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Bills vs. Chiefs film analysis: KC’s steady red zone rushing attack

It’s not all about Mahomes and Kelce where TDs are concerned

Kansas City Chiefs v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When you think of the Kansas City Chiefs in the red zone, chances are you think of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ air show. The Chiefs are much more than just a passing team, however. Yes, Andy Reid likes to pass the ball and yes, they love to get the ball to tight end Travis Kelce. Kansas City also has a physical offensive line and a creative coach who’s not afraid to run the ball with a bevy of running backs. Similar to their passing attack, the Chiefs’ run offense is multiple and unique. Let’s review some film to see what we can learn ahead of the Buffalo Bills’ Week 6 game with Kansas City.

Play 1

Mahomes starts in the gun with Edwards-Helaire to the left. At the snap Kelce and left guard Joe Thuney pull to the right. Edwards-Helaire runs behind them. Thuney blocks the corner and Kelce turns up the hole. There is one linebacker who comes through, but Edwards-Helaire breaks his arm tackle to get into the end zone.

Play 2

Here we have Mahomes in the shotgun with rookie running back Isiah Pacheco to his right. At the snap, right tackle Andrew Wylie and right guard Trey Smith pull left as Pacheco runs behind them. The linebacker shoots through the hole and Pacheco shows fantastic contact balance staying upright and continues to run hard downhill.

Play 3

Here we have Mahomes in the gun with running back Jerick Mckinnon to his right. At the snap right guard Nick Allegretti pulls left and blocks the defensive end. Mahomes gives the ball to Mckinnon, who goes inside Allegretti and Thuney. When there is nothing there Mckinnon keeps his feet moving and continues to run left to salvage a few yards.

Play 4

Play Mahomes isn’t primarily known as a runner but he’s actually quite mobile and a fantastic athlete. Here Mahomes is in the gun with a running back to his left. When Mahomes drops back at the snap, everyone is about 10 yards downfield. With everyone being so far downfield Mahomes runs for an easy 15 yards before a defender touches him. This is the most underrated part of the Chiefs’ red zone offense because everyone assumes the play will be a pass. When a defense rushes with four, has no spy, and is exposed for bad rush-lane discipline—Mahomes is certain to run for an easy first down.

In Summary

One of the biggest things every KC running back does whether it’s Edwards-Helaire, Mckinnon or Pacheco is run hard with a willingness to run through contact. The Chiefs also have the option of gaining massive chunk runs in the form of Mahomes via a scramble. Ultimately, their running game can be just productive enough in big spots due to the success of their passing offense.