Chiefs vs. Cardinals score, takeaways: Patrick Mahomes throws five TD passes as Kansas City dominates
The Chiefs won their opener in blowout fashion
The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals met win Week 1 on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium and the matchup was never close. The Chiefs were in control the entire game and dominated even more than the 44-21 final score showed.
Unsurprisingly, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes went off, throwing for five touchdowns. Mahomes had nearly double the passing yards of his opposing quarterback, Kyler Murray, and more than double the number of touchdowns.
Mahomes went 30 for 39 with 360 yards, with the five TDs and no interceptions. Murray went 22 for 34 with 193 yards and two touchdowns.
The game was already put away with lots of time to go in the fourth quarter, which resulted in both teams putting their backup quarterbacks in. Let's take a look at the main takeaways from the game:
Why the Chiefs won
Simply put, they were the better team. The Chiefs did not trail the entire game and showed once again why they are a threat not just in the AFC, but to win another Super Bowl title.
Mahomes had another day filled with highlights and recorded the sixth game of his career with at least five touchdowns. The touchdowns came on passes to Travis Kelce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jody Fortson and Mecole Hardman.
The Chiefs defense held down the Cardinals, keeping them to just seven points for most of the game. The Cardinals scored two of their three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, when the outcome had already been decided.
Why the Cardinals lost
The Cardinals were not equipped to play a team with as many weapons as the Chiefs and could not keep up with their pace. Quarterback Kyler Murray was without DeAndre Hopkins, who is suspended for the first six games for violating the league's performance-enhancing policy, and Arizona's offense looked depleted without him.
The Chiefs defense had two sacks on Murray, who struggled as he played from behind all game.
Arizona looked like it could gain some momentum when it recovered a JuJu Smith-Schuster fumble, but it was unable to capitalize on the turnover. When playing a team as complete as the Chiefs, scoring off takeaways is not just important, but crucial.
The only time the Chiefs were not ahead on Sunday was during the first drive of the game, when the Cardinals had the ball and the scoreboard said 0-0. Once Mahomes got the ball in his hands for the first time this season, he marched down the field, scored and the Chiefs lead from that point on. The turning point was really at the opening kickoff, because there was no point in which the Cardinals strung enough solid plays together to give themselves a chance to win.
Play of the game
The first touchdown of the game set the tone and made everyone remember just how dangerous the Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce connection is. It was not one of those wild Mahomes passes, or impossible catches, but it didn't need to be. Scoring on their opening drive was enough to show the Cardinals and their fans in the crowd that the Chiefs came to dominate.
The Chiefs have a divisional game coming up next, as Kansas City will host the Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday Night Football. The Chargers defeated the Raiders on Sunday, 24-19. The Cardinals will head to Las Vegas to face the Raiders in Week 2.
Trace McSorley is in at quarterback for the Cardinals.
Chad Henne is in at quarterback for the Chiefs.
CARDINALS TOUCHDOWN: Kyler Murray connects with Zach Ertz for six. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful. 44-21 CHIEFS
CHIEFS TOUCHDOWN: Patrick Mahomes hands it off to Isiah Pacheco who runs three yards to the house. The extra point is GOOD. 44-15 CHIEFS
CARDINALS TOUCHDOWN: Kyler Murray connects with Marquise Brown on fourth-and-goal. The two-point conversion is GOOD thanks to a completion to Zach Ertz. 37-15 CHIEFS
The Chiefs bat down Kyler Murray's pass on third-and-goal.
Patrick Mahomes records his sixth career game with five touchdown passes or more.
🚨 PATRICK MAHOMES HAS FIVE TOUCHDOWNS 🚨— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 11, 2022
CHIEFS TOUCHDOWN: Mecole Hardman gets into the end zone off a two-yard pass from Patrick Mahomes. Extra point is GOOD. 37-7 CHIEFS.
Mahomes connects with Travis Kelce for 26 yards.
That catch puts Travis Kelce over 100 yards for the day. He has 8 grabs for 121 yards and a TD.— Matt McMullen (@KCChiefs_Matt) September 11, 2022
CHIEFS TOUCHDOWN: Patrick Mahomes completes a pass to Jody Fortson for a 1-yard touchdown. The extra-point is GOOD. 30-7 CHIEFS