Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, head coach Andy Reid, and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy lead one of the NFL's most talented and feared offenses. They won the Super Bowl two years ago but lost against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in last year's Super Bowl.
As a result, the Chiefs drastically reshaped their offensive line this off-season to help Mahomes. The help has shown in glimpses all season, but that didn't translate last Sunday in Tennessee.
The Chiefs played arguably the worst game in the Mahomes era against the Titans as they only scored three points in a 27-3 loss. Mahomes threw another interception, his ninth of the year, and it was his sixth straight game with at least one interception.
Mahomes also finished with an unsavory stat-line of 20 of 35 for 206 yards with an interception and two fumbles. He was sacked four times and left the game late in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a head injury.
However, he passed through the concussion protocol and should be available for Monday Night Football against the Giants in Week 8.
The Giants had an inspiring win against a bad Carolina Panthers' offense. There's no doubting that the Chiefs would like to make a statement on national television after being embarrassed last week, as they currently sit with a 3-4 record. The AFC West currently has a 5-2 team (Raiders) and a 4-2 team (Chargers), so strap in for an angry Chiefs team with way too much offensive firepower.
The Chiefs rank eighth in scoring offense, third in yards per game, fourth in passing yards per game, and 14th in rushing yards per game. The Giants will have their hands full trying to cover an offensive cache of weapons, including receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce.
Let's get to know the rest of the Chiefs offense.
Is there enough praise that can be heaped on a rare talent like Patrick Mahomes? Probably not, but this Chiefs team hasn't lived up to expectations this season. Mahomes has 2,093 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions, some of which bounced right off his receiver's hands.
He's completing 67.5% of his passes on the year, and he's one of the most exciting players to watch. If there are downsides, it does seem like he is looking for the big play outside the structure of Andy Reid's play design. This has worked in the past, but it can be a dangerous game attempting to extemporize on every play, even for someone as talented as Mahomes.
The star quarterback likes to make big plays, and he's trying to overcome a bad defense. Opposing defenses are playing two-deep zones against Mahomes and forcing him to dink-and-dunk. It's on Mahomes to settle down and realize that sometimes you have to take what the defense is giving.
He's not fleet of foot, but he makes defenses pay when they don't pay attention to his rushing ability. Mahomes ranks sixth in the NFL in adjusted deep passing completion percentage, according to PFF. He also ranks 24th in overall passing grade, according to their scale.
The interception total is a big reason for the lower grade. Interceptions or not, Mahomes' cannon is a threat on every drop back. Stopping him on Monday Night Football will be challenging for Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and this Giants defensive secondary coming off a positive game against the Panthers.
Chiefs' 2020 first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire is currently on Injured Reserve with a knee injury. This opened the opportunity for Darrel Williams, another LSU back who was a UDFA in 2018. He's a thick physical running back who can run between the tackles and turn on the jets to the outside.
Williams has 52 carries for 131 yards with three touchdowns on the ground. He hasn't been wildly efficient with a 3.5-yards-per-carry average. He's more of a physical wear-you-down type of back that does a good job in the red zone. He's also solid in pass protection. Williams plays the majority of the snaps at the running back position with no Edwards-Helaire.
Jerick McKinnon also earns snaps for the Chiefs. McKinnon had suffered some devastating knee injuries when he was a member of the Vikings and 49ers. McKinnon is still quick and has juice despite the injuries, and he's almost 30-years-old. He earned 22 snaps on Sunday, much of which was when the Chiefs were down big.
It's not accurate to say McKinnon is the Chiefs' receiving back because Williams receives a lot of attention in that area, but McKinnon gets more targets than he does carries. For what it's worth, 2019 UDFA Derrick Gore played the final snaps of the Tennessee blowout, but don't expect much of Gore in this Giants game unless it's a blowout either way.
Tyreek Hill is known as the cheetah because of his speed. It's quite the fitting name. Hill has rare, take the top of the defense, type of speed, and play-making ability. James Bradberry has struggled with speed through his career, so he has to be on his A-game against Hill.
