The Kansas City Chiefs are still searching for their footing in the run game.
Kansas City completely abandoned the run during a Week 9 slopfest against the Tennessee Titans, siding in favor of 68 passing attempts for quarterback Patrick Mahomes en route to the 20-17 overtime victory.
“Obviously, that game got a little out of hand as far as throwing the ball a little bit more than we wanted,” Mahomes told reporters Wednesday. Mahomes’ performance was just three attempts shy of an NFL record.
“But it kind of called for that,” he said.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel’s defense made the call an easy one, limiting Kansas City’s running backs to just 14 total yards on 12 carries.
Meanwhile, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerrick McKinnon’s most effective work came in obvious passing situations. The duo turned 10 targets into 54 receiving yards in the win over Tennessee.
“We’ve been playing like the No. 1 defenses here for the last few weeks, it seems like they’re giving us their best shot,” head coach Andy Reid said of his team’s running deficiencies.
Seventh-round rookie running back Isiah Pacheco got the first touch at the position for a second consecutive game but struggled to separate himself from the pack, finishing with just five yards on five attempts.
Kansas City’s Neapolitan backfield – has soured against stiffer competition. Chiefs running backs have averaged just 60 yards per game over the past four games.
“In this offense, [like how] you’ve seen in the receiving room, you see in the running back room. It’s going to be a different guy every week,” Mahomes said, adding the three-headed backfield “keeps those guys fresh and it keeps them ready to go whenever their number is called.”
However, Kansas City says they know a lack of balance offensively is not sustainable long-term.
“We can do a little bit better up front,” Reid said. “We can be more patient at the running back position. And as coaches, we can always dial up different things, you know, and try to figure something out that might fit a little bit better.”