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Instabreakdown: The Chiefs’ offense has its get-right game

A struggling Kansas City unit utilized a favorable matchup against Chicago to gather momentum.

Chicago Bears v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Final score: Kansas City Chiefs 41, Chicago Bears 10


It was nice to see the Chiefs’ passing offense come alive and show its teeth on Sunday afternoon. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 73% of his 33 passes, registering 272 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 28 yards on the ground over just three carries. The offense scored on seven straight possessions — the last leading to Mahomes being rested early in the third quarter.

Of course, the game was fueled by a consistent game from tight end Travis Kelce, who ended with seven catches, 69 yards and a touchdown. That led the team’s pass catchers in all categories. After talk that the passing offense was struggling against zone coverage, Kelce turned in a classic performance, working his way into windows and showing good chemistry on the fly with Mahomes.

The passing game was paced by a rushing attack that continued its momentum from the second half of Week 2’s game. Starting running back Isiah Pacheco was averaging five yards a carry for most of the first two quarters — and collected a rushing touchdown. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire also had a touchdown run, taking advantage of an offensive line firing out and moving the line more than it has in other games this season.

Running back Jerick McKinnon also reminded fans why he’s so valuable — especially in the red zone. He caught two touchdowns, one on a flip pass and another as he beat a defender to the pylon.

The pass protection was very solid, giving Mahomes ample time. It did not allow a sack. The only hiccup was once again at right tackle: Jawaan Taylor attracted two flags for illegal formation — one of them taking away a long touchdown. He did not come out with the starting offense in the third quarter. He was replaced by Prince Tega Wanogho for the second consecutive week.

Offensive player of the game: Wide receiver Rashee Rice

The Chiefs’ effort to get the rookie receiver more involved in the offense was significant. Not only did the coaching staff put him on the field for a lot of plays, Mahomes consistently looked for him on in-breaking patterns that got him moving upfield into space with momentum. His size allowed him to run through arm tackles to make the most of these running starts.

He finished with five catches for 59 yards — and had another target that came his way on the opening drive’s third down. That intermediate pattern wasn’t completed, but it was a precursor to Rice’s most productive performance yet.


For the second straight week, the Kansas City defense made a loud statement with their wall-to-wall performance. The unit didn’t allow a single point until Mahomes had been removed from play, racking up three sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a turnover on downs over eight scoreless possessions.

Without starting MIKE linebacker (and play-caller) Nick Bolton, the group did not miss a beat. Drue Tranquill stepped in seamlessly, leading the defense with eight tackles and getting in on a sack. Jack Cochrane was second among the linebackers with six tackles; Willie Gay Jr. pounced on a fumble at one point.

The second level’s play was aided by another stout game from the defensive front. Defensive tackle Chris Jones continued to wreak havoc on passing downs. For the second straight week, he took advantage of a rookie offensive tackle for his first sack of the game. He added a tackle-for-loss as well.

Defensive end Mike Danna continued to pop in all facets of his play; he was tied for the lead along defensive linemen in tackles — one of them for a loss. He also brought down Justin Fields for a sack. George Karlaftis was also consistently around the ball, earning half a sack and adding two tackles.

The Chiefs’ back end made plays throughout the game, which was a big reason why the Bears’ offense only converted four third downs on 12 attempts. Safety Justin Reid tipped a pass to safety Mike Edwards for an interception on one play, while cornerback Joshua Williams broke up a pass on another. The defense entered Sunday with two turnovers — and then doubled that number.

Defensive player of the game: Cornerback Trent McDuffie

The second-year cornerback stood out for more than just his coverage on Sunday — although he also executed there. His run defense was excellent, racking up five tackles — including a play where he was one-on-one with the ball carrier. Without his wrap-up, the play would have been a huge gain.

In the second quarter, he forced his second fumble of the season as he instinctively punched the ball to the ground while going in for the tackle. The Chiefs recovered the fumble, scoring a field goal on their next drive.

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