Patrick Mahomes started strong, ended fast and overcame two interceptions as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the New York Jets, 23-20, in a "Sunday Night Football" game that drew new fans interested in Taylor Swift's attendance.
The prime-time game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, drew a host of A-list celebrities, led by Swift, the rumored girlfriend of star Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce.
He had a relatively quiet night by his lofty standards, catching six passes for 60 yards. Kelce did haul in two grabs for 15 yards on the Chiefs drive that ended in Harrison Butker's 26-yard field goal, which broke a 20-20 tie early in the fourth quarter.
The game appeared to be a blowout with Kansas City racing to a 17-0 lead after one quarter. Mahomes threw a 34-yard TD to Noah Gray, and Isiah Pacheco, an alum of nearby Rutgers University, burst through the Jets' line for a 48-yard scoring run.
But the Jets' defense rattled Mahomes for much of the game, recording a safety and intercepting him twice to tie it, 20-20.
Much-maligned Jets QB Zach Wilson played a solid game, but his fourth-quarter fumble helped Kansas City seal the win. Mahomes scrambled for a 9-yard gain on third-and-8 in the final moments, allowing Kansas City to run out the clock.
The closer-than-expected game most likely drew viewers who don't ordinarily tune in for football, thanks to Swift's attendance.
Dedicated Swift fans immediately identified the denim shorts she wore to the game, and the shorts were soon sold out.
The shorts appear to be the “Logo Lettering Denim Shorts” from the brand AREA and cost $528.
What you missed during the game
- With Taylor Swift in the house, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Jets 23-20 in a surprisingly close contest.
- The Chiefs-Jets game was an A-list affair as Swift, Sophie Turner, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman were in the same luxury suite. Other boldface names in the crowd included Paul Rudd, Jeremy Strong and Shawn Levy.
- This had been one of the circle-your-calendar dates when schedule makers set this QB battle between the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the New York Jets’ Aaron Rodgers. But the air was let out of the balloon on Sept. 11, the first Monday night of the season, when Rodgers tore an Achilles tendon.
- The hype factor got an unexpected boost a week ago when Swift attended the Chiefs’ game against the Chicago Bears. Her attendance at Arrowhead Stadium renewed long-running rumors of a budding love story between the pop superstar and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
'SNF' going to California; Chiefs (and maybe Taylor) visit Vikings
Week 4's edition of "Sunday Night Football" is in the books with fans now looking forward to the upcoming epic confrontation between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys.
Other fans might be more interested in the Kansas City Chiefs, who will pay a visit to the Minnesota Vikings at 4:25 p.m. ET.
The Chiefs' record is 3-1, and the Vikings stand at 1-3.
The Chiefs-Vikings game will be televised by CBS. The regions that will get that game on TV won't be known until later this week.
NBC prime-time viewers will be treated to a battle of two iconic franchises with a rematch of a playoff game last season when the Niners eliminated the Cowboys, 19-12.
That loss still stings Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who appeared to be annoyed with a reporter who asked him today about the loss eight months ago.
"We're so far past that, to be honest with you, that's obvious," Prescott said after Dallas' 38-3 win over the New England Patriots. "You just want to piss me off going into this weekend? I appreciate that."
San Francisco heads into the game at 4-0, while Dallas is 3-1.
Chiefs win; bettors going big on Kelce didn't
All the eyes that weren't on Swift were probably on her possible boyfriend Kelce, and he had a relatively quiet night.
Gamblers betting on Kelce's performance could have wagered "over" or "under" passes caught (6.5) or total yards (72.5). He was under on both at 60.
Bookmakers at Caesars offered gamblers a "Love Story" single-game parlay with romantics offered 2-to-1 odds for Kelce to total at least 72.5 receiving yards and score a TD. He didn't do either.
Undefeated with Swift
Final score: Kansas City Chiefs 23, New York Jets 20
Mahomes scrambled for 9 yards on third-and-8 to ice the game. He chose to slide rather than score another touchdown.
After that play, with the game mathematically done, the Jets were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct as coach Robert Saleh was still fuming from a key call moments earlier.
The Chiefs were faced with third-and-20 from the Jets’ 40 when Mahomes appeared to toss an interception to Michael Carter. But Sauce Gardner was flagged for defensive holding, a 5-yard penalty and an automatic first down.
Swift and Kelce's mom hang out again
Patrick Mahomes scrambles for a first down
Big play by KC defense
In a potential game-turning play, Chiefs defensive lineman Tershawn Wharton jumped on a Wilson fumble at the Jets’ 47-yard line.
Wilson dropped a shotgun snap and Wharton pounced on it with 7:24 left in the fourth quarter.
