The Chiefs ran the ball 46 times and threw it 26 times against the Bills last night.
Yes, the Chiefs. The Andy Reid-coached Chiefs.
So was the 245-yard meat grinder (20 more yards than they gained through the air), a fluke or a sign of things to come. Apparently, it depends on what the defense does.
“Obviously, we had a few more pass plays called, I mean, we always do,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said after the 26-17 win. “Once we saw how deep their linebackers and safeties and corners were playing, we knew that we had the run game. So we really just stayed with it. If teams are gonna play us like this, you’re gonna see us running the football. We have the guys that can do it.”
Mahomes also explained that there were several run-pass options called, and that he resisted the temptation to not throw the ball, given that the run was there.
“I had a few of those RPOs called, and I had to tell myself not to throw it,” Mahomes said. “Just keep handing that thing off.”
Making it easier to resist the temptation to throw is the fact that the Bills have a very bad run defense. But the broader point is this: If the run is there to be had, they’ll run. If the throw is there to be had, they’ll throw.
Coming Sunday, Mahomes will have another guy to whom he can hand the ball. If Le’Veon Bell can turn back the clock to 2017, the Chiefs will have a perfect complement for rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who seemed to be more focused and determined given the knowledge that Bell is coming.