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On a day the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles and the juggernaut Buffalo Bills weren’t playing, the NFL’s best team was easy to spot: The Kansas City Chiefs.
I’d tell you they’re better than the Eagles although their record isn’t spotless like Philadelphia’s. And I’ve got a suspicion the Chiefs and the Bills will end up deciding the AFC’s representative in the Super Bowl.
Chiefs Beat 49ers Like A Drum
But without those other two to watch, looking in on the Chiefs was like witnessing a maestro conduct his favorite symphony as they hammered the San Francisco 49ers, 44-23.
It was a whipping. And now let’s get JuJu Smith-Schuster’s take on why the Kansas City offense was able to roast the 49ers for six touchdowns and 529 yards:
Smith-Schuster said on Friday, he played Warzone mode in Call of Duty with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The group won all three of their matches together and he said that helped bond the players before the football game.
Chiefs Say Call of Duty Bonds Them
“You could just tell the communication between all of us and the chemistry was just like we were in the game,” the receiver who caught a 45-yard TD said.
“It’s cool when you get away from the facility and you’re doing kid-like things and you’re on the headset, talking, joking around, and talking about the week,” Mahomes added. “It gets your mind off of football. And it’s about building those relationships. And so it’s definitely cool to kind of see these guys, even if it’s on the game, outside of the facility.”
It wasn’t merely impressive the Chiefs won by 21 points. It was that they beat a very talented San Francisco team that has its own designs of making postseason noise and did it so convincingly.
The Chiefs defensively looked as it was bending but it never broke. In the first half, the 49ers were inside the Kansas City 35-yard line five times and scored only one touchdown.
Was that enough?
“You’ve got to score points against the Chiefs, you know?” tight end George Kittle said. “They’ve got a really good offense that’s firing on all cylinders. We had to help our defense out today because they have great players, they’re going to make big plays and we have to put up points.”
Think about how hard this makes life on opponents. The Chiefs have been good on offense for so long, including this year, they don’t just put pressure on defenses.
Their offense also puts pressure on the opposing offense to keep up.
“We knew it going into this game that we had to score touchdowns and match with these guys, and we didn’t,” 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. “And I think that with the combination of the turnovers and penalties, that’s the result you’re going to get.”
The resulting blowout featured some variables that are going to give future opponents pause.
Chiefs Offense Against Man Coverage And On D
First, many defenses are no longer playing two deep zones against the Chiefs as they did all of last year and most of the previous season. They’re playing man coverage, perhaps because they see Tyreek Hill in Miami aqua rather than Kansas City red so they believe they can cover KC’s current receiver corps and also defend the run better.
Maybe they should rethink that.
“I thought our guys did a good job with it today, to answer your question we had some pretty positive snaps against it and particularly at a big time,” Kansas City coach Andy Reid said.
Secondly, the Kansas City defensive front is getting better. Even with the 49ers getting back left tackle Trent Williams, perhaps the best offensive lineman of his generation, the Chiefs nonetheless got after Niners’ quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, sacking him four times including a sack for a safety by Frank Clark.
“Yeah, I saw a relentless football,” Reid said. “And nothing tells you that more than what Frank did at the end there with the safety against one of the greats — he’ll go down as one of the great offensive linemen who ever played this game …”
The Chiefs get their bye week now. We won’t see them play until Nov. 6 against the Tennessee Titans.
That’s scary because the time off should give the offensive players more time to play Call of Duty, which might truly make the Chiefs the NFL’s best team.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero