3 Takeaways from Chiefs' Week 12 Win
When Kansas City Chiefs fans look back on Sunday's 27-24 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they'll likely remember it as the Tyreek Hill game. The Chiefs' top wide receiver hauled in 13 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns to help Kansas City improve to 10-1 with a road victory at Raymond James Stadium.
It was more than just a big day for Hill, though. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 462 yards, helping Kansas City amass 543 total yards of offense. The Chiefs had a 17-point lead after three quarters and held off a late charge by the Buccaneers, running out the clock in the final minutes.
Since losing to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5, Kansas City has reeled off six straight wins. However, the Chiefs remain the No. 2 seed in the AFC (behind the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers), which means they would host a wild-card round matchup due to the playoffs being expanded to seven teams from each conference. But if Kansas City keeps winning, perhaps Pittsburgh will have a misstep along the way.
Here are three takeaways from the Chiefs' win on Sunday.
A Historic Start on Big Day for Hill
If Hill had only played one quarter at Tampa Bay, he still would have had an impressive stat line for the day. That's because he had seven receptions for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, after which Kansas City had a 17-0 lead.
According to Fred Goodall of the Associated Press, only one other wide receiver has had at least 200 receiving yards in the first quarter of a game since 1980, the other being Lee Evans (205 yards on Nov. 19, 2006). Hill first got into the end zone on a 75-yard pass from Mahomes with 6 minutes, 49 seconds to go in the first quarter before scoring again on a 44-yard pass with 1:32 to go in the quarter.
Hill's third and final touchdown was a 20-yard grab that pushed the Chiefs' lead to 27-10 with seven minutes to go in the third quarter. Hill currently leads the NFL in both receiving yards (1,021) and receiving touchdowns (13).
"It feels good, you know, but I feel like there's still a lot of work for me to do," Hill said, per Goodall. "I'm always trying to get better, got to be consistent with what you do. Those same people showing you love this week, you make a bad play next week, they're going to hate you."
The scary thing for opposing defenses? Hill might just keep getting better.
One of Mahomes' Best Showings in MVP-Caliber Season
Mahomes was named NFL MVP in the 2018 season and took home Super Bowl LIV MVP honors while leading the Chiefs to the championship last season. And he's been doing it again through the first 11 games of Kansas City's 2020 campaign.
But this may have been his best game of the year thus far. Mahomes set season highs in completions (37), attempts (49) and passing yards (462) while throwing three touchdowns, all to Hill. It was Mahomes' second 400-yard game of the season, and he completed more than 75 percent of his passes for the second straight week.
Could Mahomes be on his way to winning his second NFL MVP in three seasons? He's passed for a league-high 3,497 yards, 30 touchdowns and only two interceptions and again has the Chiefs among the top contenders in the AFC. It's also likely he'll keep putting up big numbers over the final month of the regular season.
So, don't be surprised if Mahomes is working his way toward another MVP honor considering he had a huge game against the Bucs, who entered the game with the No. 6 defense in the NFL (allowing only 310.5 total yards per game).
Chiefs Made Plays to Hold off Bucs Comeback
Never count Tom Brady out of a game. Despite the Chiefs offense putting the Buccaneers in a 17-point hole after three quarters, Brady kept Tampa Bay in it by throwing a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Mike Evans. The second came with 4:10 remaining, which could have been plenty of time for a defensive stop and at least a game-tying drive.
But the Chiefs offense made sure the Buccaneers never got a chance to either force overtime or win the game. Beginning at its own 25-yard line, Kansas City picked up three first downs to put things away. The first two came on Mahomes runs, while the third was an eight-yard pass from Mahomes to Hill with 1:15 to go.
"I learned a long time ago, you don't give Tom Brady another shot," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said, per Goodall. "That's why he's the G.O.A.T. So, don't give them the ball back. That was the mindset there."
Considering how well Kansas City had played early, it seemed unlikely the game would end up that close. But Tampa Bay is a solid team that remains in the NFC wild-card race at 7-5. So, it was a quality victory for the Chiefs, who yet again showed they know how to close out games, a sign of a successful team.