A week ago the Chiefs struggled upfront to pass block, and the run game was almost nonexistent. This week with a few changes to the line up the Chiefs had the best rushing performance of any team ever under Andy Reid.
It was for all intents and purposes an ass-kicking of epic proportion. And it very should have been. The Buffalo Bills have struggled all season to stop the run, and on Monday night it was more of the same. But for the Kansas City Chiefs, this was a statement game, because after consecutive weeks of struggling to move the ball on the ground, and after consecutive weeks of having very little offensive identity things changed in a big way this week vs the Bills.
One of the first things I noticed while watching this game was the Bills were in a lightbox all night, with only 4-6 people playing at any time and dropping anywhere from six to seven men at a time. This has been the formula for slowing the Chiefs down this season, but this week the Chiefs offensive line was able to block up the soft fronts, and it lead to a massive game on the ground.
The offensive line unit came out and played nasty from the very start. Daniel Kilgore got the start over Austin Reiter at the center, and Mike Remmers filled in at left guard for Kelechi Osemele who was injured last week vs the Las Vegas Raiders. However early on stalwart right tackle Mitchell Schwartz left the game with a back injury.
This moved Remmers to right tackle and brought in second-year guard Nick Allegretti at left guard. This is the first time we got to see Allegretti play serious reps in a game situation, but he didn’t waste time showing what he could do. The makeshift unit up front dominated the Bills front all night and lead Clyde Edwards-Helaire to his best game of the season thus far.
Helaire finished the game with 162 yards off of 26 carries for an astonishing 6.2 yards per carry average. His longest run of the game was the 31-yard gash shown both above and below. He really got to put on display his full ability as a tackle breaker as well as just how quick he moves in the open field.
One of the things that I notice on film other than just the Bills leaving the box empty most of the time was how deep their linebackers were with their alignment. There were some plays they were nearly eight yards off the ball, and like the clip shows the Chiefs offensive line could literally ride the double teams for close to 5 yards before they even had to come off. This to an offensive lineman is heaven. The offensive line played great but so did Travis Kelce who had his best game ever blocking.
The Chiefs even busted out a few runs I have yet to see the run ever under Reid. Below they ran a power trap concept. The point of the play is to leave on defensive linemen, in this case, the three-technique is that man. The guard and tackle have to get off the line quick and avoid him, because the opposite guard, and in this place Allegretti is coming over here to lay a shot and open up a massive lane for Helaire, who knows how to break a tackle or two when he is in space.
As the game wore on, and the Chiefs started to run the ball more, Buffalo’s defense got more and more tired, this was apparent by the amount of missed tackles the Bills had late in the game.
Another creative play we got to see from the Chiefs was this lead power, where Kelce inserts as a lead blocker and Wylie follows through the gap up to the linebacker. This is a play the Chiefs will need to keep in their back pocket as the season progresses.
Darrell Williams even got in on the action, making the most out of his six carries for 26 yards and this nice touchdown run to keep the Chiefs on top.
The Chiefs finished the game with 245 yards rushing off of 46 rush attempts, the most of any team in Andy Reid’s long tenure as a head coach in both Philadelphia and Kansas City. This was a statement game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has put his name in the conversation for rookie of the year and is currently second in the NFL in rushing yards with 505 yards.
It was a statement game for the offensive line, which was a beat-up and battered unit for the previous two weeks, and we saw them come out and impose their will on the defense. It was a statement game for Andy Reid who is now daring teams to drop men back in coverage, knowing very well he will be able to design a running attack that can go blow for blow with his passing game. It was also a statement game for Patrick Mahomes, but you can read about that Friday in the GMKC.