It wasn’t pretty, but for the third straight season, the Kansas City Chiefs begin the year 4-0. This time, they did it by prevailing over a much-improved Lions team in front of a raucous Detroit crowd.
Here are ten things I liked and disliked about the Kansas City Chiefs‘ 34-30 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon. As always, I start with the positives.
1. Deserve’s Got Nothin’ To Do With It
Over dinner tonight, another Kansas City Chiefs fan told me, “I don’t think they deserved to win.”
That brought to mind one of the last scenes of the movie Unforgiven. Toward the end, Gene Hackman’s Sheriff Little Bill Daggett tells Clint Eastwood’s Will Munny, “I don’t deserve this. To die like this. I was building a house.”
Munny replies, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”
Same goes for sports. The team that wins doesn’t always deserve to win, but that’s unimportant. What’s important is that the team wins.
2. Breeland’s Heads-Up Play
In the very odd, very sloppy third quarter, corner Bashaud Breeland, not hearing a whistle blowing the play dead, picked up the football after the Lions’ Kerryon Johnson had let it go after being tackled just shy of the goal line. Breeland then ran 100 yards the other way. The call on the field was a fumble and 100-yard return for a touchdown, which was upheld upon review, giving the Chiefs a 20-13 lead.
3. Mahomes’ Poise
Haven’t talked much about Patrick Mahomes this season other than giving him props for spreading the wealth. He did that again today, but he also kept his head as he failed to hit his receivers for any huge play and failed to throw a touchdown pass.
No matter. He still passed for over 300 yards with zero interceptions while leading his team on a fourth-quarter, come-from-behind drive that saw him make arguably the drive’s biggest play–with his legs. On fourth-and-8, he scrambled for 16 yards, not only keeping the drive alive, but also the game.
4. The Defensive Line
Chris Jones was all over the place, had a sack and a big fumble recovery. Alex Okafor made a big play on the first drive. Derrick Nnadi had a bunch of tackles while also stripping a scrambling Matthew Stafford. Frank Clark laid a lick on Stafford. Emmanuel Ogbah had a tackle for loss. Xavier Williams forced the fumble that led to Breeland’s touchdown.
5. Kelce’s Quiet Greatness
Travis Kelce led the Chiefs in both receptions (seven) and receiving yards (85). On Mahomes’ vital fourth-down run on the team’s final drive, Kelce drew double-coverage, allowing Mahomes to break free.
For the season, Kelce has 24 receptions for 369 yards and one touchdown. More touchdowns will come, but what should be pointed out is that he’s averaging 92.25 yards receiving per game through a quarter of the season. If he keeps that up, he’d finish with 1,476 receiving yards, which would surpass George Kittle‘s record for receiving yards by a tight end set last season.
And Kelce’s doing this all so quietly.