
It's one thing to rack up numbers on a stat sheet, but it's quite another to do what Ford has done, which, in his latest performance on Sunday, was a key sack of his former college teammate, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton late in the third quarter that helped push them out of field goal range while the Chiefs held a 17-3 lead.
- Chris Jones makes another key play
For the second time over the past three weeks, rookie second-round pick Chris Jones picked up a key sack for the Chiefs defense.
On the very next play after Ford's sack, which came on second down from the Chiefs 21-yard line, Jones, who was put in a one-on-one situation as both Ford and Dontari Poe were double-teamed, tossed the right guard to the side and chased down Newton for the sack.
- The defense is built upon its ability to take the ball away
The Chiefs lead the NFL with 22 takeaways this season, 13 of which have come by interception while nine have come via fumble recovery.
Their plus-14 turnover differential also leads the NFL.
- Andy Reid and winning streaks aren't strangers
With Sunday's win, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has recorded a five-game win streak at least once in each of his first four seasons with the team, tying a franchise record. Prior to this season's five-game streak, Reid earned nine straight wins to start the 2013 season, five straight in 2014 and led the team to a franchise-record 10-game win streak to close the 2015 season.
- Eric Berry moves up the franchise list
In one of the key plays in the comeback victory, safety Eric Berry intercepted Newton in the fourth quarter and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown.
It was the second interception of Berry's season and the 12th of his career. The touchdown marked his fourth career interception return for a score, moving him into a tie for fourth-most defensive touchdowns in franchise history.
- Cairo Santos stays hot
Over the past two weeks, Cairo Santos has hit all eight of his field goal attempts, including the 37-yard game-winner over the Panthers.
Santos is 22 of 25 on field goal attempts this season.
- The defense stood tall with its back against the wall
In his article for the Kansas City Star, Blair Kerkhoff had a really good nugget about the defensive stand by the Chiefs late in the third quarter that ultimately set off a series of events that led to Sunday's improbable victory.
Here's what Kerkhoff wrote:
"According to pro-football-reference.com, it was the longest drive in the NFL since 1998 to end in a punt. Panthers tight end Greg Olsen pointed directly to the series — 20 plays, 10 minutes, 0 points — when assigning blame for the loss.
"You can't have the ball and go on what felt like the whole quarter drive, have the ball on the 20 and not even attempt a field goal," Olsen said. "That's why we lost the game."