Key play: Coach Andy Reid’s decision to defer after winning the toss. The Chiefs’ first possession was at their 2, and they only overcame poor field position thanks to the punting of Dustin Colquitt.
Key stat: Frankie Hammond Jr.’s 34-yard punt return was the Chiefs’ longest of the season.
Never miss a local story.
Key play: Knile Davis converted on third and 3 at the Miami 39 by sweeping right for 11 yards.
Key stat: Travis Kelce’s 20-yard reception was the first touchdown of his NFL career.
Key play: Kelcie McCray’s illegal block on Hammond’s punt return to midfield sent the Chiefs back to their 1, and that set up a safety by the Dolphins.
Key stat: The Dolphins went just 19 yards for 12 points as a touchdown was set up by Chiefs fumble, a field goal by a 74-yard kickoff return and the safety.
Key play: The Chiefs’ Dontari Poe and Chris Owens teamed for a sack of Ryan Tannehill on a third and 1 at the Chiefs’ 47, forcing a punt with the Chiefs clinging to a 21-15 lead.
Key stat: The Chiefs converted nine of 16 third-downs in the game; Miami was four of 15.
Player of the game
McKnight, who was inactive last week against Denver, showed up big, converting some third downs and catching two touchdown passes.
Reason to hope
Funny how a road win in the NFL changes the outlook of a season. No reason to believe the Chiefs can’t win the Monday night game against New England, which struggled to beat Oakland and get to 2-2.
Reason to mope
The Chiefs, who made a living getting takeaways last season, have yet to force a turnover and are minus-5 in giveaway-takeaway differential.
The Chiefs make their first prime-time appearance of the season when they face the Patriots next week on “Monday Night Football” at Arrowhead Stadium.
Chiefs rushing offense: A-
Knile Davis more than capably filled in for injured Jamaal Charles, rushing for a career-best 132 yards and a tackle-breaking 21-yard touchdown. Davis doesn’t have Charles’ home-run potential, but 32 carries on a hot day was quite a workload.
Chiefs passing offense: C
Previously unseen running back Joe McKnight assumed the pass-catching component that Charles provides with six catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Pass protection was a little shaky against a good pass-rushing team, and five sacks — including one for a safety — were too much. So were the drops by Travis Kelce and Dwayne Bowe.
Chiefs run defense: D+
The Chiefs surrendered 7.1 yards per carry, and it makes you wonder why the Dolphins, despite the absence of Knowshon Moreno, still didn’t run the ball more before they fell behind two scores.
Chiefs pass defense: A
The Chiefs kept Mike Wallace out of the end zone, which was no easy task considering he had six touchdown catches in his last eight games, including scores against New England and Buffalo in the first two games of the season. The Chiefs sacked Ryan Tannehill four times and batted down three other passes.
Special teams: D-
The kickoff coverage was terrible, allowing Jarvis Landry returns of 40 and 74 yards. Cairo Santos is putting his kickoffs in the end zone, but he needs to kick them out of the park for touchbacks. The Chiefs had three penalties in the return game, including a devastating illegal block by Kelcie McCray that negated a punt return to midfield and brought the ball back to the 1. Only Dustin Colquitt’s first-half punting kept this grade from being any lower.
Coach Andy Reid did a masterful job of dividing Charles’ workload between Davis and McKnight. He called for a double reverse that backfired into a 15-yard loss, but give him points for going deep in the playbook. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub needs to talk with Frankie Hammond Jr. about his decisions to field punts inside the 5.