It's a Marvel reunion at MetLife
Ant-Man, Deadpool, Wolverine and another member of the X-Men are all here. The question is, when is Marvel creating a superhero for Taylor Swift?
Chiefs might be looking to reconnect with Kelce
Kelce caught two passes in Kansas City's last drive, which ended in a tiebreaking field goal.
Mahomes found Kelce for gains of 10 and 5 yards on that last possession.
The star tight end, and Swift's close friend, now has five grabs for 52 yards.
Chiefs retake lead, 23-20
Butker hit from 26 yards out, and Kansas City retook the lead.
But once the Chiefs reached Gang Green's red zone, surrendering three points wasn't the worst outcome for New York.
Kelce back on the board
Kelce has caught a pass on this Chiefs drive after 33 minutes of silence.
He's caught four passes for 42 yards through three quarters.
Quiet night for Travis Kelce so far
"Sunday Night Football" viewers have seen plenty of images of Swift in the stands.
But live coverage of Kelce catches? Not so much.
By late in the third quarter, the superstar tight end — and possible Swift boyfriend — had just 37 yards on three catches.
All of that action came in the first three possessions in the first quarter. It's been a blank space ever since.
Turf wars: Aaron Rodgers’ injury reignites debate over artificial grass use
When Rodgers collapsed on the MetLife Stadium field with a season-ending Achilles tendon tear during the team’s first game, he reignited a debate over the safety of artificial turf. And while the NFL has maintained that turf fields are as safe as grass, new data provided to NBC News shows NFL stadiums with synthetic surfaces usually have more injuries.
Data from the sports analytics company Sports Info Solutions — which provides data and analysis to pro sports teams and other industry groups — shows that 7 of the 10 stadiums with the highest injury counts from 2017 to 2022 had artificial surfaces.
Brand new ball game: Chiefs 20, Jets 20
Can this be happening?!
Wilson hit Allen Lazard for a 10-yard scoring strike before the QB scrambled into the end zone for the 2-point conversion.
This isn't a hallucination: Chiefs 20, Jets 20.
Taylor Swift's outfit is already sold out
The denim shorts Swift is wearing tonight were identified online an hour ago and are already sold out.
The shorts appear to be the "Logo Lettering Denim Shorts" from the brand AREA and cost $528.
Jets might be the happier team at halftime, despite 20-12 KC lead
Given Kansas City's early 17-0 lead, New York might be the happier team right now despite the Chiefs' 20-12 lead.
Jets coach Robert Saleh praised his heavily criticized quarterback Wilson.
"He's doing a heck of a job. We're moving the ball," Saleh told NBC Sports on his way to the halftime dressing room. "Obviously a slow start, but I like where we're at right now."
The Jets will receive the ball to start the second half.
The NFL TikTok account's bio is Taylor-themed
"10/1/23. Taylor’s back," the bio of the official NFL TikTok account reads. The NFL social media manager is definitely a Swiftie.
Doink! Jets miss another score by inches
Zuerlein's 52-yard field goal try connected with the right upright and bounced out.
The score at halftime: Kansas City 20, New York Jets 12.
Jets hold Chiefs to FG as KC leads 20-12
Butker connected from 37 yards out in a bit of a win for the Jets defense.
Kansas City's fast start has resulted in only a 20-12 lead over the host Jets.
Jets on a roll, cut Chiefs' lead to 17-12
Has this game turned?
Gang Green's safety sparked a 12-0 Jets run, and the Kansas City lead has been trimmed to 17-12.
The last score was a nice lofting toss by much-maligned Jets QB Zach Wilson to C.J. Uzomah.
Jets D doing all it can to get Gang Green back into game
After recording a safety on the last Kansas City possession, the Jets' defense was back at it.
Safety Ashtyn Davis picked off a bad looping toss by Mahomes, giving the Jets good field position.
Jets inching a little closer, 17-5
The Jets turned their safety into a five-point payoff as Greg Zuerlein connected on a 31-yard field goal on the ensuing drive.
Jets on the board thanks to defense
Chiefs offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor was flagged for a facemask penalty on Jets edge rusher Bryce Huff in the end zone, resulting in a safety.
There was some question about whether the penalty started in the end zone or just before, but ultimately the refs ruled in favor of the Jets.
Chiefs 17, Jets 2.
Chiefs dominating in every way possible
The scoreboard says 17-0 Chiefs, and the numbers to make that score are just as dominant.
After one quarter, Kansas City leads in total yards, 200-32; in yards per play, 11.1 to 2.7; and in first downs, 8-2.
This could be a long night for Jets fans.
