By BJ KISSEL
The Kansas City Chiefs (6-1) remain unbeaten at home this year after a decisive 45-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals (4-3) on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
Here are 10 observations from the game:
1. The Chiefs made a statement, plain and simple
It was a dominant performance across the board for the Chiefs on Sunday night, and it was also a milestone victory for head coach Andy Reid, who picked up his 200th career win on the night.
After the game, Reid deflected any added attention to the milestone, casually and genuinely stating that he “doesn’t do well with the individual stuff,” adding that he’s had “a lot of great people” around him over the years to help achieve those results.
The Chiefs had a lot of great people on the field tonight to the tune of 551 total yards of offense, while the defense held some pretty good people out there too as they held the Bengals’ high-powered offense to just 239 yards on the night.
After last week’s tough three-point loss on the road to the New England Patriots, there were a lot of people who were curious how the Chiefs would respond to their first loss of the season, and the answer came in the form of a statement—a definitive one at that.
They simply dominated one of the AFC’s top teams.
2. Patrick Mahomes and this offense just keeps rolling
It would be difficult to find a time in recent memory that a 23-year-old first-year starter captivated the NFL as quickly as Patrick Mahomes has done through seven weeks of this season.
He’s the talk of the league right now, and he came into Sunday’s game already leading the NFL with 18 touchdown passes through six weeks, and he didn’t waste any time adding to that total.
After the Chiefs’ defense forced a quick three-and-out to open up the game, Mahomes led the Chiefs’ offense on a 10-play, 95-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a six-yard touchdown pass to Kareem Hunt, who was just getting started on the day.
Mahomes finished the first half completing 19 of 25 for 234 yards and three touchdowns, but he also made plays with his legs—scrambling four times for a total of 45 yards, demonstrating some development in his ability to slide effectively at the end of these runs. That wasn’t always the case, despite his background in baseball.
Some of the most impressive throws from Mahomes on the night that demonstrated the arm talent that’s so quickly followed by any mention of his name were on some of the quick screens to the outside. The ball just gets into the hands of his playmakers so quickly that by the time they secure the ball and look to make a move, there’s still considerable distance between them and the defenders coming down on them.
Those are hidden yards that added to the Chiefs’ 551 on the night, and maybe the best observation from Mahomes’ night was the fact that coming out of halftime—holding a 24-7 lead and starting with the ball—the offense wasn’t going to let up.
On the first play of the second half, Mahomes bombed one 50 yards down the field to Sammy Watkins, who actually made a fantastic adjustment to the ball in the air to grab the chunk play.
Within seconds of the second half beginning, the Chiefs were already in scoring position again.
Mahomes finished 28 of 39 for a career-high 358 yards and four touchdowns—giving him 22 on the season. He’s now just eight shy of tying the franchise record, which was set by Len Dawson back in 1964. It’s Week 7.
The Chiefs also didn’t punt one time in the game. It’s just the third time in franchise history that’s happened.
3. Kareem Hunt had another night to remember
The defense set the tone for their side of the ball from the first three plays of the game—forcing a three-and-out of the Bengals’ offense, but the offenses’ energy and tone was set near the end of their first drive on the best 21-yard run you might ever see on a football field.
Kareem Hunt, who forced more missed tackles than any other running back in the league last year, gave perhaps the best single effort on a play this year on a second-and-10 play from the Bengals’ 27-yard line. He forced another handful of missed tackles and even leapt over a defender to finish off a run that gave plenty of energy to his teammates.
After the game, Hunt said it’s about playing hard for the guys around you and everyone feeding off each other.
Hunt was the source of much of the feeding on Sunday as he finished with 141 total yards of offense and three touchdowns. It’s the second three-touchdown performance of Hunt’s young career (New England, 2017).