The Kansas City Chiefs are now 10-1 following an unbelievable game in Tampa Bay, winning 27-24 over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Chiefs under Patrick Mahomes are now on a two-game winning streak against Brady-led teams and Mahomes deserved the win following a remarkable and record-breaking first half thanks also in part to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who had 203 yards and two touchdowns in just the first quarter.
Next up for the Chiefs is a Sunday Night game at Arrowhead Stadium against the Denver Broncos, who just played a game with all of their quarterbacks unavailable, forcing them to play a practice squad wide receiver named Kendall Hinton at quarterback. As a result, they became the first team since the 1998 San Diego Chargers to throw more interceptions than completions in a game. That game was the infamous Ryan Leaf game at Arrowhead, where he completed just one out of 15 pass attempts in his third career start.
The Chiefs passing offense was remarkable, getting 0.30 EPA per play on early downs and 0.49 EPA per play on late downs. The run offense was not a factor at all in this one, as they had -0.25 EPA per play on the game and 59 rushing yards over 16 carries, getting 3.7 yards per carry. The Chiefs' passing defense did quite well, allowing 0.18 EPA on early-down passes and 0.12 EPA on late-down passes, and the run defense was adequate with a 0.00 EPA for the game.
I'm not sure I can remember a 22.2 EPA for a non-QB before. It's probably the most remarkable number I've shown you in these recaps so far. Tyreek Hill had one of the greatest receiving performances in NFL history, and it was a joy to watch. Travis Kelce had a great game in his own right, earning 5.7 EPA and the No. 3-5 options in Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson added a combined 5.9 EPA. Tom Brady had an up-and-down day, with 7.5 EPA with a 7.5 EPA when targeting Chris Godwin and 4.6 EPA when targeting Rob Gronkowski, along with throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions when targeting Mike Evans.
Mahomes had a big day, racking up 24.9 total EPA, an 18.2 CPOE and an 83.9 QBR. It still wasn't quite his best game of the season, but it was up there. Brady had his moments, none as big as Mahomes', leading to some pretty mediocre numbers across the board. This was definitely a big win for Mahomes.
As you'd expect, the two biggest plays of the game were the long touchdowns to Tyreek Hill. The 75-yard touchdown pass added 6.6 expected points, while the 44-yard touchdown pass added 5.9 expected points, boosted by the fact that it was on 3rd and 8. The third-biggest play was the sack-fumble that happened when Eric Fisher got beat by Shaq Barrett as the Chiefs were trying to make it a 24-0 game, losing 5.7 expected points. Of the next six biggest plays, all six were with the Buccaneers' offense on the field. Those six plays, all passes by Tom Brady, had a total of 160 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Chiefs started the game with a 65.6% chance of winning the game and they never looked back, as the win probability never dipped below 64.9% from the early first quarter and it stayed above 75% for the final 51 minutes and 49 seconds of the game. When you have a 200-yard first quarter for a wide receiver, that might happen.
For the team tiers, it's still the Chiefs and Steelers in a world of their own at the moment (pending their game against the Ravens), with the Steelers being the defensive stars of the show and the Chiefs being the best offense by a country mile. The Chiefs' season EPA per offensive dropback went up from 0.359 to 0.395, while their season EPA per defensive dropback continues to worsen, going from the second-best -0.068 EPA per dropback following Week 7 to an 18th-ranked 0.102 EPA per dropback now.
Now let's move on to the early-down passing rates across the NFL. The Chiefs passed on 69.2% of early downs in Week 12, the third-most of the week. That increases their season rate from 60.4% to 61.0%, keeping them in third. The league-leading Seahawks are at 62.1%, only a slight drop from the total they had for the first half of the season.
Lastly, we have quarterback rankings by EPA and CPOE. Mahomes has had the EPA league-lead for a couple of weeks now after taking it from Aaron Rodgers in Week 11. Mahomes jumped from a 0.199 EPA+CPOE composite score to a 0.223 EPA+CPOE composite score over the last week thanks to a mind-blowing 0.437 EPA+CPOE composite score in Week 12.