The Kansas City Chiefs will possible begin their largest game of the season on Sunday in New England with the very actual risk that their essential opponent could also be a operating again who joined the staff simply days in the past. .
Not that it appears to make a lot of distinction to them.
For all record-breaking record-breaking efficiency of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City's offense, the solely factor that's been lacking for practically two years is a constant ground game. The Chiefs have gone by many moving backs, tried large receivers on jet scans and scraps, and even used Mahomes on scrambles and bootlegs, all with the identical disappointing outcomes.
Now, the Chiefs are visiting the Patriots in a rematch of their thrilling AFC championship game with out two of their main riders, Damien Williams and Darrel Williams, and Spencer Ware discovering themselves in the lap after signing earlier this week.
"They all trained and did a spin there," mentioned coach Andy Reid. "I can tell you that we are comfortable with one of them playing. We will see how it goes once the match is launched. "
This is mainly the strategy that cooks have adopted all season.
Without a operating again as Saquon Barkely or Ezekiel Elliott, the leaders totally adopted the committee's strategy. They had 5 totally different rush riders of their first 13 video games, together with Mahomes in a win towards the Chargers in Mexico City. That's Darwin Thompson, a sixth-round decide, who led them final week towards the Raiders by racking up yards in the fourth quarter, whereas the Chiefs received a main victory for the AFC West.
The Chiefs solely had one eclipse of 100 meters in a match – Damien Williams ran for 125 towards the Vikings. But even that efficiency got here with an asterisk: he received 91 yards on a spectacular landing run.
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy insisted this week that the Chiefs had been snug with whoever they put in the backfield, partially due to the man who was giving the ball . The Chiefs supply many run-pass choices, so it's as much as Mahomes to resolve if the operating again will get the switch. And which means it's as much as the league's MVP to resolve whether or not McCoy, Thompson and Ware may have a lot of success towards the Patriots.
This is certainly a distinctive trio to soak up a match.
McCoy might head to the Hall of Fame after a spectacular profession spent primarily with Buffalo. He signed with the Chiefs simply earlier than the season and made them rush six occasions, however he additionally had some clumsiness issues and didn’t have a single carry towards the Colts. The cooks are additionally making an attempt to restrict the put on and tear of his 31-year-old physique so he's wholesome for the stretching race, which suggests fewer portages in latest weeks.
Thompson confirmed at the coaching camp what he can do when the ball is in his fingers. But the former standout participant from the state of Utah wanted time not solely to be taught the Chiefs' offense, but in addition to refine his expertise when the balloon didn’t. was not in his fingers: go safety, blitz pickup, cowl studying and go play.
He met in the fourth quarter towards Oakland final week, when Damien Williams was inactive on account of a rib harm and that Darrel Williams had left with a hamstring that put him in reserve for injured this week. Thompson ended up carrying 11 occasions for 44 yards and reached the finish zone for the first time in his NFL profession – then he dropped the ball in the finish zone, forgot it and was grateful to bottom Anthony Sherman for catching him for a memento.
"I like to think that I am one of the official chairmen of the Short Running Back Club. So with (5 feet 8 inches) Darwin being in this short running club, I obviously have high expectations for him, "Bieniemy mentioned. "He has a dynamic personality and a great work ethic. So yes, he will have the opportunity at some point. "
Ware additionally, who has spent a number of years with the Chiefs however has not signed this season. The sequence of head wounds, nonetheless, pressured them to deliver one other physique, and Ware's familiarity with the offense made it pure.
"Spencer is really smart. The retention part was not really a big problem, "Reid mentioned. "He picked up where he left off. It was simply a matter of moving your legs and keeping up with the rhythm of things. "
The Chiefs nonetheless cherish the hope of successful the # 1 seed in the AFC, and with it a first-round benefit and a area benefit all through the playoffs. But successful at New England Sunday is crucial, and the chilly climate mixed with second-place Patriots' protection implies that a profitable ground game is perhaps crucial.
Whoever is carrying the ball for the leaders.
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