Chiefs Clinch #1 Seed!

Amid one of the most emotional weeks in the NFL world, the Chiefs found a way to prepare for and secure the number one seed for the playoffs.  Damar Hamlin’s injury galvanized the league to come together in a way that we have never seen before.  Prayers were answered on Thursday when we all found out Hamlin was communicating, indicating that his neurological functions are likely to make a full recovery.  With that, teams could turn their attention to preparation without thinking too hard about whether or not a simple tackle would cause a catastrophic injury.


The Chiefs came out and barnstormed the Raiders, scoring 17 points in the second quarter alone, to end the half 24-3.  First play of the play was a bomb from Patrick Mahomes to Justin Watson for 67 yards.  The drive ended with a bit of Mahomes magic as he evaded defenders and shoveled the ball to Jerick McKinnon for a touchdown.


The Chiefs defense finally put a full game together.  It was their first full game in long while.  Steve Spagnuolo clearly spent some time looking at the Raiders overtime loss to the 49ers.  They stuffed the run game holding Josh Jacobs to a mere 45 yards rushing.  Additionally, the Chiefs not only secured six sacks and an interception, but they secured those sacks at critical points in the game.  Most of the sacks occurred on 3rd down. The Chiefs had multiple opportunities to pick Jarrett Stidham off, as he routinely put the ball in conflict.  The consistent pass rush caused Stidham to short arm several of his throws as well.  Ultimately it was one of the best Chief’s defensive performances all year.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones (95) waves to the crowd while coming off the field against the Las Vegas Raiders in an NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Las Vegas, NV. Chiefs won 31-13. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)

One of the late season revelations is the fact that the Chiefs actually have a run game.  Isiah Pacheco is one of the best steals of this year’s draft.  With 4.37 speed, he has rushed for over 830 yards and 5 touchdowns this year.  His speed is rarely on display though.  He is a tough, physical runner, churning out the dirty yards on a routine basis.  Today he managed 64 yards rushing on a mere 8 carries before Coach Andy Reid shut him down for the day.  The Chiefs backfield is better than their last Super Bowl Run.  Pacheco, Ronald Jones, Jerick McKinnon and Clyde Edwards-Helaire will all be available for the playoffs.


McKinnon continues to be an impact player.  Today, during the “snow globe” play he showed off his college quarterbacking skills as he took the snap faked right then pitched left to Mahomes who tossed the ball to Kadarius Toney for a touchdown.  Unfortunately, the touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty.  The penalty didn’t matter to the Chiefs.  Mahomes pitched the ball to Toney who promptly ran it in for a touchdown.  Toney was an excellent in-season acquisition.  He figures to be impactful as the playoffs loom.


The Chiefs have home field advantage and the number one seed.  Anyone who has been to a game at Arrowhead understands what that means.  The quest for their third ring begins.



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