The Chiefs answered offseason questions with their win over the Cardinals
The NFL better take the Chiefs seriously
Quentin Morris @quentincmorris
The Chiefs continued their domination of opponents as they rolled the Cardinals 44-21.
One of the questions of this game was, how will the Chiefs look without the big play jolt that Tyreek Hill brought to the team? The Chiefs offense answered that with how efficient it was on Sunday.
The Chiefs ran 66 offensive plays and 33 of them were first downs. Patrick Mahomes was a large part of that success as the passing game averaged 9.2 yards per pass. Mahomes went 30-39 for 360 yards and five touchdowns. All the touchdowns came in the red zone. His efficiency inside the RedZone was even better as he went 10-12.
On the fourth touchdown of the day Mahomes counts off his touchdowns much as he did a few years ago against the Bear when he counted off where he was drafted. (Courtesy of CBS Sports)
This tight-end group played a big part in moving the ball down the field. Head coach Andy Reid said the whole group was involved.
“We had quite a few three tight end sets and two tight end sets,” Reid said. “The tight ends got some good work today.”
The tight end group accounted for 33% of the receptions on Sunday and while most of them went to star tight end Travis Kelce Noah Gray and Jody Fortson also had some catches. Fortson’s reception went for a touchdown showing off his connection with Mahomes.
Midway through the third quarter Mahomes threw a one-yard pass to Fortson who found the soft spot in the zone defense to come back and snag the ball for a touchdown.
The running back group was also involved in the offense showing off their ability in both the running and passing game. Reid complimented all of the running backs in the post-game.
“All three guys did a heck of a job and we used all of them,” Reid said.
In the passing game Jerick McKinnon and Clyde Edwards-Helaire accounted for three receiving touchdowns and 48 yards.
All three backs also showed off their ability in the running game, with rookie Isiah Pacheco leaving the charge. He was the only running back to reach pay dirt and had the longest run of the game with 22 yards. All three guys had over five yards a carry and they totaled 126 rushing yards as a group.
On a fourth down inside the five yard line Patrick Mahomes throws the ball to Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for his first touchdown of the day. (Courtesy of CBS Sports)
The defense also played a good game. They gave up seven points until the Cardinals scored two touchdowns in garbage time. The team recorded three sacks from Tershawn Wharton, Carlos Dunlap and L’Jarius Sneed.
They also were successful in limiting one of the best rushing quarterbacks, in Kyler Murray. Murray only had one big play that totaled 21 yards. He had a combined eight yards for the rest of the game.
The Chiefs did not walk away from this game scot-free of injuries. Multiple starters left the game. Right guard Trey Smith left the game with an ankle injury and did not return. Cornerback Trent Mcduffie left the game with a hamstring injury. Jaylen Watson left with a chest injury. Mahomes hurt his left wrist when he fell on it after getting hit. He did not leave the game but did show discomfort and adjusted some of his handoffs by not using his left hand. Harrison Butker left with an ankle injury after he rolled it on a kickoff.
Despite leaving the game he did come back in to kick a 54-yard field goal. That kick broke a Chiefs franchise record as Butler has kicked the most 50-plus yard field goals in franchise history.
The team did have starting safety and emergency kicker Justin Reid kick two PATs and all the kickoffs after Butker left the game.
The Chiefs have a quick turnaround as they take on division rival Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night football.