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Six winners and three losers from the Chiefs’ 26-23 win over the Vikings

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The Chiefs won a thriller at Arrowhead to go 6-3 on the season. Who won and who lost?

Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs battled the Minnesota Vikings down to the wire at Arrowhead Stadium, winning on a Harrison Butker 44-yard field goal as time expired. With a such a huge win, we find more winners than losers.

Winners

Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images
  • Damien Williams had a big day. What better way to boost your yards-per-carry average than to break a 91-yard touchdown run? Williams gained 125 yards on the ground, eclipsing his season total for rushing yards (just 100) in one game.
  • Derrick Nnadi was great in a difficult matchup against Dalvin Cook and the Vikings’ rushing attack. The big guy in the middle showed up again and again, beating blockers and swallowing up ball carriers. Six tackles don’t tell the whole story, but it’s an indication of how active Nnadi was on Sunday.
  • Chris Jones demonstrated what has to be the most demoralizing way for a quarterback to take a sack, as a Vikings offensive lineman took a ride backwards into Kirk Cousins courtesy of Jones. With a few of other pressures — including a couple on third-and-long — Jones made plays to help put the offense back on the field. The Chiefs needed the big guy back on the interior line — and he responded with some splashy plays.
  • Sammy Watkins had a beautiful one-handed catch and a couple of other fantastic catches to keep the chains moving. Watkins was a reliable target for Matt Moore all afternoon with seven catches for 63 yards.
  • Tyreek Hill started the day’s scoring with a spectacular diving touchdown. Then when the team absolutely had to have a first down, Hill converted. The very next play was another 40 yard catch, where he pulled the ball away from the cornerback. It all added up to six catches and 140 yards for Hill, who caught two passes on the final drive to seal the victory.
  • Harrison Butker hit a 54-yard kick to tie the game — and the 44-yard game winner: big kicks for ButtKicker.com when they needed him the most.

Losers

Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
  • The Chiefs defense wasn’t good against screen passes; Spagnuolo’s guys forgot how to recognize a screen. Time and again, the Vikings were able to bait the Chiefs pass rush into getting too far upfield, hitting a wide-open back for a big gain.
  • Mecole Hardman had a rough game. At the end of his biggest return of the day, the newly-featured kick returner lost a fumble to start the second half. This erased the advantage of deferring the opening kickoff and turned into six points for the Vikings. He also made the mistake of allowing a punt to bounce inside the ten — thinking it would go into the end zone — allowing it to be downed by the Vikings at the 5-yard line. Hardman was also a non-factor on offense — after Chiefs coaches had named him as a player the team needed to get more involved.
  • Andrew Wylie struggled at times in his return from injury. While the left guard — moved to right guard in place of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif — was part of the blocking that resulted in Damien Williams’ long touchdown, Wylie was also beaten on third-and-16 for a big sack to end an important fourth-quarter drive.