Clyde Edwards-Helaire enjoys redemptive day for Chiefs vs Patriots

The Chiefs running back put up a very productive day for the Chiefs against the Patriots.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

When it comes to the bigger picture for the Kansas City Chiefs, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a footnote for the team's offense.

Coming into this season, there was little doubt that Edwards-Helaire was hanging around to finish up his rookie deal, and the team had already declined any fifth-year option for the former first-round pick. Even through the first 14 weeks of the regular season in 2023, Edwards-Helaire remained the team's third halfback on the depth chart, and it felt like these next four games were likely going to be his swan song in Kansas City.

All of that might still be true, but on Sunday at Foxborough in front of the New England Patriots faithful, Edwards-Helaire put on a completely unexpected and very productive display that helped the Chiefs get right after suffering consecutive losses in Weeks 13 and 14.

On Sunday, Edwards-Helaire came in as the lead back—a role he played last week as well—with the absence of Isiah Pacheco via a shoulder injury. With Pacheco on the mend following a clean-up surgery, Edwards-Helaire made his presence felt early in the first quarter for the Chiefs and remained an important offensive element for all four quarters of the team's victory over the Patriots.

Overall, Edwards-Helaire finished with 101 yards from scrimmage and the breakdown consisted of 37 yards on the ground and another 64 through the air on 4 catches. Those totals are already far more impressive than what we're used to seeing from Edwards-Helaire at this stage, but he also came up with some incredible plays that stood out and helped put the Chiefs over the top.

Check out this play in the first quarter that moved the chains nearly 50 yards—a screen pass that was beautifully executed and a masterful call from head coach Andy Reid.

Later in the second half, the Chiefs were trying to apply greater pressure on the Patriots and make it a lead of multiple scores. In the red zone, Mahomes called Edwards-Helaire's number and look at his climb to make the catch.

Just like that, Edwards-Helaire gave the Chiefs a 14-point lead and the former LSU product showed the sort of playmaking ability that could make any potential free agent suitor wonder what's possible for him in a new offense.

The Chiefs selected Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft in a bit of a surprise selection given the needs at other positions. From there, Edwards-Helaire had a difficult time living up to the expectations that came with being such a high draft pick with declining production in every year since his rookie campaign.