This week’s game — as we have now grown to expect — had its ups and downs, and it was closer than it should have been. But at the end of the day, it was a division-clinching 12th win against a playoff-caliber opponent.
Here are the players who stood out on Sunday:
- Sack Nation: Chris Jones was an absolute monster again this week, including a sack for a safety. Frank Clark also picked up a sack, as did Turk Wharton and Mike Danna. The defensive front seemed determined to make their presence felt to quiet the doubters, and for the most part, they delivered. Consistent pressure on Tua Tagovailoa was a big factor in this game, and it came from a variety of Chiefs defenders.
- Tyreek Hill: When everything was going wrong for Patrick Mahomes, it was Hill who got the Chiefs on the board with a 32-yard touchdown run. Then they started connecting through the air, including a 44-yard touchdown pass.
- Mike Danna: As mentioned above, Danna was part of a big day for the Chiefs pass rushers, but his individual effort deserves calling out as well. In addition to the sack, Danna had multiple tackles for loss, demonstrating tremendous technique and strength on the edge.
- Travis Kelce: We’re out of superlatives at this point. Another monster performance (eight catches for 136 yards and a touchdown), and Kelce is set to break his (and Kittle’s) previous record for tight end receiving yards over the next couple of weeks.
- Dave Toub: Mecole Hardman’s 67-yard touchdown on a punt return gave the Chiefs a commanding lead in the third quarter, Harrison Butker was perfect and Tommy Townsend hit a booming punt to flip field position. As always, the coverage units were on point as well. Uncle Dave’s guys came up big in Miami.
- L’Jarius Sneed and Bashaud Breeland: The Chiefs corners were physical and active against the Dolphins, contesting everything in the air and on the ground. Breeland broke up three passes, Sneed had a team-high seven solo tackles and a pass defended of his own. Tua looked frustrated all afternoon, throwing several passes away because of good coverage.
- Derrick Nnadi: Nnadi has been flying under the radar a bit this season, but he’s as tough as ever against the run. He and the rest of the Chiefs defense held the Dolphins to 80 yards rushing on a 3.3-yard average. Nnadi could be seen shedding tackles and defending his teammate when the “Landlord” got into a real estate dispute.
- Chiefs offensive line: Clyde Edwards-Helaire took far too many hits in the backfield, and was completely swarmed by defenders all afternoon. Once again, short-yardage was an issue, along with run blocking and three sacks of Mahomes. This team gets it done, but at some point, we’d like to see them win because of the offensive line, instead of in spite of it.
- Anthony Sherman: When you have three touches in 13 games, it has to be really frustrating to drop a pass. Sherman did his usual work blocking and dominating on special teams, but you know he would have liked to have that one play back on offense.
- Patrick Mahomes (in the first quarter): The bad news is that Mahomes was a mess at times this week, throwing three total interceptions and taking a ridiculous 30-yard sack while fumbling once. The good news is that he recovered — both the fumble and for the rest of the game — and he led the Chiefs roaring back for the win once again.