Even with Patrick Mahomes unavailable, the Kansas City Chiefs found a way to eke out a 26-23 victory Sunday over the Minnesota Vikings.
The reigning MVP was inactive for the second straight game due to a knee injury, but backup Matt Moore generated enough offense to get the team back in the win column, including two scoring drives in the final three minutes. Harrison Butker nailed the game-winning field goal from 44 yards away as time expired.
The Chiefs (6-3) remain in first place in the AFC West while improving to just 2-3 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Minnesota (6-3) had been red-hot with four straight wins but suffered a setback on the road as Kirk Cousins couldn't keep up his recent stretch of play.
Notable Fantasy Stats
- Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings: 220 passing yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
- Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings: 71 rushing yards, 4 catches, 45 receiving yards
- Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings: 1 catch, 4 receiving yards
- Matt Moore, QB, Chiefs: 275 passing yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs
- Damien Williams, RB, Chiefs: 125 rushing yards, 1 TD, 2 catches, 3 receiving yards
- Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs: 6 catches, 140 receiving yards, 1 TD
- Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs: 7 catches, 62 receiving yards
Chiefs Skill Players Help Backup Quarterback
It's impossible to replace Mahomes, but the Chiefs showed they can still have an explosive offense with Moore running the show.
The key was the big plays from the rest of the offense, including Damien Williams with the longest run of 2019:
Though it seemed like he had lost his starting job to LeSean McCoy, last year's breakout star could be a significant part of the offense in the second half.
Moore also got some help in the passing game from Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill:
It's not wise to expect too much out of Moore, but the talent around him kept the pressure off and allowed him to make easy throws for the win.
Just as importantly, there is no doubt the Chiefs will once again have an elite offense when Mahomes is back on the field. Considering the work Kansas City's defense put forth to keep the game close, the Chiefs should have a lot of confidence going forward.
Kirk Cousins Performance Not as Good as Numbers
Looking at the box score alone, Kirk Cousins put together a strong effort with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
He made some great throws and decisions in the red zone to get into the end zone three times:
However, it was far from a perfect day as he struggled to find any consistency with the offense:
On a day when Dalvin Cook struggled with efficiency (3.4 yards per carry), Cousins couldn't keep the offense moving. The team punted eight times, including in a tie game with just under two minutes remaining.
It was another disappointing showing for the high-priced quarterback.
The Chiefs will go on the road in Week 10 for a game against the Tennessee Titans, hoping Mahomes will be back on the field by then. The Vikings will face the Dallas Cowboys in a Sunday night battle that could have significant playoff implications.