200 TD passes in record time for Mahomes
Mahomes' last scoring pass was the 200th career TD toss for the Kansas City signal-caller, making him the QB to hit that mark in the fewest games in his career.
It took Mahomes 84 games to hit the mark, ahead of the pace of Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino, who hit 200 in 89 games.
Sophie Turner cheers on the Chiefs
Swift has several high-profile guests in tow tonight in her suite at MetLife, and Turner just joined the party.
The "Game of Thrones" star was also spotted with Swift last night in New York City for Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' daughter's birthday celebration.
The Chiefs are pouring it on early
Mahomes connected with the Chiefs' other tight end, Noah Gray, for a 34-yard TD and a 17-0 Kansas City lead.
Kansas City takes 10-0 lead
Rutgers alum Isiah Pacheco came back to New Jersey and made an immediate impact with a 48-yard TD run that helped Kansas City to an early 10-0 lead.
Guard Trey Smith threw a key block to spring Pacheco for the long scoring run.
Seemingly vodka cranberry?
Chiefs draw first blood
Harrison Butker connected on a field goal from 37 yards out as his Chiefs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.
Aaron Rodgers, like the NFL, is a Swiftie
Swift may be cheering for the Chiefs tonight, but Rodgers is a Swiftie. He attended the Eras Tour at MetLife in May.
He'll be on the sidelines tonight after he tore his Achilles tendon in his debut game with the Jets.
Kelce gets into it early
Kelce caught two balls in the first three plays that the Chiefs ran. Kelce has 29 receiving yards on those two catches.
Game is underway
Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein booted the ball into the end zone for a touchback as the Super Bowl champion Chiefs start at their own 25-yard line.
Broadcast booth welcomes Swifties
"Hi Swifties, we’ll be with you all night," announcer Mike Tirico said at the start of the broadcast, admitting that the pop superstar's attendance at the game would play a major part in the telecast.
Chiefs expected to win
All the NBC Sports analysts in the pregame picked the Chiefs to defeat the Jets.
Kansas City is in love ...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new relationship is exciting. It can leave you feeling butterflies, and sometimes it’s the only thing you can talk about — just ask Kansas City.
Days after Swift cheered on Kelce at the Chiefs’ latest home win, many in the city are still buzzing. (Of course, much of the internet still is, too.)
Swift, 33, seems to bring a wave of excitement and fervor everywhere she goes, and she can also be a boon to the economy.
Welcome to K.C.; it’s been waiting for you.
Stanford doing better on Sunday than Saturday
Stanford alums scored six touchdowns in the Cardinals-49ers game, bringing some much-needed smiles to the football office down on The Farm.
San Francisco's Christian McCaffrey rushed for three scores and caught a TD pass, while Micheal Wilson hauled in two scoring tosses for Arizona.
It's been a rough few gridiron years for Stanford (1-4), which was crushed by Oregon, 42-6, on Saturday just 13 miles up the road.
Since we're about 30 minutes from kickoff ...
Taylor Swift has entered the building
The Eras Tour has officially made another stop at MetLife Stadium.
The 12-time Grammy winner strolled through a metal detector Sunday night.
The QB faceoff that could have been
Mahomes and Rodgers have a word before Sunday's game.
From late last week: Colin Kaepernick writes letter offering to join Jets after Aaron Rodgers injury
Seven years after he last took an NFL snap, Colin Kaepernick believes he can still help a team in need of a quarterback — even if it means playing on the practice squad.
The former San Francisco 49ers signal-caller, who left the league in controversial fashion, wrote a letter to the Jets last week requesting a chance to play quarterback for them, but with a twist.
Rather than lobby for the Jets’ starting quarterback job as the team struggles in the wake of the season-ending injury to star Aaron Rodgers, Kaepernick asked for an opportunity to be the team’s practice squad quarterback.
It could be a long, cold autumn in New England
The once proud New England Patriots fell to 1-3 following a Texas-size 38-3 beatdown by the host Cowboys.
Dak Prescott threw for 261 yards and a touchdown with no picks as Dallas improved to 3-1.
Pats QB Mac Jones threw two interceptions for the Patriots, now in their fourth Tom Brady-less season. A Jones pick was returned for a TD and one of his fumbles was also taken to the house.
An injured Aaron Rodgers is on the sidelines
Kelce stands next to Rodgers, who tore his Achilles tendon just a few plays into the season.
And then there were two .... 4-0 teams in the NFL
The Niners, powered by Christian McCaffrey's four touchdowns, improved to 4-0 with their 35-16 victory over the Cardinals.
Philadelphia, an OT winner over Washington earlier in the day, and San Francisco are football's only 4-0 teams.
