When the game mattered most the Kansas City Chiefs defense made the plays in the fourth quarter to ensure the Miami Dolphins would not tie this football game. Though the offense struggled in the second half, they found their groove in the first half. Yet, it was the defense that deserves the credit for KC’s 21-14 win over Miami.
The Kansas City Chiefs team did their job on Sunday. With most of the morning crews jumping on the Miami Dolphins prognostication victory bandwagon, the boys in red simply made more plays than their counterparts.
Never make an excuse for a win, and I could care less about the Chiefs offensive struggles, bad playing calling, or the Mecole Hardman blunder costing field position late in the game, Kansas City has completely altered their style of football, and we should embrace it.
The Chiefs had every reason to doubt themselves after laying an egg in Denver a week ago. However, they jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead, partially thanks to the defense scoop, pitch, and score that ended in the hands of Bryan Cook for a 62-yard score.
In the first half, Mahomes spread the ball around to nine different outlets and threw a pair of touchdowns one to Rashee Rice and the other to Jerrick McKinnon. In fact, the much-maligned Chiefs receivers, Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, and MVS made plays. They also won this game with Travis Kelce only gaining 14 yards on three receptions.
If Mahomes can build upon the first half, without relying solely on Kelce, and take today’s intel into the bye week with a sense of avoiding the lulls that plagued them Sunday, they’ll be just fine.
But enough about the offense, let’s talk about the unit that quite likely will determine if the Chiefs win back-to-back Super Bowls.
Even though Chris Jones was flagged for a bonehead penalty in the third quarter, that cost his team at least four points, was inexcusable. Over the second half of the season, he needs to be more dialed in, but his defense mates made up for his lapses Sunday.
I think it’s fair to say this defense might be the best that Andy Reid has ever coached in Kansas City or Philadelphia. Steve Spagnuolo deserves serious kudos for his aggressive nature, and for getting his guys to execute a game plan that keeps evolving. Further, the way he’s coaching right now, he’ll get a chance to become an NFL Head Coach again.
The fact his defense held the Miami Dolphins to just fourteen points and pitched a first-half shutout where they didn’t convert a third down in the half, that’s mighty impressive. In the end, they held Tua Tagovailoa to 193 yards passing and a single touchdown. They held former Chiefs Wide Receiver, Tyreek Hill to a meaningless 62 yards on eight receptions. His fumble in the second quarter proved to be the game-winner for Kansas City.
For the Dolphins, they are now 0-3 against teams with winning records. Kansas City used similar schemes to those of the Bills and Eagles earlier this season. In fact, I’d say Spags borrowed some of the New England Patriots coverages that shut down Hill when he was with the Chiefs.
With the bye week ahead, Andy Reid has some time to fix some of their offensive issues, mostly on play calling and personnel grouping failures. Mahomes did his job Sunday to make amends for his failures a week earlier in Denver. The bottom line the receivers stepped up, and Mahomes did some of his best work despite the fact he didn’t reach 200 yards in passing.
Even more impressive about the Chiefs victory in Frankfurt remains the energy they played with all game, despite arriving Friday morning. The Dolphins came out three days earlier and they looked out of sync at times. They had no answers on the first Chiefs touchdown drive, but they did make some adjustments to make it harder on Mahomes and company the rest of the game.
The Chiefs have their Bye Week ahead and a Super Bowl rematch at home against the Philadelphia Eagles in two weeks, so let’s not be picky about some in-game failures. KC’s defense held the NFL’s top-scoring unit to 14 points. The kid receivers grew up a bit today, and if you’re looking for a silver lining, this team hasn’t even played its best football yet.
In the end, Chiefs fans enjoy the fact your team is 7-2 and atop the AFC with every tiebreaker advantage to those chasing them for the Arrowhead Invitational in late January.