The Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line arguably turned in its top performance of the season in Sunday’s 27-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes attempted 35 pass attempts without being sacked. A much-maligned run game also showed signs of life as rookie running back Isiah Pacheco rushed for 82 yards while averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
A key member of the unit is ready to put its up-and-down start to the season in the past.
“I feel like we’re getting better throughout the weeks,” center Creed Humphrey observed on Friday. “There’s definitely things to clean up still — but I feel like we are heading in the right direction for sure. Heading into this stretch of really important games, I feel like we’re making the right steps in the run game and the pass game. I’m excited [about] where we’re at right now.”
Likely the most important game in the upcoming stretch will be Sunday’s road contest against the Los Angeles Chargers — which could all but wrap up the AFC West title for Kansas City. Though the Chargers have suffered a plethora of injuries — particularly along the defensive line — Humphrey knows not to take the players who will suit up lightly.
“They have really good depth across that [defensive] line,” he noted. “They’ve dealt with some injuries, but they have some really talented players that are still playing. They present a really good challenge for us this week, and we’re excited about it. It’ll be a fun game. They’ve got a ton of great players in that front seven, so it’s going to be a challenging game.”
Depth was also a recent challenge for Humphrey and his fellow offensive linemen. Right tackle Andrew Wylie left Sunday’s game with an elbow injury, and third-year pro Prince Tega Wanogho stepped in and finished the game. While Wylie practiced in full all week and avoided designation on the final injury report, Humphrey is happy Tega Wanogho was able to show what he could do.
“Prince has been awesome,” the former Oklahoma Sooner claimed. “It’s a good thing we have him. We have good depth across the line. He stepped in and did a great job for us this past game. Just to see him grow each week has been awesome to see. I’m excited for him.”
Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy offered similar praise for the swing tackle when he spoke on Thursday. He also took the chance to praise Chiefs offensive line coaches Andy Heck and Corey Matthaei.
“I thought Prince did a heck of a job of stepping in,” Bieniemy stated. “Obviously, it wasn’t a perfect game — but he came in and he played hard and he fought his tail off. That just goes to show you — giving due respect and credibility to Coach Heck and Corey and what they do and how well that they have their guys prepared for those defining moments when called upon.”
While both teams may have to call on their depth Sunday, Humphrey expects a quality game for his fourth entry in the Chiefs-Chargers rivalry.
“They’re a very talented team — and so are we,” he declared. “We’re both playing with Super Bowl dreams. You get games like that, everyone’s bringing their A-game — and it’s going to make for exciting games.”