Hill currently has 52 catches on 72 targets for 641 yards and five touchdowns, three of which came against the Eagles in week four. Rare speed, elite acceleration, and slippery change of direction are just some of the issues the Giants' secondary will face when going against Hill and Mahomes, one of the more dangerous receiver/quarterback duos in recent memory.
Mecole Hardman has underwhelmed as the No. 2 receiver opposite of Hill. Last season, this role was occupied by Sammy Watkins, who is now with the Ravens. Hardman has 30 catches on 38 targets for 289-yards and a touchdown.
He has rare speed, but isn't nearly as dangerous as Tyreek Hill in terms of deep tracking, contested catches, and creating separation with anything other than speed.
Demarcus Robinson also mans the No. 2 receiver role for this team. Robinson had a touchdown catch against Washington two weeks ago but disappears from the offense every so often. Much like Hill and Hardman, Robinson thrives on athletic ability and speed. Robinson played 57 snaps last week to Hardman's 49.
Byron Pringle and Josh Gordon are the two other receivers who earn a solid snap share in the offense. Pringle has his moments and is a red zone threat with two touchdowns this season. He played 34 snaps in Sunday's loss to the Titans.
Gordon only played eight snaps last week. The book on Gordon is extensive. All the talent in the world but a lot of off-field struggles have affected his ability to stay on the field. Gordon only has two targets on 17 routes run. He may be used in the red zone because of his huge frame, but he's currently the fifth wide receiving option on the team as of right now.
Travis Kelce is the premier tight end in the NFL. He is a great route runner that is an excellent receiver who uses his body well pre and post-catch. He has 45 catches on 64 targets for 533 yards and four touchdowns. Kelce lines up all over for the Chiefs, and he's one of the best red-zone targets in the league. He currently leads the tight end position in yards.
Rookie Noah Gray's snaps have improved, and he's the tight end two on this team, with Blake Bell also earning solid snaps. Gray has more upside as a receiver, but Bell is a bit better as a blocker. The Chiefs aren't scared to align in 12-personnel, so expect Darrel Williams to run with Kelce and Bell blocking in 12-personnel next week.
The Chiefs revamped their offensive line in the off-season. They traded for left tackle Orlando Brown Jr, who played for the Ravens since he was drafted. Brown is a massive tackle who has all the length in the world. He's not quick, but he can move for a player of his size. He has allowed 22 pressures and three sacks this season. The 25-year-old will pose a problem for Lorenzo Carter and the edges he'll align against due to his power, size, and length.
The Patriots couldn't retain interior offensive lineman Joe Thuney, who is now the left guard for the Chiefs. Thuney is one of the highest-graded guards, according to PFF, and he hasn't allowed a sack this season.
The rookie out of Oklahoma, Creed Humphrey, anchors the line at center and has played very well. Humphrey is big, physical, plays with great leverage, and can move nose tackles off the ball. Humphrey is the fourth highest-graded interior offensive lineman in run blocking, and he's above average in pass blocking.
The Chiefs' right guard is rookie Trey Smith who attended the University of Tennessee. He played for Giants' assistant coach Jeremy Pruitt in college. Smith fell to the sixth round because of medical issues that involved blood clots while in college. It was a very serious issue he had to overcome, and many teams seemingly overlooked the Day 2 talent due to these problems.
Smith is an aggressive, mean blocker who has a lot of power in his lower and upper body. He's still the weak link in pass protection on this line; he doesn't have great lateral movement and is a bit heavy-footed. Despite those facts, the Giants did pass on him twice in the sixth round, even though their interior offensive line depth was pretty shoddy.
The Chiefs have a familiar face for the Giants starting at right tackle, Mike Remmers. He is healthy at the moment, despite being dinged up earlier in the year. Remmers is serviceable but someone that teams will look to replace shortly. The Giants should gain an advantage on this right side of the Chiefs' line.
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