Around the AFC West, Week 5: Kansas City Chiefs surge ahead in the AFC West
By Ellen Mathis
Kansas City Chiefs
Last week was a real gut-check game for the Chiefs. The offense was not clicking throughout the first three quarters and it looked like the Chiefs might end up with their first loss of the season. Patrick Mahomes, however, would not let that happen.
Overcoming multiple flags, long third downs, and a vicious Denver pass rush, the Chiefs pulled out a come from behind win on the road against a divisional rivalry. You wanted to know how this team would handle pressure situations? Well, look no further. The Chiefs showed they have the grit and determination to win when things aren’t working.
Relying on Kareem Hunt’s combination of balance and strength and Mahomes’ magic left hand, the Chiefs won an important divisional game. I don’t know what else to say other than Mahomes is the real deal. He continued to wow, and I believe he will wow in every week.
Denver did a good job of disrupting the Chiefs and they did not do a great job of adjusting immediately. However, when Andy Reid got rid of the “cute” plays, the Chiefs pulled this one out. The Chiefs defense played fine. They made stops when they needed. Eric Murray had a career defining interception. Overall, the run defense was abysmal. Allowing 7.2 yards per run on average is unacceptable – especially when that was the focus on the defense this offseason. I need to see more from Reggie Ragland (who played less than 50% of the snaps – is there a possible flare up in the knee?) and Anthony Hitchens, who got dragged into the end zone.
The Chiefs lost Sammy Watkins early to what Andy Reid is describing as a “tightened” hamstring. Hopefully that is a good sign for his availability on Sunday. The offense really did seem to miss him when he went out although Chris Conley and Demarcus Robinson stepped up when asked.
Dee Ford also left with his groin injury acting up again. This was disappointing given that he was having a monster game. Again, this will be something to watch because getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks will be important to take some of the pressure off the admittedly weak secondary.
Next week, the Chiefs return home to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars are boasting one of the best defenses in the NFL. This will probably be the toughest defense the Chiefs have faced. It will be interesting to see if the offense can right itself and respond. The defense will take on Blake Bortles. Can the secondary hold up? The Jags will be without Leonard Fournette, so their offense will be limited. All interesting story lines as the undefeated Chiefs head back to Arrowhead at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.