It’s a good day to be a Kansas City Chiefs fan. Coming into this week, the best we could hope for would be a comfortable win, where the offense got on track and the defense didn’t let a bad team hang around. Check, Check, Check.
Here are some of the winners and losers from the Chiefs’ dominant performance over a lesser opponent this week.
- Patrick Mahomes: There is not a logical reason Mahomes was outside of the MVP conversation up until this point in the season, but this performance should wake up the experts. With over 400 yards and five touchdowns, the whole passing offense was executing at a high level. Mahomes was efficient and deadly intermediate and deep against the Jets, and the rest of the NFL is on notice.
- All the Chiefs receivers: We can’t just single out one,, when Mecole Hardman, Tyreek Hill and even Demarcus Robinson all had productive weeks, including at least one touchdown each. Byron Pringle was also solid, as the Chiefs pass-catchers were running free in the Jets’ secondary all afternoon. It was particularly nice to see Hardman making plays to move the sticks and Tyreek Hill getting open deep. With Travis Kelce having a big day as well, it’s an embarrassment of riches on offense in Kansas City, and that bodes well for the second half of the season.
- Tommy Townsend: The rookie punter showed he’s more than just a leg and some long hair. His pass to Byron Pringle on the fake in the first half was a rifle shot, and it had a higher degree of difficulty than your average fake-punt pass.
- Tershawn Wharton: The undrafted rookie is playing like a seasoned veteran, showing hustle, technique and grown-man strength. This week, he got his first NFL sack, but he’s earned a significant enough role that it won’t be his last. Every week, we’re reminded of how great a find this guy has been.
- Chris Jones: Jones had at least three quarterback hits in another dominant performance from the interior of the Chiefs defensive line. He’s earning his newly-elevated salary, and he is a big part of a defense that’s now held opponents under 20 points for seven of their eight games thus far. Teams have no answer for his ability to split blockers and cause havoc in the backfield, and it’s fun to watch.
- The Chiefs’ passing defense: It’s time we recognize how good Steve Spagnuolo’s guys have been against the pass. Sam Darnold had 133 yards this week. A couple of weeks ago, Josh Allen had 122. Before that, Brian Hoyer had 130. It is becoming a pattern. Credit could go to the coaching staff and/or the secondary, where the Chiefs are getting production across the safeties and corners. Whatever they are doing on defense, it’s working, and this might be the most balanced team we’ve seen.
- Le’Veon Bell: Expectations were probably too high for his revenge game, but Bell really couldn’t get anything going at all against the Jets. Of course, none of the other Chiefs running backs could either, so it’s not as much of a knock on Bell as much as the Kansas City ground game as a whole. This week was all about Mahomes and the passing game. Bell will have other chances to prove he’s still a capable back.
- Harrison Butker: It may seem like nitpicking, but the Chiefs kicker is still making little mistakes that could eventually come back to haunt this team. Even on a day when he (finally) didn’t miss an extra point, he still missed a field goal that didn’t count and botched a kickoff after a penalty that gave the Jets excellent field position. Again, it didn’t cost the Chiefs this week, but it would be a real shame to see something like that derail this team in the playoffs.
- The backup tight ends: The Chiefs still aren’t getting any production out of the guys behind Kelce. This week, it was Deon Yelder failing to convert on a third down for his lone catch of the game, and Nick Keizer matching him with one for five yards of his own. Let’s hope Kelce is wearing a mask and maybe wrapping himself in bubble wrap when he can, because this group would be a disaster if he were to ever miss time.