LOS ANGELES -- Rising quarterback star Patrick Mahomes extended his phenomenal start to the season as the Kansas City Chiefs maintained their perfect record with a 38-27 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Mahomes threw for three touchdowns and amassed 314 yards in a duel with Jimmy Garoppolo that ended when the 49ers quarterback was carted off with a possible season-ending knee injury.
Mahomes, 23, has now passed for 13 touchdowns this season, the highest ever tally thrown by a quarterback after three games of a campaign, surpassing Peyton Manning's mark of 12 set in 2013.
Against the 49ers, Mahomes produced another virtuoso performance, displaying his phenomenal arm strength with one off-balance bullet pass to pick out Chris Conley in the end zone for a second quarter touchdown.
The Chiefs effectively sealed victory with a devastating first-half performance, laying waste to the 49ers' defence to take a 35-10 lead at the break.
Garoppolo rallied San Francisco after the restart to lead drives which resulted in touchdowns for Marquise Goodwin and Alfred Morris but the 49ers comeback stalled.
A disappointing afternoon got worse for the 49ers when Garoppolo was injured in the fourth quarter with what head coach Kyle Shanahan later said was a possible cruciate ligament injury.
"With Jimmy, we're fearing ACL (anterior cruciate ligament," Shanahan said. "We'll find out tomorrow. Any time you lose your starting quarterback, that is a big deal."
- Heavenly Brees fires Saints -
Elsewhere Sunday, a vintage display from New Orleans Saints veteran quarterback Drew Brees inspired a thrilling 43-37 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons in their NFC South duel.
Brees dived over for the winning touchdown from one yard to silence the crowd at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It was Brees' second rushing touchdown of the game.
The 39-year-old also completed 39 of 49 passes for three touchdowns, in the process surpassing Brett Favre at the top of the NFL list for most completions.
"I'm grateful, very grateful," Brees said of his completions milestone. "I hope there's a lot more coming."
In the battle of Los Angeles, the Rams maintained their perfect start to the season with a 35-23 win over the Charges at the Memorial Coliseum.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff made 29 of 36 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns while running back Todd Gurley rushed for 105 yards and one touchdown. It was Gurley's second 100-yard rushing game this season.
The Chiefs' win over San Francisco meanwhile was made sweeter after unbeaten AFC West rivals Denver slumped to a 27-14 loss at Baltimore.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco completed 25 of 40 passes for 277 yards and one touchdown.
The Broncos were one of several unbeaten teams to suffer their first defeats of the season in early games on Sunday.
In the AFC South, the Jacksonville Jaguars suffered a surprise 9-6 reverse to divisional rivals the Tennessee Titans.
The Cincinnati Bengals meanwhile were handed their first loss against a Cam Newton-inspired Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers ran out 31-21 winners with quarterback Newton rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for two more.
Newton has now racked up 57 rushing touchdowns in his eight seasons, more than any other quarterback in the Super Bowl era.
In the NFC North meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were comprehensively thumped 31-17 by the Washington Redskins at Fedex Field.
Rodgers threw for two touchdowns and 265 yards but was matched by Redskins quarterback Alex Smith who also threw two touchdowns.
Veteran running back Adrian Peterson proved the difference, rushing for 120 yards and two touchdowns to complete the upset.
The Minnesota Vikings meanwhile were the victims of a surprise mauling by the winless Buffalo Bills in Minneapolis.
Rookie Bills quarterback Josh Allen rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another in a 27-6 win at the US Bank Stadium.
© Agence France-Presse
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