On Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs crossed the Atlantic to host the NFL’s first game in their new European hometown of Frankfurt, Germany. In Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, the offense started fast — while the defense did a phenomenal job of bottling up wide receiver Tyreek Hill in his first game against his former team — as the Chiefs collected a 21-14 statement win.
1. The Chiefs’ offense just isn’t that good
After Week 8’s 24-9 loss to the Denver Broncos, a lot of people kicked around the idea that Kansas City head coach Andy Reid was just saving something for the international stage. And while that might have been true, you still need players to execute those plays for them to be effective.
On their opening drive, the Chiefs started the game fast, driving down the field and scoring at will. The rest of the game, however, was filled with poor decisions, questionable play- calling and bad execution. Donavan Smith is officially a concern at left tackle. He struggled yet again in pass protection — and aside from one or two plays in each game where Rashee Rice does something awesome with the ball in his hands, Kansas City’s wide receivers continue to show us very little.
2. The Chiefs’ defense is legit
The Dolphins boast one of the league’s most electric offenses, featuring two legitimate game-breaking wide receivers: Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. Before Sunday’s game, Hill boasted that he was going to have 250 receiving yards and three scores. But the Chiefs’ defense held him to 62 yards and no touchdowns — and forced him to make a very crucial fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
Let’s give credit to Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. He came into this game with a clear and defined game plan: corraling the Dolphins’ receivers by staying in front of them and keeping them from beating the defense over the top. Despite Miami’s second-half surge, the Chiefs held Miami’s explosive offense to just 14 points — its lowest score of the season. That’s a feather in their cap.
3. Frankfurt is a good second home
As the National Anthem concluded in Deutsche Bank Park, you heard the crowd sing, “and the home of the CHIEEEFS!”
At that moment, you knew that Kansas City was going to be fine in their new European home. The crowd was awesome — and there was a ton of red in the stands. With their recent success (and the superstar status of quarterback Patrick Mahomes), the Chiefs have a chance to become the whole world's NFL team. Sunday’s win was a step toward achieving that goal. While the fans might have wanted to see Mahomes get 400 yards passing and five touchdowns, the Chiefs delivered a win in front of their new fans. Danke, Frankfurt!
4. Tyreek can talk — but the Chiefs spoke with action
During the past week, Dolphins wide receiver (and former Chiefs player) Tyreek Hill went out of his way to say he didn’t want to provide his original team with any bulletin board material — apparently forgetting that he’s devoted much of his time since leaving Kansas City to talking trash about his former team, calling them the “Kansas City Queefs” and saying he couldn’t wait to throw up the peace sign against them as he broke away for a big touchdown.
He also forgot that if there is one person in the world who knows how to defend against him, it’s Spagnuolo — who went against him every day in practice. Teams often sell out to do whatever it takes to stop the Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce. Spagnuolo did the same with Hill on Sunday — essentially saying, “Hill might beat us, but he is not going to beat us!”
5. The offense did enough to let the defense play fast
I stand by what I said before: the Kansas City offense isn’t very good. The receivers continue to be a problem. Mahomes had his second strip-sack in as many games. The Chiefs have about the same chance of picking up a third-and-1 as I do by shooting my shot with Halle Berry.
But the offense did do one thing on Sunday that was crucially important: right from the jump, it gave the defense a lead. There was never a moment in this game where the Chiefs trailed. And while this offense is a far cry from what we are accustomed to seeing, it may be just enough to allow this legitimately dominant defense to hold the line — and carry the team to victory in the postseason.