The Kansas City Chiefs extended their winning streak to five games with a 26-3 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football.
- Quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked very comfortable during the victory. It started on the first drive with big-time throws on long third-down conversions. He was stepping up into pocket and throwing with elite velocity and anticipation. On a third-and-short, he was even able to draw a neutral-zone infraction. He looked fast on his 12-yard touchdown scramble — and right before halftime, put the ball in the perfect spot on a touchdown throw to tight end Travis Kelce. He added a second touchdown throw in the second half to extend the lead to 23-3. Mahomes finished 23/33 for 251 yards, three total touchdowns and zero turnovers.
- Running back Damien Williams was noticeably running hard. On runs inside the box, he was initiating contact and driving through tacklers. In the open field, he showed speed and quickness. He led the backfield in carries and receptions, gaining 92 total yards and catching a touchdown pass. The toughness he showed on runs should be a good indicator he is feeling good after recovering from his rib injury.
- Starting safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill continued to have an impact that showed in all areas of the field. Mathieu’s six tackles led the team. He was impressive sniffing out a screen pass to make a stop on third down. He also had a few blitz opportunities on passsing plays — and in the fourth quarter, almost had an interception. Thornhill had a few third-down stops at the line of scrimmage. Even Daniel Sorensen got involved, getting pressure while blitzing Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
- Tight end Travis Kelce was once again Mahomes’ reliable top target. The quarterback found him numerous times in the field’s intermediate area for chunk plays and first downs. Kelce had nine targets, catching eight for 74 yards — including the 6-yard touchdown late in the first half. Kelce continued his historic career pace by becoming the fastest tight end to 500 career receptions in NFL history.
- Cornerback Charvarius Ward played well in a tough matchup with Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson. Ward prevented a few completions with his coverage — including an attempted touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal. He also made a nice play on a short third-down pass that was nullified by a roughing the passer penalty. Midway through the fourth quarter. he added another good pass breakup.
- Wide receiver Tyreek Hill seemed able to find windows in the middle of the field whenever he wanted them; Mahomes connected with him for first downs in that area over and over again. He finished with 72 yards on five catches. His ability to make defenders uncomfortable with his speed — and create separation for himself — is just unparalleled in the NFL.
- Defensive tackle Chris Jones dominated the interior of Chicago’s offensive line during pass-rushing situations. Jones was collapsed the pocket frequently, keeping Trubisky from getting a comfortable rhythm started. In the fourth quarter, he finally finished off a play when he sacked the quarterback on third down — which forced a punt.
- Center Austin Reiter had his struggles handling the tough Bears defensive front. In the first half, there were two instances where Reiter was beaten by a pass rusher, allowing pressure that forced Mahomes into off-balance throws. In the second quarter, he also drew a holding call while blocking downfield on a screen pass. He wasn’t the only offensive lineman to have some bad reps against Chicago’s defensive line, either. Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz had a few penalties and gave up some pressure. Left guard Stefen Wisniewski missed a few blocks that led to negative plays. Left tackle Eric Fisher gave up a sack to force a third-and-long. But the unit can look on the bright side: the Bears defensive front may be better group than any they will face in the AFC playoffs.
- Linebacker Anthony Hitchens did not attack and fill run lanes consistently. There were multiple running plays that got through the second level with no resistance; Hitchens constantly found himself caught up in the blocking and sealed off by an offensive lineman. This was the biggest reason why his play was unimpressive last season. He has looked better this year, but despite his six tackles on Sunday — tying Mathieu for the team lead — his performance against the Bears was not his best outing.
- Rookie running back Darwin Thompson only saw the field in garbage time. He ended up recording five carries for 14 yards. But he ran tough and actually looked good in his limited reps. Unfortunately for him, Williams’ return from injury — and Ware’s pass-blocking ability — will keep them above Thompson on the depth chart.