The Kansas City Chiefs rid the Cincinnati Bengals of several delusions during a 25-17 win at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday—delusions of beating Kansas City on the road, or that Kansas City does not have a lockdown cornerback, and even making the playoffs.
The Chiefs' defense pitched a shutout in the second half after a shaky start. Harrison Butker was nails, going a career-best six-for-six after missing a few field goals in some recent games. The offense showed flashes of competency despite season-long problems continuing to rear their ugly heads.
Despite the typical noise from the Bengals' locker room in the week leading up to the game, and a little bit after, the Chiefs took the field with a mission to accomplish. They took care of business to wrap up their eighth consecutive AFC West title and put the Bengals out of their delusional misery.
With the division wrapped up and the three-seed locked in, the Chiefs can head into the Week 18 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, focusing on getting healthy and a rare stress-free environment for Chiefs Kingdom. Here are the players that stood out in the division-clinching, trash-talk-silencing victory.
Stock Up: Isiah Pacheco
Feeding your most dynamic offensive player is a decent strategy for winning football games, and that is precisely what Andy Reid's game plan was. Isiah Pacheco had a career day against the Bengals' bottom-of-the-barrel-ranked defense, posting career highs in rushing yards (130), total yards (165), targets (seven), and receptions (seven). He also punched in the Chiefs' only touchdown on a slick angle route that the Bengals decided was not worth covering.
Besides Rashee Rice, Pacheco had been the only player on offense who had shown any semblance of positive energy for the past several weeks, and his hard work had finally paid off with getting fed the rock. We all see that Patrick Mahomes is out here running for his life. His receivers have had several documented issues in general. The best counterattack would be to lean more on a running back who runs like his hair is on fire.
The most impressive thing about Pacheco's performance is that he was out last week due to a concussion, and how he recovered in time to put on a show for the regular-season home finale. There is no way the Chiefs would have won this game without the efforts of Pacheco, and it is high time that we see this game plan stay in action during the playoff run.