Reviewing the most impactful plays from Chiefs vs Bengals

Let's take a look at the best plays on both sides of the ball Sunday, and how they tell the bigger story for the Kansas City Chiefs 10th win this season.

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Chiefs top offensive plays

1. Deep strike to Rashee Rice

01:33 Q3 - 1st and 10 • KC ball on KC 22

P.Mahomes pass deep right complete to KC 44. Catch made by R.Rice at KC 44. Gain of 67 yards. Tackled by D.Hill at CIN 11.

WP: 72.63% +20.16%
EP: 4.76 +4.29

Was there any question as to Kansas City's top offensive play from Sunday? This pass from Mahomes to rookie receiver Rashee Rice went for 67 yards, tied for the longest pass this season. It was a welcome sight in a Chiefs offense with scarce deep passes in 2023.

Kansas City Star columnist Sam McDowell shed more light on the play, with Rice and Mahomes admitting that it was not the intended play.

“I saw it was only one safety high,” Rice said following Sunday's win. “I basically understood there was something wrong with the defense, because he had outside leverage, but he didn’t have inside help. I knew that (Taylor-Britt) would widen out, and the single safety was too far from me.”

2. Justin Watson's 41-yard catch

06:59 Q3 - 3rd and 4 • KC ball on KC 15

P.Mahomes pass deep left complete to KC 44. Catch made by J.Watson at KC 44. Gain of 41 yards. Tackled by J.Battle; D.Turner at CIN 44. PENALTY on CIN-D.Hill, Illegal Use of Hands / Defense, 5 yards, declined.

WP: 50.74% +10.52%
EP: 3.64 +3.22

The single-high safety defense allowed for Rice's catch to happen, but this was another example of Kansas City manipulating that defense. The Bengals had two defenders on Travis Kelce, likely due to the down and distance. But Justin Watson caught his defender flat-footed, and his corner route was just far enough from the safety.

This was Watson's lone catch of the day, but his 41 yards were still second-most among Kansas City receivers.

This pass, while complete, exhibited more of the problems with Kansas City's receivers. Watson bobbled the ball on a picture-perfect pass, nearly wasting the opportunity. Watson already had a 50/50 drop earlier in the game, and a drop here may have changed the game's momentum inversely.

3. Rice turns upfield for 24 yards

06:35 Q3 - 2nd and 10 • KC ball on CIN 39

P.Mahomes pass short right complete to CIN 33. Catch made by R.Rice at CIN 33. Gain of 24 yards. Tackled by J.Battle at CIN 15.

WP: 59.27% +10.07%
EP: 4.65 +2.19

The video's second play shows another long gain from Rice, but the sequence shows how Kansas City targets Rice like a top wide receiver. The rookie ended Sunday with five catches for 127 yards and, most importantly, with no drops.

This play design is simple and exploits soft zone coverage in Cincinnati. Chiefs fans had to love not only Rice's ability after the catch but also seeing Travis Kelce lead the blocking efforts down the field. While Kansas City did not score a touchdown on this drive, Rice's catch firmly put them into field goal range for the perfect kicker, Harrison Butker.