The Kansas City Chiefs have moved to 5-1 on the season after running over the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, 26-17. When we say "run over," we mean it. Andy Reid's club totaled 245 yards on the ground in the win that was headlined by rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who had 161 of those yards. That helped Kansas City not only go up-and-down the field but helped dominate the time of possession and keep the Buffalo offense off the field.
With his two touchdowns on the night, Patrick Mahomes became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach 90 career passing scores, edging out Hall of Famer Dan Marino. Both of those scores fell into the arms of tight end Travis Kelce, who finished with 65 yards. Josh Allen, meanwhile, struggled to find much downfield as the Buffalo offense couldn't keep up with the Chiefs, especially in the second half where they were outscored 13-7.
Here are some immediate takeaways from Monday's big Chiefs win:
Why the Chiefs won
Patrick Mahomes was the best QB on the field. In today's NFL, it so often comes down to that, and No. 15 was nearly perfect, delivering beautiful scoring throws to Travis Kelce and a critical crunch-time strike to Byron Pringle. He may not have been so efficient if it weren't for Kansas City's killer running game, too. In fact, rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who was electric practically every time he touched the ball, was probably the team MVP for how often he scooted around and through Buffalo's "D." Just an all-around dominant performance from the Chiefs' play-makers, even if the scoreboard didn't showcase a standard blowout. Steve Spagnuolo's unit, meanwhile, successfully halted a streak of poor performances against the run by keeping Buffalo's entire running back stable under wraps.
Why the Bills lost
Despite plenty of evidence that a steady ground game would ultimately help them break through against K.C.'s defense, Buffalo failed to establish any consistent rushing attack, with only Josh Allen breaking off some decent carries. Speaking of Allen, his arm talent was on full display, and he kept the Bills within reach for pretty much the whole night. But accuracy was a problem for a second straight game -- and a stark contrast to Mahomes' smooth night. Where in the world was John Brown? (Or is he just still not ready to contribute?) Defensively, it's hard to put too much blame on Sean McDermott for expecting a unit featuring guys like Josh Norman to shut down K.C., but boy, was that front gashed all night long in the run game -- an area in which Buffalo was actually solid coming into the matchup.
This game was close well into the fourth quarter, so there wasn't necessarily a defining moment where the Chiefs took firm control. But a dud of a Bills drive at the start of the final quarter seemed to open the door for Kansas City to really cruise to the finish line. After holding the Chiefs to 13 first-half points, Buffalo surrendered a whopper of a 13-play, 82-yard TD drive in the third, before getting the ball back with a chance to cut into the visitors' new 10-point lead. Instead, a couple of short-yardage Zack Moss carries did nothing, the Bills went three-and-out, and K.C. went on to drive another 75 yards for three more points on the ensuing series.
Play of the game
Edwards-Helaire had some of the niftiest moves of the whole night, but Mahomes' second TD pass to Kelce couldn't have been scripted any better -- just a perfect toss to the back corner of the end zone:
The Chiefs (5-1) will hit the road again in Week 7, when they visit the rival Denver Broncos on Oct. 25. The Bills (4-2), meanwhile, will also travel for Week 7 and should have a prime opportunity to rebound against the winless New York Jets.