The Chiefs took care of a pesky Cardinals team that was able to hang around on Sunday. Kansas City defeated Arizona 26-14, as the Chiefs moved to 9-1. This was yet another Kansas City game this year where there were many big moments. Let’s take a look back at how this Chiefs-Cardinals game turned out from start to finish.
Chiefs Offense- The Good
The Chiefs coin toss streak was broken, so for the first time this season, we saw them start on offense. It was about as quick of a possession as they could have had. A swift three-play drive ended with a touchdown pass to a wide-open Tyreek Hill. Following a couple of field goals from Harrison Butker, the Chiefs would march down the field for their second touchdown.
They started this touchdown drive with a pounding from the run game, then Patrick Mahomes would find open receivers to set the Chiefs up inside the red zone. The touchdown pass was once again caught by Tyreek, who would then proceed to go into the crowd and take a page out of Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson‘s book for his celebration. Tyreek took control of the CBS camera and the crowd went wild. The only one who probably did not enjoy that celebration was head coach Andy Reid.
Nonetheless, the touchdown lifted the Chiefs to a 20-7 lead late in the first half. That pass was also the highly anticipated 31st touchdown pass for Mahomes, a Chiefs single-season record, breaking the old mark held by Len Dawson. Mahomes’ anticipation on this pass shows how much he understands for a young quarterback. Tyreek hadn’t even crossed the goal line when Mahomes released the ball. When Hill caught the pass, four helpless Cardinals defenders were surrounding him.
The good mix of run and pass would help the Chiefs move the ball enough to kill the clock, even when they were forced to punt. While it may not have been the offense’s most explosive game, the skill players were still making plays. The offense was still able to score nearly 30 points despite not firing on all cylinders. Certainly, it was encouraging to see.
Chiefs Offense- The Bad
There were some drives that stalled, but hey, at least Dustin Colquitt got to touch the playing surface for once. All in all, the Chiefs did not make head-scratching mistakes. They were slowed down by a Cardinals defense that has done well for most of the season. The biggest thing that helped the Arizona defense, was the Chiefs offensive line play. It was not terrible, but this was the most that Mahomes was hit in a game this season. Penalties by the offensive line also halted drives and the fact that Sammy Watkins did not play, hurt the offense to a degree.
Chiefs Defense- The Bad
The Chiefs defense did not make too many mistakes. But seeing David Johnson have his biggest game of the season, is not encouraging going into a matchup with Todd Gurley. The linebackers are running better and missed fewer tackles. Ultimately, the Kansas City run defense is what kept the Cardinals offense alive.
Chiefs Defense- The Good
This defense continues to be coming together as the season goes on. A couple of weeks ago, some fans were disappointed that the Chiefs were unable to acquire say a Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or a Landon Collins at the trade deadline. Instead, no acquisitions were made. Or were there? The biggest moves the Chiefs were able to inject into the defense, was veteran players returning from injury.
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Justin Houston returned for the first time since the Jacksonville game. His interception changed the course of the game when Arizona was within a score of the Chiefs. Daniel Sorensen made his season debut and was hardly tested by quarterback Josh Rosen. He also accounted for five tackles. The Chiefs hope to get Eric Berry back this season, and given the way the team has handled the situation, it would appear he has a shot. Those returns are big enough for this defense.
The players that have made plays all year continue to dominate. Steven Nelson has been the team’s best corner. He recorded an interception for the second straight game to seal this contest, and he has been one of the best cornerbacks around the league all season long. According to Pro Football Focus, Nelson has allowed a passer rating of 59 when in coverage this season. That ranks second in the NFL, which is huge for Nelson as he plays in a contract year.
Furthermore, Dee Ford continues to wreak havoc on quarterbacks, who is also in a contract year. Ford notched another sack and his constant pressures lead to sacks for other teammates, or even hurried throws by opposing quarterbacks. According to PFF, Ford and Chris Jones were first and second respectively in quarterback pressures for Week 10 across the NFL. A good day for the defense resulted in 5 total sacks, 13 quarterback hits, 6 tackles for loss and 3 takeaways.
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