Swift and Kelce inspire viral prank on TikTok
Did Taylor Swift put Travis Kelce on the map?
That’s the basis of the latest TikTok prank, in which people troll their football-loving partners by posting videos suggesting the pop star has made the Kansas City Chiefs tight end famous. (He has won two Super Bowls. And hosted NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”)
The prank, which began after Swift was spotted at last Sunday’s Chiefs game, entails people secretly recording themselves telling their partners that Swift put Kelce on the map and that nobody knew who he was before the association with Swift. The reactions, mostly from boyfriends and husbands, have ranged from shock to outrage.
“What? You’re kidding right?” one partner asked in response.
“Baby, that’s not what happened,” said another partner.
“Oh, my God, don’t,” another partner said. “Just don’t say that!”
Chargers 24, Raiders 17
In the first final of the late window, the host Chargers struggled to beat the Raiders, who were without their starting QB.
The game in Santa Clara might be settled, but ...
Brock Purdy pushed into the end zone from 1 yard out as his 49ers extended their lead, 35 to 16.
The outcome has been settled for a while now.
But for those wondering whether the Cardinals could keep the game within 16.5 points, this late score mattered.
Chargers lose big gamble but still hold lead
The Chargers were stopped on fourth-and-inches from their own 34-yard line, but Las Vegas could not cash in.
Asante Samuel Jr.'s pick saved the day, for now.
Kelce arrives at MetLife
Going down to the wire in Inglewood
Josh Jacobs scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1 as the visiting Raiders cut the Chargers' lead to 24-17 with 4 minutes left.
Brittany Mahomes spotted arriving for dinner with Taylor Swift. All about the singer’s friend group
Brittany Mahomes, the wife of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, was among the celebrities at dinner with Swift at Emilio’s Ballato in New York on Saturday. The star-studded dinner occurred the night before the Chiefs — and Swift’s rumored beau, Kelce — play the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
Christian McCaffrey scores fourth TD for Niners
Christian McCaffrey pushed into the end zone from 2 yards out for his fourth touchdown of the day as the 49ers led the pesky Cardinals, 28-16, in early fourth-quarter action.
He has rushed for three scores and caught a TD pass as the 49ers seek to put away the Cards, who are 16.5-point underdogs.
Another busy day in the NFL, from London to Los Angeles
In case you slept in, you might have missed the Jags beating the Falcons, 23-7, at Wembley Stadium in London.
Then in the 1 p.m. ET window:
- Bills 48, Dolphins 20
- Broncos 31, Bears 28
- Ravens 28, Browns 3
- Texans 30, Steelers 6
- Vikings 21, Panthers 13
- Rams 29, Colts 23 (OT)
- Bucs 26, Saints 19
- Eagles 34, Commanders 31 (OT)
- Titans 27, Bengals 3
Games in the 4:05 p.m./4:25 p.m. ET window are all in the third quarter now, with the Cardinals at the Niners, the Raiders at the Chargers and the Patriots at the Cowboys.
The Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers, 34-20, on Thursday night, and the "Monday Night Football" game features the Seattle Seahawks visiting the New York Giants.
Reports of other celebs headed to the game with Swift
Boo birds already circling above MetLife for Zach Wilson
It’d behoove Jets quarterback Zach Wilson to get off to a fast start tonight as he enters MetLife Stadium as one of the least popular players with Gang Green fans — from firefighters to Broadway stars.
Notable Jets fan “Fireman Ed” Anzalone and QB icon "Broadway Joe" Namath used their considerable platforms last week put Wilson on blast and call for his ouster.
“Zach needs to be released or traded,” Fireman Ed told his 36,000 Instagram followers. “That’s just the way it is. Enough. Coach [Robert] Saleh, [Jets GM] Joe Douglas, enough. You did what you could. It’s not working out.”
Namath, the franchise’s most famous player, said on “The Michael Kay Show” that “I’ve seen enough of Zach Wilson” and urged the team to trade him. “Send him to Kansas City to back up against somebody like [Patrick] Mahomes and maybe learn something. I wouldn’t keep him.”
Could Taylor Swift win again at MetLife Stadium?
The pop sensation sent fans home happy from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, three times this year in a feat the Jets might not accomplish in 2023.
She scored three sellouts of her “Eras Tour” during the weekend of May 26-28 in shows so popular that fans without tickets showed up just for the party.
Highlights of the weekend included her tour debut of “Welcome to New York” on May 28 and her teaming up with Jack Antonoff for “Getaway Car,” which preceded an appearance by Ice Spice for a curtain-falling performance of “Karma” on May 26.
She also debuted the music video of “Karma” that night.