The Chiefs improved their record to 6-1 after they beat the Buffalo Bills on Monday night. They did so in a fashion that has never been seen in the Andy Reid era and that is because they did it by running the ball.
The Buffalo Bills were dead set on taking away the deep play from Patrick Mahomes (congrats on the baby girl btw!) and played two high safeties and lightboxes for most of the night. In fact, 18 of Clyde Edwards-Healire’s 26 rushes were into lightboxes (six defenders or less).
It was a game in which Mahomes didn’t put out the gaudy numbers we are used to, but instead he was precise and took what the Bills gave him. He dominated on third down and made huge plays when it was time to call his number.
It was also a game in which the defense completely dominated. Josh Allen has been playing lights out this year and the Chiefs were able to hold him to 9 for 21 for 66 yards going into the fourth quarter. Allen was able to put together an efficient drive late where the Chiefs played in a soft prevent defense (worst defense ever).
There were more bad then good, but with any game there are always ways to improve. Here are the 5 winners and 5 losers from the Chiefs Bills game.
- Chiefs interior offensive line – Dan Kilgore actually got the start and Nick Allegretti had to come in at left guard when Mitchell Schwartz went down with an injury and Mike Remmers had to kick out to tackle. So, the interior of the o-line was shuffled around, but they dominated none-the-less. If teams are going to play these soft defenses the Chiefs have to be able to run the ball and they did just that in dominating fashion.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire- CEH had another touchdown called back on him because of a penalty, but he looks every bit as impressive as he did when he was at LSU. He is second in the NFL in yards after contact and is turning out to be everything the Chiefs envisioned him to be in this offense. Helaire makes people miss, ask Jordan Poyer, and is punishing these lightboxes.
- The Secondary- the Chiefs had a rough game against the Raiders a couple of weeks ago where they let up multiple big plays. They bounced back in a big way and limited Josh Allen to just 122 yards through the air and forced an interception. Breeland and Ward are settling back into their corner positions and Thornhill is looking to have his explosiveness back after his injury last year. This secondary is starting to come together just at the right time and will still be getting L’Jarius Sneed back who is out with injury right now.
- Andy Reid- everyone knows how much Coach Reid loves to throw the ball. He went against his tendency and did what it took to win. The Bills dared them to run and that is what they did. One of the reasons that the Patriots were so good throughout the years was Bill Belichick’s ability to adapt. Well, Andy Reid is able to adapt too, and is showing he is willing to do whatever it takes to win.
- Patrick Mahomes- as mentioned previously Mahomes didn’t put up huge eye-popping numbers, but he was efficient. He wants to win and will do whatever it takes to do so, as he mentioned in his post-game press conference. He made huge plays on third down, including on the last field goal drive that put the Chiefs up multiple possessions and really sealed the deal.
- Mitchell Schwartz- Schwartz, unfortunately, had to leave the game due to a back injury. Back injuries can linger and are especially bad for offensive lineman who are constantly trying to move full-grown men around the football field. Hopefully, he is able to get healthy soon and come back better than ever.
- Austin Reiter- Reiter was replaced by Dan Kilgore this week because of a nagging knee injury. Kilgore played well in Reiter’s absence, particularly in the run game. Now, he had some struggles in the passing game, but if he can just be above average there and provide a little interior muscle with these defenses playing so soft, Reiter could be in jeopardy of losing his starting spot.
- Alex Okafor- Okafor left the game with another injury against the Bills, this time his hamstring. Hamstring injuries don’t go away easily and hopefully, it doesn’t cause him to miss significant time. Chiefs already have Mike Dana on IR with a hamstring injury who was playing well so this left a lot of reps available for other linemen. Taco Charlton has shown some real life as a pass rusher and could continue to steal reps if Okafor can’t get healthy.
- Ricky Seals-Jones- Jones was activated for the first time all year and saw one target come his way, which he dropped. He hasn’t seemed to be able to find a spot on the active roster all year and certainly did not make the most of his recent chance. I would imagine he will not be active next game with Anthony Sherman coming back of the Covid IR list.
- Mecole Hardman- Hardman didn’t see too many opportunities come his way against Buffalo and when he did, he did have one drop. Coach Reid said a lot of his and Demarcus Robinson’s reps depend on scheme and defensive coverages they are seeing and with the game plan things just didn’t work out. Hopefully, Hardman sees more chances come his way and is able to take full advantage of them when they do.
The Chiefs move on to the Broncos and need to keep building off of their win in Buffalo. Chiefs Kingdom is also going to get their first glimpse of Le’Veon Bell in a Chiefs uniform and exactly how they intend to use him. I would expect him to be eased into the offense. He could potentially take over Darrell Williams’ role once he is fully acclimated into the playbook.
Make sure you are checking out The Coach’s Corner Podcast on the ArrowheadLive site as me and Caleb James breakdown everything you need to know about the Chiefs matchups week to week.