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Chiefs Get SNF Win, Clinch Playoff Berth Despite Off Night for Offense

The Kansas City Chiefs got a win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football. That gives the team an impressive 11-1 record, second-best in the NFL behind the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.

It was still an off night for Kansas City’s offense, however.

The struggles on third down continued against the Broncos. The Chiefs converted three of 10 third-down attempts on Sunday night, which brings them to 3 for 18 (16.7 percent) in those two games.

The red zone offense, especially in the first half, was also an issue. But Kansas City still found a way to get a 22-16 win, and they clinched a playoff berth in the process.

If the New York Jets could have pulled off an upset earlier in the day, we’d also be talking about another AFC West crown. Still, it’s clear that the Chiefs field one of the league’s best teams, even when they struggle.

They abandoned the running game fairly early, but that made sense for two reasons. First, rookie first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire missed the game with the flu — apparently, he isn’t Michael Jordan, which is OK.

The second factor was none other than reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes. When you’ve got the best quarterback in the NFL, you take advantage of it. The Texas Tech product didn’t put up his best performance, but the numbers weren’t terrible.

  • 25-for-40 (62.5 percent)
  • 318 yards (8.0 YPA)
  • 1 TD / 0 INT

To make up for an off night on the offensive side of the ball, Kansas City generated a few big plays on defense. The sacks weren’t there, but at least they got some pressure. The run defense was the only major concern.

The group surrendered 131 yards on just 15 carries (8.7-yard average) to Melvin Gordon III, and that is something that will need to be addressed before the playoffs roll around — especially if the Chiefs play a team like the Titans or Browns.

The two interceptions from versatile defensive back Tyrann Mathieu was a nice surprise. He now has three interceptions in the last two games.

This team isn’t perfect, but they’re close. Even when they’re off, they’re capable of pulling out a victory. The 4-8 Broncos aren’t anything to write home about, but these are the sort of games you have to grind out.

And that is exactly what Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs did on Sunday night.

Oh, and just to repeat for emphasis … Tyreek Hill was robbed of an impressive touchdown. Thanks, Andy Reid.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

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