It’s halftime of the KC Chiefs’ Sunday afternoon showdown against Miami, and they lead the Dolphins 20-13 at Arrowhead Stadium. Here is Chiefs beat writer Terez A. Paylor’s quick analysis.
1. The Dolphins tried to take away the run early
Hence the reason the Chiefs were forced to air it out so much. They’ve been able to make the Dolphins pay for stacking the box, however. On one such occasion, Alex Smith found Ty Hill on a gorgeous 52-yard deep ball in double coverage. The explosive pass plays opened up things in the second quarter for Kareem Hunt, who keyed a scoring drive and finished it with a touchdown.
2. Way too many missed tackles
Jakeem Grant’s 65-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was an embarrassing display of tackling. Grant is 5 feet 7 and 169 pounds. He’s fast but there’s no reason he should have been able to run through three players at the same time. The Chiefs’ tackling issues were a problem throughout the half. These guys better start wrapping up.
3. The offensive playcalling has been okay
I really enjoyed some of the calls Matt Nagy and Andy Reid pulled out of their hat in the first half. The fake jet sweep + option pitch to Kareem Hunt was outstanding, and the long bomb that was schemed up and dropped by Albert Wilson should have been a touchdown.
4. Suh vs. LDT
One of my favorite running subplots today has been the epic trench battle between two of the nastiest players in the game, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. LDT annoys opponents by playing through the whistle. Suh angers opponents with sometimes dirty play. A match made a heaven! A few plays into the game, LDT drove Suh after the play and Suh responded by climbing on top of him and delivering a few blows (no flag though!). And after one second-quarter play, LDT had his hand on Suh after the play and Suh responded by chopping at his arm, hard.
5. This stadium isn’t exactly full
But I don’t really blame you guys. It’s Christmas Eve, and it’s 30 degrees outside. Some of you are probably still annoyed by the way this team played in November. Again, it makes sense. It’s OK to make this team earn your emotional investment again. It can start by winning this game and clinching that second straight AFC West title for the first time in franchise history.