Chiefs vs. Texans: Tyrann Mathieu’s greatness and other lessons learned in Week 6
By Byron Smith
Learning to slow the offense
When you think of the Chiefs offense, what do you think of? Tyreek Hill soaring down the field for a 60-yard gain? Darrel Williams breaking out on a wheel route and tearing down the sideline for a big gain? Patrick Mahomes taking the top off the defense and putting the ball in Demarcus Robinson‘s hands for a 70-yard score?
When talking about K.C.’s offense, immediately the conversation shifts to the big plays, the speed of the receiving core and the rocket of Mahomes scoring touchdowns at will. But that playing style is not sustainable, as fans and analyst have seen over the last few weeks. So what can Kansas City do in the absence of those big plays?
Kansas City may have figured out the answer early in the second half. After a missed field goal by the Texans, Kansas City started a drive from their own 36 and drove the field to score a touchdown, using 10 plays and taking nearly 5 minutes off the clock. Using a combination of quick passes underneath, Travis Kelce in the middle, and LeSean McCoy bouncing to the outside, K.C. looked unstoppable on this drive, despite not going for the bombs that they are known for.
Why would this be this successful? It could be that defenses expect KC to go vertical and back up as not get beat deep. It could be that short routes and good receivers are near uncoverable with the new officiating of the NFL. But whatever the answer, it stands as a shining positive from Sunday’s game. Plus when defenses start adjusting to cover the short game, loading up the box and trying to jump routes, the back end of the defense opens up for the deep plays and speed of the Kansas City Chiefs’ playmakers.
As the weather gets colder, these type of offenses tend to be more successful (see Patriots), so if Kansas City can learn from the tape of this drive, Kansas City maybe able to stay successful in the latter part of the season and the playoffs. It will also help to keep the team’s defense from being so tired.