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What we learned about the Chiefs in Week 7

Taking a look at the week of October 19 on Arrowhead Pride...

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Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Eight winners and four losers from the Chiefs’ win against the Bills

For the the third time out of four, the Kansas City Chiefs played on a Monday — this time at 4:00 p.m. Arrowhead Time. Ultimately, they ran away with 26-17 road win against the Buffalo Bills. We covered the postgame press conference, where Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes explained how the offense changed. John Dixon examined five things we learned from the game, the Arrowhead Pride Nerd Squad found three big takeaways from the win and Matt Stagner gave us his customary winners and losers.

Winners

Nick Allegretti, Daniel Kilgore and Mike Remmers: Arguably the least likely list of players you’d expect to see on this list — the new-look Chiefs offensive line was absolutely dominant against a good Bills defense. These guys stepped in for injured and often ineffective starters and put together a game that made the announcers and an all-time great take notice.

Week 7 NFL Power Rankings: a mixed bag for the Chiefs after Bills win

On Tuesday, some national writers didn’t know what to think about the Chiefs’ win in Buffalo. But a some saw it the same way as NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus.

NFL.com: 1 (up from 2)

On the eve of the World Series, Andy Reid threw the Bills a nasty changeup. The Chiefs rushed the ball 46 times for 245 yards on Monday, the most yardage for the team on the ground since 2012 and tied for the most single-game rushes in Reid’s 22 seasons as head coach. The Kansas City offense was led not by Patrick Mahomes but instead rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire (26 carries for 161 yards), who ran like he could hear Le’Veon Bell’s footsteps behind him. The ground domination was especially impressive considering the Chiefs’ issues along the offensive line. Guard Kelechi Osemele sustained serious injuries to both knees last week, while tackle Mitchell Schwartz exited Monday’s game in the first half with a back injury. The Bills were likely as surprised as they were defeated.

Chiefs add familiar face to practice squad

Tuesday also brought news that the Chiefs had re-signed linebacker Emmanuel Smith, who had spent the 2019 season on the taxi squad.

Signed to a reserve/future contract after the Super Bowl, Smith suffered a hamstring injury toward the end of training camp. In late August, he was released to make room for former Miami Dolphins center Daniel Kilgore on the 80-man roster . After the final roster cutdown, the Chiefs signed him to the practice squad and put him on injured reserve for a few days before releasing him with an injury settlement.

Chiefs make four roster moves on Wednesday

More moves came on Wednesday, including designating defensive tackle Khalen Saunders to return from injured reserve and getting reserve offensive lineman Martinas Rankin back to practice.

“He hasn’t done anything, so we’ll just see how it works out for him and kind of take that day by day too,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid when asked about Rankin. “Again, we just have to see. That’s why they have this in here for us, so you’ve got a three-week period there that you can work with, and let’s just see how he does and where he’s at right now.”

Rankin first went on the offseason version of PUP on July 31, but never returned from it before the final cutdown — forcing the team to put him on Reserve/PUP at the beginning of the season. Being on that list requires missing the first six games of the year. Now the Chiefs have 21 days to either activate Rankin or he stays on the list for the rest of the season.

Breaking down Patrick Mahomes’ latest no-look pass — and more

Then on Thursday, Kent Swanson’s weekly Patrick Mahomes film review revealed a play you may have missed during Monday evening’s rushing onslaught: a no-look pass to Demarcus Robinson.

Off of a run-pass option, Mahomes popped a slant to Robinson without looking. When defensive back Taron Johnson bites on the run action, Mahomes attacked the void with a slant behind him. You can see how the eyes and body affected both Johnson and pass rusher Bryan Cox Jr. — the latter jumping to contest a pass he thinks is going over his head.

Johnson’s initial step is to his left as if the throw is going to be wide of him. It’s a perfectly placed ball, and the skill was used in a functional way to help slow down two defenders and keep them out of the window of delivery.

Several Chiefs rally behind Eric Bieniemy’s message on Twitter

When the Chiefs’ coordinators met with reporters on Thursday, Bieniemy gave us a nugget that apparently resonated with a number of Chiefs players.

“Sometimes, professional sports have a tendency to think that it’s all about the numbers and the egos — and sometimes, I think people forget that we play a team game. This is what has made us special. Our guys are going to do whatever is needed to go out and win, because when it’s all said and done with — we talk about this each and every week. It’s not about the numbers; it’s about the alphabets. And the only two [letters] that matter in this industry is a W and a L. Whatever we have to do to get that W? That’s all what matters.”

Chiefs vs. Broncos final injury report: Four Chiefs ruled out; Broncos get key pieces back

Throughout the week, four Chiefs looked like they might not be playing against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. The team made it official on Friday.

The Chiefs will be without defensive end Taco Charlton (knee), defensive end Alex Okafor (hamstring), wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) and right tackle Mitch Schwartz (back) for the game. The Chiefs plan to go with the same offensive line that finished last game.

Schwartz had yet to miss a start in 134 games over the first nine years of his career. Schwartz entered last game with a questionable status and left after Kansas City’s first series.

Chiefs announce several roster moves ahead of game vs. Broncos

On Saturday, the Chiefs put defensive Okafor on injured reserve, returned Khalen Saunders to the active roster and took advantage of some special 2020 roster rules.

The Chiefs moved offensive lineman Danny Isidora and wide receiver Marcus Kemp to the active roster from the practice squad. The Chiefs can elevate two players for the game thanks to the NFL’s new roster rules for 2020. Isidora and Kemp provide depth for offensive lineman Mitch Schwartz and wide receiver Sammy Watkins, respectively. Both Schwartz and Watkins have already been ruled out. Isidora and Kemp will return to the practice squad after the game.

How the Chiefs’ last game in Denver changed the course of their Super Bowl season

On Saturday, Dixon recalled how Chiefs fans held their breath the last time Kansas City played in Denver — and how the incident helped the team turn the corner that led to the Super Bowl.

That quarterback sneak in Week 7 may have scared us to death — as it should have — but it forced Mahomes to sit down long enough for his ankle to heal properly, allowing him to return to his 2018 form. That kind of thing just isn’t in Mahomes’ nature; even after a trainer had just pushed his kneecap back into place as he lay on the field in Denver, he still wanted to get back in the game. While you have to admire that attitude in a team leader, it can also be dangerous.

But the injury also did something else that turned out to be important. In that Week 7 game, our attention was naturally on Moore’s performance. Yet after Mahomes left the game, the Chiefs defense didn’t allow a single Broncos score; they recognized it was finally time for them to step up, too.