Week 11 Breakdown
By: Justin Miles (@justm1les)
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 30-27 in an epic Sunday Night Football showdown. The AFC West battle was hard fought by both teams but Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs came out victorious. The Chiefs move to 8-2 and sit atop the AFC. The Chargers fall to 5-5, hoping for a wildcard spot. With the win, the Chiefs have all but locked down yet another AFC West championship. Per weekly, let’s break down the game.
Patrick Mahomes was electric. By now, this section may seem like a broken record. However, Mahomes’ greatness stays consistent week in and week out. Through the air he went 20/34 for 329 yards and 3 touchdowns. He continues to lead the league in both passing yards and touchdowns. It appears he may be closing in on another MVP award.
Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco put the world on notice in this one. He was unstoppable, racking up 107 yards on 15 carries. He continues to develop into the true number one guy in Kansas City. Averaging 7.1 yards per carry is exactly what it takes to solidify a starting role.
Despite still seeing a share in reps, Clyde Edwards-Helaire left the game early with an ankle injury after getting just a couple of carries. Jerick McKinnon also saw a decrease in reps in this one. While a majority of his production has come through the air, McKinnon saw just 1 catch for no yards, 6 carries for 24 yards and a fumble. This was clearly an off game for his and his involvement in the pass game will likely rise in future games.
Travis Kelce continues to dominate the league. Despite frequent double teams and tough coverage from star safety Derwin James, Kelce still found ways to get open and make plays. He caught 6 passes for 115 yards and 3 touchdowns. He leads the league in receiving touchdowns and has been absolutely amazing.
With JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman sidelined, Kadarius Toney was expected to have a big game. However, he unfortunately left the game early with a hamstring injury. Ruling Toney out for the game was likely just a safety precaution. However, more will likely be known in the next couple of days.
With the lack of depth at the position, Kansas City saw production from some fresh faces in this one. Aside from Kelce, Justin Watson led the receiving with 3 catches for 67 yards. He was able to make plays when needed, including a couple of key blocks.
Rookie Skyy Moore nearly doubled his season production in just a single game. He caught 5 passes for 63 yards. He made a couple of crucial 3rd down catches and showed extremely high upside for KC moving forward. Jody Fortson caught 2 passes for 51 yards. He will likely see an increase in production come playoff time. Possibly becoming Andy Reid’s “secret weapon”.
Despite giving up a few big plays, the defense hustled around and played good football. The young secondary did an excellent job of flying around and getting to the football. This grit and hustle is exactly what you want to see from a young core. Rookie safety Bryan Cook saw an increase in reps after Juan Thornhill exited the game with a calf injury. Cook did a great job of flying around and making plays.
The linebacker duo of Nick Bolton and Willie Gay continue to make the case for the best duo at the position. Nick Bolton had 14 total tackles and the game sealing interception. Willie Gay had 11 total tackles and a sack. Both constantly caused destruction and have constantly been a nightmare for offenses.
The defensive line rallied behind a total group effort to make some great plays. Chris Jones had 5 solo tackles and 2 sacks all while consistently being double teamed. Mike Danna had his best game of the season, also racking up 2 sacks. The entire core was impressive, with consistent pressure and relentless chaos.
Despite a rocky past couple of weeks, Harrison Butker stepped up and played great in this one. He hit 3 field goals, including a 52 yarder, along with 3 PAT’s. He did so without a single missed kick. This was likely his best performance of the year. It is very obvious that he is one of the best at the position, so it is relieving for Chief fans to see him back in peak condition before playoff time.
Overall, the team played great. Every game will have its highs and its lows, but it was Kansas City coming out victorious in this one. They are quickly becoming the consensus number one team in the league. However, it is obvious the team will not be happy until they win another Super Bowl ring.
The team hosts the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday in what should be an entertaining one. It will be interesting to see what adjustments are made as the team looks to make yet another team playoff run.
Stats via: ESPN