For the second consecutive week, the Kansas City Chiefs blew out their opponent. This performance exemplified just how dangerous and dominant Kansas City can be come playoff time. The report cards are in. Who’s stock is rising or falling entering the regular season finale? Let’s find out, with this week’s version of three up and three down.
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Damien Williams returned to the lineup for the first time in about a month, due to a rib injury. It was arguably his best performance of the season. The encouraging signs of good burst and carrying defenders for extra yards is what the coaches have been waiting to see from Williams and the other running backs. Furthermore, Williams got the bulk of the workload and he came through. At times, there is struggles with his vision and hitting that burst to get through the hole. It was a much different story on Sunday night. He led the team in rushing. Also, Williams was effective in the passing game, as he had a touchdown catch.
Yet again, we are going to put Tyrann Mathieu in the three up category. He is effective in all areas of the field. Whether it be near the line of scrimmage, or playing center field as the safety, Mathieu frustrates opponents. His read on a screen pass attempt to David Montgomery ended a Bears drive near midfield. He continues to come close to having an interception in nearly every game as well. The level to which the Honey Badger is playing, continues to grow into one of the top defensive campaigns around the league.
Patrick Mahomes looked more and more comfortable against Chicago. His mobility created some third down conversions, as well as, allowing him to rush for a score. His anticipation on his passes made life difficult for the Bears defense. For example on Travis Kelce‘s touchdown catch, the timing of when the pass was thrown and where it was thrown gave Chicago no chance to make a stop. Overall, Mahomes was efficient and was showing great trust in all of his receivers.
We talked about Williams beforehand. Now, we move to LeSean McCoy. He was made inactive Sunday night as a healthy scratch. This is the second occurrence of McCoy being made a healthy scratch this year. Beforehand, Kansas City wanted to rest the veteran up for the postseason. Honestly, it feels like McCoy fell out of favor a long time ago. The fumbles and diminishing results on the field have put him in the Andy Reid doghouse. Despite his friendship with Reid and general manager Brett Veach, McCoy may hardly be a part of the offense in the playoff games.
The Run Defense
The Chiefs run defense was not as bad as what we saw earlier in the season. However, it is important to know that Chicago gained 4.6 yards per carry in this game. The running lanes were not being consistently filled. To boot, it seemed like the Kansas City defenders got lost in no man’s land more than a handful of times. Maybe it was due to the type of offense the Bears run, but it needs to be tightened up during the postseason. Next week will present a good test against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Interior Offensive Line
The trio of Stefen Wisniewski, Austin Reiter and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif did not have one of their best nights. There were more than a few missed blocks caused by the Bears defensive front. The missed blocks led to pressure on Mahomes, and negative plays. Additionally, obvious penalties forced the Chiefs offense into longer down and distance situations. Playing cleaner must come to fruition earlier on in upcoming contests for the Chiefs offensive line.
That will wrap up this week’s version of three up and three down. Be on the lookout for more Chiefs content later on this week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.