The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 5-1 with a 26-17 victory over the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills.
With the win, the Chiefs now sit 1.5 games above the Las Vegas Raiders for first place in the AFC West.
This encounter was originally scheduled for Oct. 15 but moved to Monday night because of fallout from positive COVID-19 tests across the league.
This was the first time Patrick Mahomes faced off against the Bills since Kansas City worked out a deal with Buffalo to trade up to the No. 10 pick in the 2017 NFL draft. The Bills came away with All-Pro cornerback Tre'Davious White and 2019 Pro Bowler Tremaine Edmunds, but the Chiefs are already the winners thanks to last year's Super Bowl run.
Monday's game will be another reminder of what might have been in Buffalo if the team bet on Mahomes instead of Josh Allen as its franchise quarterback.
The Chiefs running backs stole the show, though. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson combined to run for 204 yards on 35 carries. Williams' 13-yard touchdown run on fourth down in the third quarter was emblematic of Kansas City's dominance on the ground.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs: 21-of-26, 225 yards, two touchdowns; 10 carries, 36 yards
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs: 26 carries, 161 yards; four receptions, eight yards
Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs: five receptions, 65 yards, two touchdowns
Josh Allen, QB, Bills: 14-of-27, 122 yards, two touchdowns, one interception; eight carries, 42 yards
Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills: six receptions, 46 yards, one touchdown
Bills Have No Answer for Edwards-Helaire
The conditions in Orchard Park, New York, were less than ideal. In addition to cooler temperatures, the players had to contend with steady rainfall.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid adapted his game plan to heavily feature Edwards-Helaire since passing the ball proved a little more troublesome than usual for Mahomes. The former LSU star showed exactly why Kansas City used a first-round pick on him in April.
Reid didn't make many friends in the fantasy football world after Edwards-Helaire was unable to score on back-to-back trips to the red zone in the first half. He had one touchdown wiped off the board due to a holding penalty.
Travis Kelce, on the other hand, feasted in those situations and had a pair of touchdown grabs.
Mahomes didn't look downfield too much and failed to have a completion of more than 37 yards. A two-time All-Pro tight end is a godsend when passing yards are hard to get in big chunks.
As a reminder, this is an offense that will also be adding Le'Veon Bell. The best advice for the rest of the teams on Kansas City's schedule might be to duck and cover.
Sluggish Offense, Porous Defense Spell Disaster for Buffalo
The Bills only trailed by three points at halftime despite Allen going 6-of-16 for 42 yards and one touchdown. He was also the team's leading rusher (33 yards), so the half wasn't a complete wash for the third-year passer.
Allen entered Monday on pace to set career highs in every notable category. He was averaging 317.8 passing yards per game with 14 touchdowns to three interceptions.
Maybe the rainy weather was to blame for his off night, or Allen might be falling back to earth a bit.
His performance shouldn't obscure Buffalo's continued inability to stop opposing teams on defense. The Bills are 27th in defensive efficiency, down from seventh in 2019, per Football Outsiders. This loss isn't an outlier.
The Chiefs have torched plenty of teams over the past two-plus seasons, but they usually did so thanks to Mahomes and the aerial attack. Kansas City ran the ball at will, even with Mitchell Schwartz exiting early due to a back injury.
The final score doesn't accurately portray the gulf that separated these teams; Kansas City out-gained Buffalo 466-206. The Chiefs were also 9-of-14 on third down. The Bills defense simply couldn't get it done in critical junctures of the game.
Life gets a bit easier for the Bills in Week 7 as they play the winless New York Jets at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. The Chiefs stay on the road to face off with the Denver Broncos at 4:25 p.m. ET.