After losing to the Buffalo Bills last week, the Kansas City Chiefs bounced back in a big way with a win over the Washington Football Team on Sunday. Things didn't start off as planned but once the offense settled in and the defense's play continued, the team was able to secure a 31-13 victory. Here are four takeaways from Sunday afternoon's game.
1. The Chiefs' defense was... better?
Sure, there were some miscommunications and even a blown coverage that led to an embarrassing touchdown, but the Chiefs' defense stepped up on Sunday. Holding any NFL team to just 276 yards of total offense and 13 points is hard to do, let alone one with some dynamic playmakers on it. Much was made of wide receiver Terry McLaurin, but he was held to four catches and for 28 yards. Outside of tight end Ricky Seals-Jones' 39-yard touchdown reception, the Chiefs did a good job limiting explosive plays and executed much better overall. Perhaps the switch to safety Juan Thornhill played a role in that. Either way, things may be starting to look up for what was arguably the NFL's worst unit heading into the contest.
2. Does Mike Danna deserve significant snaps moving forward?
Defensive end Mike Danna has never been a player who jumps off the screen. He flies under the radar. He isn't a tantalizing athlete, he doesn't have elite traits and his ceiling is clearly capped. With that said, he's played well in spurts this season, has always been a quality run defender and is now flashing some juice as a pass-rusher. When Chris Jones returns from injury, it will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo divvies up snaps. If anyone has earned a significant role up front, it's Danna. He'll never do anything crazy production-wise and the plays he makes don't catch too many eyes, but he's solid and plays with a very high motor. There's value in that, especially in a year like this for the Chiefs.
3. Darrel Williams is legit
A quick look at running back Darrel Williams' box score numbers — 21 carries for just 62 yards and a pair of short-yardage touchdowns — depicts merely a solid game. The film, though, showed a player who ran with conviction, had solid vision and also played a role in the receiving game. No one is arguing that Williams is the NFL's next big thing out of the backfield, but he flashed good traits for the Chiefs when they needed him the most. While starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire is on injured reserve over the next couple of weeks, it appears that the Chiefs have another starting-caliber back on their hands.
4. The injury bug is the worst
Not only were the Chiefs dealing with injuries heading into this game, but Tyreek Hill aggravated his quad injury in-game. And Anthony Hitchens hurt his elbow. And Travis Kelce got banged up. And Trey Smith appeared to be hobbled. The trio of Hill, Kelce and Smith played through their ailments, but it's still scary to see them get hurt. Easily the saddest moment of the game came when Jody Fortson suffered a non-contact injury and had to be carted off the field. The newly-converted tight end was just coming into his own as a player, but the injury was deemed an Achilles one not too long after he exited the game. That's never a good sign, which leaves the possibility of a season-ending injury on the table. Injuries are horrible, and that's nothing new.