Mahomes too clutch for Bills defense in Chiefs’ Monday victory

Patrick Mahomes Celebrating
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Ricky Dimon

NFL· 1 year ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The Kansas City Chiefs were not entirely dominant on Monday evening, but at the same time their 26-17 win over the Buffalo Bills probably wasn’t as close as the score suggests. After taking a lead five minutes prior to halftime, the Chiefs controlled the game throughout the second half. They improved to 5-1 thanks to that road victory, while the Bills lost for the second time in as many weeks and fell to 4-2.

Mahomes magical enough

As their 26 points suggest, the Chiefs did not go completely crazy on Monday. Mahomes played solid, mistake-free football from start to finish and was way too good for Buffalo when it mattered most. The Bills’ defense, which struggled so mightily during a 42-16 loss to Tennessee last Tuesday, kept the underdogs in the game basically the entire way. However, they could not deliver any clutch stops when their offense absolutely had to get back on the field.

With Kansas City leading 13-10 as two minutes remained in the third quarter and set up on Buffalo’s 17-yard line in a 3rd-and-5 situation, Mahomes faked going out of bounds well short of the first-down marker before spinning and lunging to within inches of a first down. That allowed head coach Andy Reid to go for it on fourth down rather than settle for a field goal, and Darrel Williams promptly rushed for a 13-yard touchdown.

After the Bills pulled to within six midway through the fourth quarter, Mahomes again came up big while engineering a game-clinching drive. On 3rd-and-12 from the K.C. 33, he hit Byron Pringle for a 30-yard gain. Two minutes late, the 2018 NFL MVP scrambled for a nine-yard gain and another first down. In the end, the Chiefs got a 30-yard field goal from Harrison Butker that put them ahead 26-17 with 1:56 left in the contest. In other words: game over.

Mahomes is generally good—perhaps the best player in the league, in fact—every second of every game. But it has to be said that this guy has the clutch gene, not unlike current MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson. In pressure situations, Mahomes (and Wilson) is at his best. If they didn’t already know it, the Bills found that out the hard way on Monday.

Where do these two teams go from here?

The rich get richer, as Kansas City picked up Le’Veon Bell last week after he was released by the 0-6 New York Jets. That may be bad news for Clyde Edwards-Helaire fantasy owners, but it’s good news for the Chiefs. Bell certainly isn’t a necessity; but he is a luxury. Mahomes already has a ton of weapons at his disposal, and now he will have even more starting with this week’s road game against the Denver Broncos.

Although Buffalo may not have gotten completely humiliated, it probably deserved worse than a 26-17 score. The defense could have used a bounce-back performance but instead watched Kansas City rush for a ridiculous 245 yards. On the other side of the ball, the Bills gained a mere 4.1 yards per play. Josh Allen, who was on fire through four weeks and had his team at 4-0, completed only 14 of 27 passes for 122 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Buffalo is still atop the AFC East at 4-2, but it had a chance to really put the clamps down with the New England Patriots struggling at 2-3. The Bills have a virtual bye this week against the Jets but then face the Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, and Arizona Cardinals prior to their literal bye. They have to get back on track sooner rather than later.

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