They didn’t have to do anything special but the Chiefs offense came in and took care of business on Sunday vs the Broncos.
It wasn’t a spectacular performance by any stretch of the imagination but it was effective enough to get the job done. There was not one player that could be said to have a stand out performance, but it was a collective effort of effective and efficient football. And against a struggling team like the Denver Broncos, the Chiefs were able to wear them out with creative play-calling, well-timed pass plays, and a strong running attack.
The Chiefs have implemented more pre-snap motion plays into their playbook, which has helped the run game but also set up plays to get their two speedsters, Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman into space. The Chiefs wasted no time showing this to open the game.
As we saw last week against the Buffalo Bills, teams have started to keep ten-yard cushions on Hill, but the Chiefs have taken advantage of that by just letting Hill catch short hitch routes. Hill caught six balls from Mahomes for 55 yards and one touchdown.
Mahomes only threw for 200 yards but it was on 15/23 passing and he still finished with a RTG of 107.2. So while he didn’t have the electric numbers he still had a good game, and he also made a few highlight level throws, as above shows.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire also had another strong performance, he averaged 5.8 yards a carry and bullied his way to his second touchdown of the season on this well-executed zone play below. We saw teams start to put more emphasis on defending the Chiefs passing attack by any means necessary, which has in return opened up the run lanes and allowed Edwards-Helaire to go to work.
It wouldn’t be a Chiefs game without Andy Reid showing us some creativity, and while Travis Kelce did have his most quiet game of the season he was the recipient of this tight end screen. Good play design, but a great throw by Mahomes to fire it into a tiny window for Kelce to get a few yards.
Mahomes would find Hardman again on another deep route, which is encouraging to see, especially considering the weather conditions in Denver at the time. Mahomes is starting to make a habit of completing these moving passes, which we are starting to see incorporated more in the Chiefs playbook. Moving the pocket strains the defense, as well as allows or Mahomes to do something extraordinary. We will come back to that later.
Le’Veon Bell made the most out of his fist six carries as a Chief, running for 39 yards, including this 16-yard rip below.
Back to moving the pocket for Mahomes, it would appear as though he still completes passes no one else in the world can, even when he is playing a routine game.
As the lead for the Chiefs grew, they started to pound the ball more and more, and the new-look offensive line did a good job to hold up through the game. Nick Allegretti and Daniel Kilgore both played good games once more, and I expect them to continue to play at a high level as the season progresses. Not much of an update out of Mitchell Schwartz and his back injury, but Mike Remmers was serviceable in filling in for him.
Bell had another nice run, showing off the hesitation and patience, as well as a burst that has made him into one of the NFL’s top backs since his career started. The combination of Bell and Edwards-Helaire was felt already, and combined with the Chiefs other weapons could take the offense from great to legendary.
Seeing the run game and offensive line look good for a second consecutive week is highly encouraging, but seeing the Chiefs find ways to utilize their weapons in the short passing game was also positive. Hill is in space and makes one simple move to get into the end zone here. For the second week in a row, the offense didn’t do anything special, or even flashy. They ground out a win in tough conditions vs a divisional rival. This is fine, and as the Chiefs will play less than the stellar competition in the next few weeks, this is a great chance for them to keep building the run game and find new ways to beat teams.