Turnovers trump TDs on a near-magnificent night for Patrick Mahomes

LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Mahomes threw for a career-high 478 yards. He threw six touchdown passes to tie his career best and set a record for a Monday Night Football game.

But Mahomes was beating himself up after the Kansas City Chiefs' 54-51 loss to the Los Angeles Rams because of five costly turnovers: two fumbles and three interceptions. One of the two lost fumbles was returned 11 yards for a touchdown by Samson Ebukam. Mahomes also threw an interception that was returned 25 yards for a touchdown, also by Ebukam.

Kansas City's final two possessions, when the Chiefs were desperately trying to catch the Rams, ended with Mahomes interceptions.

According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Mahomes is the first player since 1933 (when player stats were first tracked) with six passing touchdowns and five turnovers in a game.

"These are the games that you're going to play hopefully in the playoffs," Mahomes said. "You want to make sure you limit your mistakes but at the same time still be aggressive and still score points."

Mahomes had been good at walking that line for most of the season. He entered the game with seven interceptions in the Chiefs' 10 games. But he struggled when he held the ball for too long on Monday. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Mahomes was 10-of-18 with 186 yards and two touchdowns with at least three seconds to throw, but he also threw two interceptions that took 6.57 and 4.50 seconds.

"We're always talking about protecting the ball, and he normally does a great job with that," coach Andy Reid said. "They got the best of us on that."

Mahomes lost two fumbles, the first of his NFL career, when he had the ball knocked loose by Aaron Donald, the league leader in sacks.

"He's a smart player," Mahomes said. "On those strip sacks, he could have easily just sacked me. But he came around and got it out of my hand."

Reid said those plays were less on Mahomes and more on Donald.

"It was an All-Pro doing it," he said. "One of the best in the business, if not the best in the business."

The interception return by Ebukam was on Mahomes. He failed to get the ball over Ebukam to an open Demetrius Harris.

"I felt like [Harris] was open, and I felt like I was a little early so I kind of babied it instead of just ripping the ball like I had been doing the whole game," Mahomes said.