Kristie Rieken, The Associated Press
HOUSTON — Jerick McKinnon rushed 26 yards for a touchdown in overtime as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Houston Texans 30-24 on Sunday.
McKinnon’s middle finger helped the Kansas City squad win a seventh straight AFC Western Division title.
During the locker room celebrations, Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was quick to note that his team’s accomplishment was just the beginning of what it wants to achieve this season.
“When we start every season, the first thing we talk about is winning the West Division,” Mahomes said. This is our first objective and we have accomplished it.”
The Chiefs (11-3) had the ball first in overtime, but had to punt. Texans quarterback Davis Mills then fumbled the ball and it was picked up at the 26 line by Willie Gay.
The next play, McKinnon, who also caught a touchdown pass, was not tackled on his way to the end zone.
McKinnon mentioned that Mahomes reminded him before the game to keep both hands on the ball.
“I told him I was going to make the touchdown,” McKinnon said. Juju (Smith-Schuster) looked at me and he said he had my block and I just had to find him in the field. It happened exactly that way.”
The Texans (1-12-1) tied the game at 24-24 with a 29-yard field goal with about five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs had a chance to win before overtime, but Harrison Butker’s 51-yard field goal attempt missed the target.
The Chiefs overcame two turnovers and 102 penalty yards to claim a seventh win in their last eight outings.
Mills had 121 passing yards and threw two touchdown passes. The Texans suffered their ninth straight loss, their longest losing streak since 2013, when they lost 14 straight games.
“This team has only won one game, but they don’t play like they do,” Texans head coach Lovie Smith said. Players show up every day, they improve, they give us a chance to win.”
The Chiefs’ title streak tied the Rams for the second longest in NFL history (1973 to 1979). The New England Patriots have the longest streak with 11 consecutive American East Division titles, from 2009 to 2019.
“I think one of the hardest things in the NFL is having consistent success,” Chiers owner Clark Hunt said. The rules are set to make it tough, by the draft or the salary cap. It’s a true testament to the hard work General Manager Brett Veach and Head Coach Andy Reid have done over the years.”
The Chiefs trailed most of the game and were down five points early in the fourth quarter. Patrick Mahomes made a five-yard run for a major and the two-point convert gave the visitors a 24-21 lead.
Mahomes threw for two touchdown passes and for 336 passing yards. He became the fifth player in NFL history to throw at least 35 touchdown passes in four or more seasons. He joined Tom Brady (6), Aaron Rodgers (6), Drew Brees (4) and Peyton Manning (4).