Overall Team Grades
My Player of the Game
Overall, this was a hard-fought win by the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite dealing with rain, QB Patrick Mahomes was an effective distributor of the football who made multiple big-time throws. Nevertheless, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the night's star after running for 161 yards on 26 yards. Moreover, the rookie phenom was a terror on the ground who broke tackles and repeatedly barrelled through Buffalo's daunting defense.
Speaking of defense, the Chiefs unit was effective and efficient against the Bills. Despite their failure to record a sack, the Chiefs front seven still wreaked havoc against Buffalo's OL by accumulating 26 pressures. Alex Okafor, Chris Jones, and Frank Clark made life difficult for Allen all day by picking up 16 of those pressures by themselves. This DL was assisted by a well-disciplined and underrated Chiefs secondary that contained the Bills offense through the air.
Advanced Team Grades
Passing Offense (Overall)
Game Notes on Offense
Andy Reid's run offense was explosive during this game. Due to the rain, each team leaned heavily on their running games to produce long yet effective scoring drives. However, unlike the Bills', the Chiefs and their QB Patrick Mahomes aired it out for 225 yards and two TDs. This combination of rushing and passing success led to numerous big plays and a well-executed game plan.
Last Monday, the Chiefs offense was led by its strong running game. During this game, Chiefs rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire was insane with 161 rush yards, 94 yards after contact, and five explosive runs. In his first season, Helarire has proven to be a tough, relentless rusher with the fluid footwork and hands necessary to be a lead back.
Even though Helaire was effective at creating his own yardage, he owes a ton of credit to this Chief's offensive line. Throughout this game, the Chiefs OL excelled in both the run and passing game despite losing their RT Mitchell Schwartz early.
Despite the rain, Mahomes was an effective passer who kept the football out of harm's way while still attacking the intermediate level of the field. Moreover, Mahomes' mobility helped energize his team with first-downs as well. Additionally, big plays from pass-catchers Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle, and Travis Kelce excelled in this team's passing game. However, wideouts Mecole Hardman and Tyreek Hill struggled to make an impact in this game.
Controlling the Line of Scrimmage
Game Notes on Defense
The Kansas City Chiefs passing defense is extremely underrated. While the rain definitely assisted this unit, their front seven and secondary worked in tandem to harass Josh Allen as a passer. Chris Jones, Alex Okafor, and Frank Clark were all active pass rushers who rattled Allen while their stingy secondary prevented Allen from beating them deep.
Remarkably, the Chiefs' defense was able to stop the Bills' insane rushing attack by dominating the game in the trenches. Before this game, the Bills excelled at running the ball to set up play-action opportunities for Allen. However, Bills running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss were unable to get anything going against the Chiefs.
As mentioned earlier, the three-headed monster of Alex Okafor, Chris Jones, and Frank Clark was a formidable unit that harassed Josh Allen throughout this game. Additionally, linebackers Damien Wilson and Anthony Hitchens were surefire tacklers who helped the Chiefs control the line of scrimmage. Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill were great defensive backs who disrupted the Bills offense on the back end of this defense. Overall, this unit has the tools necessary to bring the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl.
Play of the Game
Patrick Mahomes TD-pass to Travis Kelce at 5:01 in the second quarter.
Comments on Coaching
Andy Reid's game plan against the Chiefs was incredible. From the very start of this game, Reid established a strong running game that dominated the Buffalo Bills defensive line. This strategy was wise because Sean McDermot obviously anticipated the Chiefs to execute a pass-heavy approach instead. Additionally, this plan took some pressure off of Mahomes, who was already encountering issues with rainfall. Given that this team refrained from making costly mistakes, it is obvious that Reid prepared his team well enough to execute this.
While the run-heavy approach was successful, Reid did become a bit conservative in the second half. Given that the Chiefs were up by 3 with the league's most explosive passer, Reid should have attacked the Bills secondary down the field.
Even though wasting time with long drives is a decent strategy, the Chiefs could have ended this game earlier by targeting Tyreek Hill deep down the field at least once. Still, Reid could pull off the dub with excellent decisions such as going for it on fourth down late in the third quarter. Interestingly, Reid was able to win this game without his usual creative plays.