The Chiefs aren't perfect, but they're terrifying
Absolutely no one wants to play the tough, physical version of Kansas City that showed up against Miami.
If I were to sum up the Chiefs victory over the Dolphins in a single play, it would have been an exchange away from the ball that TECHNICALLY didn’t even affect the play. But it said absolutely everything you needed to know about why the 2023-2024 Chiefs are not a team anyone wants to play… even leaving aside Patrick Mahomes being a metahuman in the playoffs.
Late in the 2nd half, the Miami Dolphins faced 3rd and 13 trailing by six. They couldn’t convert, as defensive end George Karlaftis came up with a sack to kill any chance the Dolphins had to try and tighten up the game to close the half.
It was a terrific play by Karlaftis, to be sure, a nice bull rush that brought him right into Tua’s lap. But honestly, that’s not what I’m talking about. If you saw it live, you know exactly what I’m thinking of and will probably never forget it.
Watch L’Jarius Sneed at the bottom of the screen playing press man against Tyreek Hill. And by “playing press man,” I mean “physically emasculating.”
This is not the sort of snap you expect from a finesse team in negative whatever degrees. This is a brutal, in your face, “I’m never going to stop” bully ball that is the sort of thing you’d expect from defenses of 20 years ago. or from a certain Kansas City team in the 90’s.
And to be perfectly frank, bully ball is the closest thing one could use to describe the Chiefs dominant performance (despite shooting themselves in the foot several times on offense) against the Dolphins. From the start of the game to its finish, Kansas City hit first, hit harder, and never stopped hitting during one of the coldest games in NFL playoff history. Miami wanted no part of it.
And neither does any other team in the NFL. We’ll talk a lot this week about Spags' brilliance, Mahomes being at the top of his game, the importance of Rashee Rice, and all sorts of other stuff. But for today, let’s talk about how the Chiefs just waded into a football game and treated it like a street fight, beating the will to compete out of a Dolphins team that looked done about midway through the 3rd quarter (if not sooner).
This is unlike any team of the Patrick Mahomes era. So often, they’ve run by or run around opponents on their way to deep playoff runs. This year? They look more than willing to run right through them on both sides of the ball. Let’s look a little more closely at how the Chiefs just pounded Miami into submission in front of a frozen, frenzied Arrowhead crowd.