Well, you can’t expect the Kansas City Chiefs to dominate every week.
This game was frustratingly close, as the Carolina Panthers threw everything but the kitchen sink at the defending champions. It took great performances from Andy Reid’s top three stars on offense to pull this one out.
Here are a few Chiefs who stood out from their eighth victory of 2020:
- Travis Kelce: Another 10 catches and 159 yards for the Chiefs’ most reliable offensive weapon and the best tight end in football. He is a winner nearly every week, but Sunday was a particularly excellent performance by Kelce in moving the chains. Covered, double-covered — it doesn’t matter, and Mahomes knows it.
- Tyreek Hill: Two scores against Carolina to go with nine catches, netting 113 yards for Hill. His ability to make defenders look laughably slow is a joy to watch every week.
- Patrick Mahomes: It wasn’t his best day all around, but again, when he had to put the offense on his back and carry it, he did so — and with style. Oh, and he broke another record this week. It’s mind-boggling that he’s averaging 2.5 touchdowns per game in his entire NFL career.
- Chris Jones and Frank Clark: They combined for seven hits and two sacks of Teddy Bridgewater. Sack Nation was back on Sunday, and it was clowning the Panthers.
- Harrison Butker: It’s a cliché at this point, but missed extra points are an issue. Butker also missed a field goal this week, and the game was closer than it had to be at the end as a result. Hopefully, he and Uncle Dave can get together on the bye and figure things out.
- The Chiefs’ run game: 12 attempts, 30 yards. That’s not going to get it done. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran into walls of defenders early, then Andy Reid just stopped trying to run the ball. It’s a significant difference from a few weeks ago — when the Chiefs looked like a ground-and-pound team with their new offensive line group. Come to think of it, Austin Reiter did return to the lineup on Sunday...
- Daniel Sorensen: This guy continues to be one of the defenders most picked on by opposing offenses. Sorensen did tackle very well once again this week, but we were still watching Curtis Samuel and Christian McCaffrey running free in the middle of the field on designed plays specifically there to target him.
- Le’Veon Bell: His snap count was down, and his production was non-existent. He’ll probably still play a role for this team, but not until he can take over the snaps currently allocated to Darrel Williams.