Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs do what dynasty-building teams do

Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs do what dynasty-building teams do

The Kansas City Chiefs do the things that dynasty teams do.

The Chiefs were to “host” the hottest offense in the NFL in a “home game” in Germany on Sunday. But all of Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel’s moves and ingenuity don’t seem to bother Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who had plenty of slick moments of his own in Week 9, with bizarre blitzes that stunned quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Although Patrick Mahomes struggled to elevate his offense, the Chiefs cruised to a 21-14 win over Miami.

The Dolphins are now 0-3 against teams with a winning record this year. They fall into the category of plaintiffs. The presidents remain rivals. Miami’s offense couldn’t get going, with penalties and an ineffective passing attack. While Tagovailoa completed 70.4% of his passes before this game, he completed 62% on Sunday. A large number of those incompletions came on third down, when the Dolphins were 3 of 12. Tua finished 21 of 34 for 193 yards, one touchdown and three sacks.

Mahomes said this Chiefs defense has a chance to be the best unit he’s ever played with.

“We’re going to figure this offense out, but until then, this defense is legit. It’s real, and everyone will see it,” Mahomes told NFL Network after the game. “I think they have a chance to be the best defense in the NFL.”

The defense helped keep the Dolphins away in the first half. Although Miami was putting together its first powerful drive of the game with 45 seconds left in the second quarter, the Chiefs were tackled by receiver Tyreek Hill, who fumbled the ball. Safety Mike Edwards recovered the ball and sent it to safety Brian Cook, who ran it through the air for a long distance.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game.

Kansas City’s offense may look like a construction zone. But defending it? It’s a masterful work of architecture, built through the NFL draft. Kansas City has started at least nine of its own picks in every game this season, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted. With those players in place, the Chiefs have allowed 17 or fewer points to five of their opponents. Only two opponents broke 20 points. This is something Mahomes can work with, even if his offense lacks a true threat at the receiver position.

Sometimes that’s the case for the best teams.

Comparisons between the dynasties of chiefs and nationalists are not exaggerated. There’s a real connection between the two franchises (at different stages of their dynasties), especially when looking at the second round of Super Bowls in New England, when Tom Brady spent the start of the season figuring out his weapons. I wrote last year that Mahomes has demonstrated a level of greatness That’s what elite quarterbacks really show. His general manager continues to strip talent on the offensive side of the ball. And Mahomes continues to put up amazing numbers. He no longer needs a support team. He creates one.

Now, I’m not going to ignore Travis Kelce. He is the team’s No. 1 option. (It’s similar to what happened when Brady had Rob Gronkowski.) But opponents are well aware of that. The Dolphins spent Sunday working away at Kelce with physical plays at the line of scrimmage and covering the arcs down the field. Miami held him to three catches for 14 yards. It was a smart game plan from Miami’s defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio. He challenged Mahomes to beat the Dolphins secondary with no one else.

And that’s what Mahomes did. Complete passes to:

Noah Gray
Sky Moore
Jerick McKinnon
Marquez Valdes Scantling
Cadarius Tony
Rushi Rice
Justin Watson
Mecole Hardman Jr
Lamical Perrin
Isiah Pacheco

That’s 11 different passes!

It’s a far cry from what this crime with Hill looked like. But it’s fitting that the Chiefs would do just that — spread it all over the place — in a game against their former offensive pivot. Without him, the Chiefs have been able to figure out how to generate enough production on offense. It goes back to last season, when they were able to win the Super Bowl without him. It’s more convenient that tailback Trent McDuffie forced the fumble on the mound (and the ensuing touchdown from Cook). Why? Well, the Chiefs took McDuffie along with some of the draft capital they received in the trade with the Dolphins.

Once again, this is impressive architecture from GM Brett Veach.

No Chief scored more than 34 yards. Gray, of all people, led the team in that category. But those are the kind of box scores we expect from this Chiefs team, which has to get weird and creative just to get points on the board. But that’s Kansas City’s specialty. Mahomes, Reid and offensive coordinator Matt Nagy are doing just that Just Enough to put the team in the win column. And really, in a game like the one they won over the Dolphins, it was about being boring. Mahomes was largely screening the ball, and his average shooting depth was 6.1 yards. The Chiefs did what they had to do to win. And they can do almost anything with Mahomes at quarterback. Even winning boring games.

(Take notes by Josh Allen.)

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Kansas City is now 7-2. The Chiefs are No. 1 in the AFC, which has been described as a much deeper conference than the NFC. And with this top seed comes the first round. It’s still too early to think about saying goodbye — unless you’re talking about a team like the Chiefs that has made a habit of getting better over the course of the season.

Kansas City’s roster, on paper, doesn’t look as impressive as Miami’s. But that’s what dynasty teams do. They flatten the noise. They maximize their talents in ways that exceed expectations. This has to do with the leadership: Reid, Veach, Spagnuolo and Mahomes.

Before joining FOX Sports as East Asia correspondent, Henry McKenna spent seven years covering the Patriots for USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Boston Globe Media. Follow him on Twitter at @HenrysMkina.

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