Kansas City Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell walked over to an in-house camera prior to the game against the New York Jets.
“Ain’t get no bigger than today,” Bell said. “You already know what today is.”
But Bell did not have the game most of us — or apparently he — expected. He finished with just nine touches for 38 scrimmage yards.
We can wish things could have been different for Bell, but perhaps that was a more suitable welcome to the Chiefs than a monster game might have been. Bell will no doubt have highly productive games as a Chief, but here — unlike in Pittsburgh or New York — he does not need to do so every Sunday.
Like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce — and even to an extent Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Sammy Watkins — the production would be much higher on a week-to-week basis elsewhere, but would you win nearly every week? The answer is probably not.
That’s the trade-off of being a Chief — and if winning is your top priority, that’s why it’s way better than being a Jet.
Chiefs offense gets right
The aforementioned Kelce remained Patrick Mahomes’ ultimate go-to player in this game, and bigger than his 100 yards were the seven catches for first downs (including one touchdown). Wide receiver Tyreek Hill continues to build his case for being one of the NFL’s top receivers and Mecole Hardman had the 2020 breakout game we were all waiting for.
Mahomes’ five touchdowns should get him back in the NFL MVP conversation, where he belongs. But to me, what was more impressive was the number of receivers he involved — touchdowns to four different players and receptions to 10.
Early in the game, it would be fair to say the Jets moved the ball on the Chiefs defense better than we thought they could — but to the defense’s credit, the unit buckled down to force three field goals, then blanked the worst unit in the league in the second half.
Role players shine
We can’t close the rapid reaction without worthy attention to Chiefs role players. Safety Armani Watts blocked a field goal and nearly downed a punt at the one, punter Tommy Townsend pulled off his first successful fake punt (of what I think will be many in his career), Daniel Sorensen forced a fumble by absolutely rocking a Jets tight end (a week after his pick-six) and Tershawn Wharton went from undrafted free agent to recording his first career sack.
If the Chiefs were looking at the Jets as a get-right game (especially for the offense), they indeed got right. Only the Carolina Panthers stand between the Chiefs and an 8-1 record at the bye.