More than a singular play, a series allowed Kansas City to retake the lead and seize control Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, in the Saints' 32-29 loss to the Chiefs in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
After New Orleans (10-4) took the momentum in the third quarter, Kansas City (13-1) snatched it right back and never relinquished it again, denying the Saints the victory that would have handed New Orleans its fourth consecutive NFC South Division title.
The Saints took the second-half kickoff and did exactly what they hoped to do. New Orleans' four-play, 75-yard touchdown drive gave it a 15-14 lead (the two-point conversion attempt failed) and was aided by a pair of defensive penalties (roughing the passer and pass interference).
The Saints even overcame a holding penalty as quarterback Drew Brees found running back Latavius Murray – Brees' fifth option on the play, he said – in the left flat a yard behind the line of scrimmage, and Murray took the short pass down the left sideline to score from 24 yards out.
But the Chiefs didn't allow for a long celebration.
Three of Kansas City's first five plays on its next possession went for 16, 13 and 20 yards, the last of which took the Chiefs to the Saints' 21. Three plays later, Kansas City was at the 5 and on second-and-goal from there, quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected with receiver Mecole Hardman in the back left corner of the end zone – Hardman's left-foot toe drag ensured he scored – to give Kansas City a 21-15 lead.
The Chiefs then forced a pair of three-and-outs on defense, and added another touchdown drive and two-point conversion to stretch the lead to 29-15 in the fourth quarter, then added the insurance field goal after New Orleans pulled to within 29-22.