The Kansas City Chiefs faced their second straight test in Week 4 when they traveled to take on the Detroit Lions. Thanks to 14 points in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs picked up a come from behind win 34-30.
Patrick Mahomes did not throw a touchdown pass in the game but he led a fourth quarter comeback that ended with a Darrel Williams one-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left. The Chiefs will return home to take on the Indianapolis Colts but the win over the Lions still has Kansas City buzzing. Here are five things we learned in their Week 4 win.
5. The Chiefs Are Not Unstoppable
Coming into the season, this game was supposed to be a walkover. The Lions came in at 2-0-1 with other plans. They gave the Chiefs all they could handle.
Kansas City was being crowned the best offense in the game prior to Week 4. And they still might be but nothing is guaranteed. The Chiefs finished with 34 points and 438 yards in the win. The Lions outgained them by nine yards and had the lead until 20 seconds left. It will be hard to beat the Chiefs but it is not impossible. On the other hand, in a “down game” for the Chiefs, they put up 34 points and 438 yards. That’s pretty good.
4. Deon Yelder: Secret Weapon
Deon Yelder is an undrafted tight end who played his college ball at Western Kentucky. Usually players like this are a long shot but head coach Andy Reid liked what he saw out of Yelder in training camp. Faith by the head coach seems to be paying off.
Yelder had two catches for 43 yards in the win over the Lions. At 6’4, 255 pounds Yelder has the perfect makeup for an NFL tight end. Right now, he is in the perfect situation to be a secret weapon for the Chiefs. He is playing with one of the best offenses in the league and backing up one of the best pass catchers in the league. Moving forward, the Chiefs could get Yelder involved more and more.
3. Travis Kelce is the Best Tight End in the League
If this was not decided already, it is time to make it official. Travis Kelce is playing at a level that is above every other player at his position and it was not expected when he first entered the league out of Cincinnati.
The Chiefs were used to mediocre play from their tight ends before Kelce burst onto the scene. Now, he is the model of consistency at the position. He has three straight years with at least 80 catches and 1,000 yards. He eclipsed 100 catches and 10 touchdowns for the first time in his career in 2018.
Over his last three games, Kelce has seven catches in each of them. His football IQ is what sets him apart and it showed on Sunday. Kelce caught a pass over the middle and threw a lateral to LeSean McCoy as he was being tackled. McCoy was able to turn it into a big gain on the play. Mahomes and Kelce have turned into one of the most dynamic duos in the league and it will be that way for awhile.
2. Patrick Mahomes is Human
This was actually getting hard to believe through three games this season. Mahomes had 10 touchdowns without throwing an interception and is the early season favorite to repeat as league MVP. Everyone can have a down week.
For Mahomes, a down week is 24-42 for 315 yards. He did not throw a touchdown pass breaking his streak of consecutive games with two or more. Mahomes is human as he showed in Detroit but the key to a great quarterback is leading the team to a win even on your bad days. That is what Mahomes did on fourth-and-eight on the final drive. He saw a break in the defense and scrambled for 15 yards and a first down.
Even when Mahomes is bad, he is pretty darn good.
1. Defense Made Plays but There is Still Work to be Done
The Chiefs defense was one of the worst in the league last season and it failed them in the AFC Championship Game. Coming into this season, changes were made. Steve Spagnuolo took over as defensive coordinator, Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu were added, and Chris Jones saved the headache of a holdout by reporting to camp on time.
So far, the defense is still a work in progress but the team is 4-0 so there is some time. On Sunday, the Chiefs allowed 447 yards of offense. Matthew Stafford threw for 291 yards and three touchdown passes, one late in the fourth quarter to give Detroit the lead.
Despite their suspect performance, the play of the game came on defense. With the score tied at 13, the Lions were on the goal line threatening to take the lead. Bashaud Breeland was able to come up with a fumble on a bizarre play and returned it 100 yards for a score. This completely flipped the momentum of the game.
Kansas City has big names on defense. They have the personnel, they just need to put it all together if they want to make a Super Bowl run.