It was not the prettiest of wins but the Kansas City Chiefs got the job done on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Patrick Mahomes led a game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter to capture the 34-30 win.
Darrel Williams scored the go ahead touchdown with 20 second left in the fourth quarter, one of two scores on the day. The drive was kept alive thanks to a 15-yard scramble up the middle by Mahomes on fourth-and-eight. The MVP quarterback played all 70 snaps on offense for Kansas City which will surprise no one.
The Chiefs had 70 total snaps on offense and 77 on defense. Below is how the coaching staff handled playing time in the wild victory.
Offensive Lineman: Mitchell Schwartz (70), Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (70), Austin Reiter (70), Andrew Wylie (70), Cam Erving (70), Ryan Hunter (7, special teams), Jeff Allen (7, special teams)
Running backs: Darrel Williams (36), LeSean McCoy (32), Darwin Thompson (3), Anthony Sherman (2)
Head coach Andy Reid has made it clear that Williams and McCoy will split carries until Damien Williams returns. The two backs switched roles in Week 4. McCoy scored twice against the Ravens while Williams led the charge in the backfield. Against Detroit, it was Williams who scored twice on one-yard runs while McCoy carried the ball 11 times for 56 yards. McCoy also scored a touchdown in the win. It will be interesting to see what Reid opts to do when he has his full set of backs healthy but until then, Williams and McCoy will both see time.
Wide receivers: Sammy Watkins (69), Demarcus Robinson (64), Mecole Hardman (44, 3 special teams), Byron Pringle (3, 13 special teams), DeAnthony Thomas (21 special teams)
Watkins stepped into the No. 1 receiver role when Tyreek Hill went down with a injury. He played all but one snap on Sunday and led all wide receivers with 54 yards. Robinson has turned into one of Mahomes’ favorite targets. He led the team with nine targets. Despite playing just three offensive snaps, Pringle made one of the most important plays of the game. He caught a pass over the middle and absorbed two big hits as he spun for 13 yards. This set the Chiefs up with first-and-goal on their final drive.
Hill was on the field catching passes prior to the game but there is still no timetable on his return. The injury is more complicated than the team originally thought. Until he returns, the receiver core is in good hands.
Tight ends: Travis Kelce (68), Blake Bell (24, 14 special teams), Deon Yelder (5)
Other than quarterback, the one position that is the most secure for Kansas City is tight end. Kelce continues to be the best at his position in the league. He totaled seven catches for 85 yards on Sunday. This includes a heads up hook-and-ladder play. After Kelce caught a pass, he tossed the ball backward to McCoy who was just two-yards away. The unplanned, highlight reel play ended in a big gain for the offense.
Defensive lineman: Chris Jones (64, 7 special teams), Frank Clark (64), Derrick Nnadi (40, 7 special teams), Emmanuel Ogbah (40, 4 special teams), Xavier Williams (38), Alex Okafor (31, 4 special teams), Tanoh Kpassagnon (29, 10 special teams)
It is no surprise that Jones and Clark led the defensive line in snaps. Jones continued to prove why the Chiefs need to sign him to a contract extension. He finished the game with two tackles, one for loss, a sack, and a forced fumble. Clark signed a big extension after being traded to the Chiefs but he has not made his presence felt just yet. He will need to elevate his current level of play if this defense wants to improve.
Linebackers: Anthony Hitchens (64, 7 special teams), Damien Wilson (60), Darron Lee (26, 12 special teams), Ben Niemann (13, 26 special teams), Reggie Ragland (4, 7 special teams), Dorian O’Day (26 special teams)
Hitchens and Wilson have been the best linebackers for Kansas City so far this season. The Chiefs had a scare when Wilson left the game with to be evaluated for a concussion. He had a team-high eight tackles in the game. Reid said following the game that Wilson could have returned. He should be a go in Week 5 unless he suffers a setback.
Defensive backs: Bashaud Breeland (77), Charvarius Ward (77), Tyrann Mathieu (77), Juan Thornhill (65, 3 special teams), Kendall Fuller (53), Daniel Sorenson (22, 26 special teams), Jordan Lucas (2, 26 special teams), Armani Watts (19 special teams), Rashad Fenton (7 special teams)
Jalen Ramsey is turning into a must add for the Chiefs. Their secondary continues to struggle mightily. Mathieu has added attitude to the defense but he has not added production just yet. The Chiefs will be getting Morris Claiborne back from suspension in Week 5. Incorporating Claiborne into the defensive scheme seems like a must right away.