The Kansas City Chiefs came into Orchard Park to play the Buffalo Bills on Monday during rush hour, and they were one week removed from a 40-32 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs fooled everyone and decided to run the ball all over Buffalo in a 26-17 victory that looked far more dominant than the score would suggest.
Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire carried the ball 26 times for 161 yards. The Chiefs ran it 46 times for 245 yards and one touchdown, a 13-yard scamper by Darrel Williams on fourth down. The Chiefs outgained the Bills 466-206. They held the ball for nearly 38 of the game’s 60 minutes. Kansas City looked like a defending Super Bowl champion, while the Bills looked less like a team on the rise and more like a second-tier squad in the AFC—at best.
Here’s how the Chiefs we watched fared on Monday.
The former NFL MVP didn’t produce eye-popping numbers, and he had a couple of misfires, but when the rubber met the road, Mahomes was ready to roll. He completed 21-of-26 passes in a rainy evening for a total of 225 yards and two touchdowns. He ran the ball ten times for 36 yards. His biggest play was a 37-yard completion on 3rd-and-12 to extend what turned out to be the game-icing field goal drive. Mahomes looked every part the cool, calm, collected superstar that he is.
WR Tyreek Hill
If the Bills did one thing well on Monday, it’s that they contained the Chiefs “splash plays,” making them matriculate down the field in order to score. Of course, that advancement is easy to come by when you average 5.3 yards per rush, but the Bills were able to contain Kansas City’s speedy receivers. Hill only caught three passes for 20 yards on the game, adding a five-yard run to his ledger.
TE Travis Kelce
If the Bills did one thing poorly on Monday (there were many things they did poorly, to be fair), it’s that they somehow managed to allow the best red zone player on Kansas City’s team to be wide open not once, but twice within the 20s. Of course, Kelce converted both chances he had into touchdowns, making his overall line (five catches, 65 yards, two touchdowns on a team-high seven targets) look even better. He beat Tremaine Edmunds over the middle on a great stop-and-start move that froze the linebacker in coverage—a route that was also aided by great design from offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. On the second score, he ran right by Tre’Davious White, who had settled into his spot in a cover-two, and he beat Jordan Poyer, who was peeking into the backfield. Kelce made his presence known, and he was ultimately one of the biggest differences in the game.
DT Chris Jones
Jones combined for two tackles, but he was able to create some pressure up the middle on Josh Allen, forcing the quarterback to bail on the pocket when it became muddied. Jones drew continuous doubles in the middle, which also disrupted Buffalo’s putrid rushing attack. While he may not have had any highlight-reel plays, Jones made his mark on Monday’s contest.
CB Rashad Fenton
The young corner was part of an aggressive group that shut down Buffalo’s passing attack throughout most of the game. While Fenton only managed one tackle on the day, he was not penalized for holding or defensive pass interference like his counterparts at his position. Overall, it was a strong day in coverage for Fenton and the Chiefs’ secondary as a whole.