Week 9: Tyreek Hill‘s 41-yard catch against the Vikings
Scene: Without Mahomes, the Chiefs were 5-3 and reeling. Losers of three of their last four, Kansas City butted heads with the 6-2 Vikings, who were hanging onto first place in the NFC North. The Chiefs struck first blood in the first frame, when Moore connected with star receiver Tyreek Hill on a gorgeous rainbow at the goal line for the game’s first points. While Minnesota struggled to get their ground game going all day, Kansas City was able to hang in. One might point to running back Damien Williams‘ 91-yard touchdown jaunt and say that was the play of the game – and, by nature of the distance of the play, that’s a decent argument – but everything hinged on what happened in the 4th quarter.
The Chiefs were down 23-20 when they took over at their own 26 with 6:35 on the game clock. Offensive tackle Cameron Erving was whistled for holding on 2nd and 5, but Moore had been sacked for a 2-yard-loss on the play, so Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer made the decision to decline the penalty, giving Kansas City a 3rd and 7. Hill came through again with an 11-yard reception, but it was the next play that put the Chiefs in business.
Moore took a deep drop from the Kansas City 40 with under 5 minutes to play. He tracked down Hill on the right sideline, where Hill made a leaping grab over cornerback Trae Waynes, who is three inches taller than Hill.
The acrobatic grab gave Kansas City hope – and a 1st down at the Vikings’ 19-yard-line. Ironically, that would be the closest the Chiefs would get to the end zone for the rest of the day. After a near-catastrophic fumble by Moore on 3rd and long, the Chiefs were backed up to the Minnesota 36 when kicker Harrison Butker trotted onto the field.
Butker calmly connected on a game-tying 54-yard field goal, and the Vikings took over with 2:30 to play, but the Chiefs quickly forced a punt. Five plays later, Butker drilled the 44-yard game-winner. But would any of that have come without Moore’s confident heave to the Chiefs’ All-Pro receiver? And more importantly, how would Kansas City regroup if they had instead lost yet another game at Arrowhead that afternoon?