The Kansas City Chiefs are the best team in the AFC. Whether you believed that or not before their Sunday bout with the Buffalo Bills, the question was answered emphatically as they blew out the media darlings, going on a 38-6 run after falling behind by nine points.
There are some who were surprised by this. Those in the know, people who have watched the Chiefs religiously the past three seasons while also following the Bills through their late season surge, went into Sunday’s game feeling cautiously optimistic.
Anything can happen—it is the NFL, after all—but the Chiefs have demonstrated countless times the ability to turn on the proverbial switch at a moment’s notice. It was foolish to bet against them, and it reportedly gave several players in the Chiefs’ locker room bulletin board material before the game. They didn’t need the extra motivation.
The Chiefs win because they have arguably the most top-tier talent of any team in the league. They have the league’s most dynamic quarterback, its best tight end, one of its best receivers, an offensive play-calling savant on the sideline orchestrating the symphony, and a defensive unit that plays rather stout in the biggest games. Still, like many teams this late in the season, they have benefited from some “under-the-radar” players.
Here’s a closer look at some unexpected postseason heroes for the Chiefs so far.
Darrel Williams has long waited in the wings of the Chiefs running back room. Williams spent his college years as a backup for LSU, and has held a similar role in the professional ranks. Undrafted, Williams carried the ball a measly 13 times for 44 yards his first season with the team in 2018.
Frankly, and I mean this with no disrespect, Williams is one of those players I thought had a high chance of getting cut on an annual basis. He was more productive in 2019 and 2020, but in total he still has amassed only 93 carries for 354 yards over those two seasons.
Patience is a virtue, and Williams as well as the Chiefs coaching staff are now reaping the benefits of that virtue this postseason. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire recovering from an ankle sprain and Le’Veon Bell banged up, Williams was granted his first career start in a must-win divisional playoff game against the Cleveland Browns.
Williams shined, rushing 13 times for 78 yards with an impressive six yards per carry average. He added four catches through the air and 16 yards, and was a pivotal factor in a game that went down to the wire.
While Edwards-Helaire returned against the Bills, Williams still contributed in a major way. In spot duty ,Williams carried the ball 13 times for 52 yards and one touchdown, adding one catch for nine yards. It’s safe to say at this point he’s proven himself a reliable contributor at the highest level, and the Chiefs will likely continue to call his number in Super Bowl LV.