Chiefs Overcome First-Quarter Aggressiveness from Panthers

Joe Andrews

The Kansas City Chiefs saw a handful of bold calls from Carolina Panthers' first-year head coach Matt Rhule in Sunday's 33-31 win at Arrowhead Stadium.

Rhule and the Panthers successfully attempted two fourth-down conversions in the first quarter, which lead to early points for the visitors.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said his offense was the key to overcoming the Panthers’ aggressiveness.

“I thought it was important that we at least attempt to keep the defense off the field,” Reid said. We had some fairly quick scores and at the same time, we want to put as many points on the board as we possibly can. That came in handy today.”

The first fourth-down conversion came as Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater connected with running back Christian McCaffery for a 9-yard touchdown pass on 4th and three.

The other was a 28-yard fake punt pass from punter Joseph Charlton to wide receiver Brandon Zylstra, which sparked the Panthers offense to take a 14-3 lead three plays later.

The Chiefs were down four points at the half and did not let the Panthers score in the third quarter. Kansas City took the lead for good following a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Reid said he “absolutely,” expects aggressive play-calling from opponents going forward, but added the Chiefs offense can continue to be the difference as long as it clicks like on Sunday.

“It’s not the old four corners stall here,” Reid said. “We got to try to score, it’s hard to do in this league. We had a couple of opportunities that got past us early, but we came back and we were able to get some nice shots that we needed. We try to stay aggressive.”

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