Red Zone

Halftime observations: Chiefs 14, Dolphins 3

Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) rushed against his old teammate, Dolphins tackle Branden Albert (71), in the first quarter Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) rushed against his old teammate, Dolphins tackle Branden Albert (71), in the first quarter Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Kansas City Star

It’s halftime at Sun Life Stadium, and the Chiefs lead the Dolphins 14-3. Here are some quick observations.

▪ Keep an eye on ILBs James-Michael Johnson and Josh Mauga today. If they don’t play as well as they did vs. Denver vs. the run, it’s gonna be a long day. The Dolphins already have 64 yards on 10 carries for a robust 6.4 yards per carry.

▪ I expect the Chiefs to add some reinforcements to the offensive line via next year’s draft. They’ve already given up three sacks, which is why Chiefs coach Andy Reid turned to the running game in the second quarter. Hey, speaking of that...

▪ Good job by Reid going to the ground. The Chiefs were able to create some movement up front and move the ball that way. Knile Davis is running hard and playing with the same enthusiasm he did last week, which he showcased on his 21-yard touchdown run.

▪ The Chiefs’ ground game allowed them to pass when they really needed to. Facing a third-and-2 at the Dolphins’ 20-yard line, Reid ran a play that called for Travis Kelce to run a drag route across the middle. The Chiefs caught the Dolphins at an inopportune time because defensive end Olivier Vernon was the man tasked with running with him. Vernon is a good player but he’s not equipped for that. Twenty yards later, the Chiefs had a touchdown.

▪ Last thing on the offensive playcalling. There’s an obvious emphasis on being balanced this week. The Chiefs have ran and passed an equal amount of times in “11” personnel (four each), “12” personnel (seven each) and “13” personnel (one each).

▪ For those of you clamoring for Dee Ford, he was out there in the second quarter with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston on third-and-17, an obvious passing situation. Ford got the pass breakup.

▪ Joe McKnight’s 26-yard catch and run was an example of why the Chiefs are keeping so many running backs on the roster. With Jamaal Charles nicked up, McKnight gives them some big-play ability on offense, particularly as a receiver.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.

Related stories from Kansas City Star

  Comments