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Winners and Losers from Week 5

A Clean game for Mahomes!

MAHOMES VS MIN
Mahomes throws a pass during the first half against the Vikings. (Photo by: AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

The defending champion Chiefs get their 4th straight win against the Minnesota Vikings, 27-20. This time no Taylor Swift. Travis Kelce briefly left the matchup with a non-contact ankle injury, requiring locker-room X-rays before halftime, but he still managed to lead the Chiefs with 10 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown, which helped the Chiefs take a two-score lead late in the third quarter. However, it was reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes spreading the ball to 10 different players, including deep shots to Justyn Ross and Justin Watson. The Chiefs will host their divisional rival Broncos this Thursday night. There were winners and losers that captured my attention on Sunday. With that being said, here are the winners and losers from Week 5.

Winners

Patrick Mahomes, #15, QB:

Giving the MVP some love because while Mahomes was not looking comfortable last week with spreading the ball, he did spread the ball around to 10 different targets and did his job when it mattered most, going 12-for-18 on third-down conversions and red zone drives. The Chiefs had trouble getting going in the first half, but Mahomes cranked it up in the third quarter and hit Rashee Rice and Kelce for scores to break open a 13-13 tie. Mahomes has tossed multiple touchdowns in four of five games to begin the season, leading to a 10/4 TD/INT, and Mahomes could be poised for a huge performance in Week 6 against a Broncos secondary that’s already coughed up two four-TD performances to quarterbacks this season.

Justin Watson, #84, WR:

Stop the JWAT slander!! When the Chiefs needed a big third-down conversion they got it. None were bigger than Mahomes’ 33-yard pass to Justin Watson on third-and-18 from his own 17 on the third play of the second half with the game tied 13-13. Mahomes had Harrison Smith and Danielle Hunter in his face and threw off his back foot to Watson, who grabbed it just outside the reach of Vikings safety Camryn Bynum. The Chiefs scored a touchdown on the drive and never trailed again. Watson didn’t get a lot of work overall, but he had a pair of plays that helped the Chiefs win the game finishing with 2 catches for 56 yards.

The Duo of Trent McDuffie and L’Jarius Sneed, #22 and #38, CB:

The biggest question coming into the game Sunday was how many yards was the Vikings All-World receiver Justin Jefferson going to produce. The man who averages 135.8 yards per game was held to just 3 catches for 28 yards, the most impressive stat was that the cornerback duo of Trent McDuffie and L’Jarius Sneed held the star receiver to just 2 catches out of 4 targets for just 14 yards. That put the Vikings in a hole early, too often having to play conservatively, failing to convert early red zone trips into touchdowns. They have the ability to do a lot. They can each play inside or out, left or right. And that versatility frees up the Chiefs defensively to do a lot. With both McDuffie and Sneed, the Chiefs’ defense should be able to lean on that versatility for the next few weeks to come.

Losers

The Special Teams unit falling for these fake punts:

Chiefs assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Dave Toub speaks to the media yesterday about the Minnesota Vikings’ fake punt in Week 5, what the special teams’ focus will be in Week 6, and more as the Chiefs prepare to host the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football. He said it best, “We gotta stop these things or we’ll keep getting them.” That is a very true statement because this is the third special teams miscue this season through 5 games where the Chiefs special teams have fallen for two fake punts and a muffed punt from Richie James in the Jaguars game. Speaking one of the fake punts, that came Sunday in the closing minutes of the first half, Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell pulled off some trickery by deploying a fake punt at midfield. The ball was snapped to Josh Metellus, who then handed it off to Ty Chandler and he was able to rush for 15 yards to move the chains for the first down. It later led to a touchdown by Jordan Addison later on that drive. Plays like that will cost us opportunities that matter the most. Dave Toub is one of the best and he’ll get his guys going. It’s better to address this early than later.

Skyy Moore, #24, WR:

Skyy Moore has played the second most snaps among Chiefs receivers behind Marquez Valdes-Scantling. However, Moore in the last two weeks has only produced 2 catches for 11 yards while Rashee Rice in limited capacity has caught the ball 5 more times and has produced 57 more yards and a TD than Moore. Moore has done the important work in getting the tough yards but with Justyn Ross showcasing this deep threat ability and Rice’s TD from Sunday, Moore could start seeing a decrease in snaps for Rice and Ross to get more chances.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, #25, RB:

Clyde Edwards Helaire is far from the player we saw in Week 1 of the 2020 season. He only had three carries for only 4 yards during Sunday’s 27-20 win over the Vikings. Edwards-Helaire finished the game with nine total snaps, sitting well behind Isiah Pacheco (39 snaps) and Jerick McKinnon (18 snaps) in terms of playing time. CEH could claim a slightly more prominent role in the future should Pacheco miss some time. Still, the problem is that CEH doesn’t put any effort into his runs that result in early stops and fans want to see that guy that just came off of winning that Nat’l Title with LSU and despite the lack of speed, he had the vision to hit his gaps but he’s far from that player as we’ve seen so far.

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