Chiefs’ supporting cast steps up in passing game vs. Ravens

Byron Pringle, Week 13
Posted at 5:59 PM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 19:05:36-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It wasn’t all bad news for the Kansas City Chiefs in a one-point loss Sunday at the Baltimore Ravens.

Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce accounted for 81% of the Chiefs’ passing offense in a season-opening win against the Cleveland Browns.

After the game, Patrick Mahomes insisted he had full faith in the other weapons on Kansas City’s offense.

He proved it in front of a national TV audience during a 36-35 loss on Sunday Night Football at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

“It’s just how the game went,” Mahomes said. “I said it last week, they were letting Travis and Tyreek get open, so I was giving them the ball. But if teams are going to play over Tyreek or double Travis in certain points in the game, then we have the guys that can make the plays. You saw that with the guys who are making plays today. Like I said, I have full confidence in those guys.”

Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and wide receiver Mecole Hardman were the only other players with more than one catch in Week 1. Each had three catches.

Edwards-Helaire’s 14-yard reception was the only play longer than 10 yards, raising plenty of questions about the supporting cast beyond Kelce and Hill.

It was a different story against the Ravens.

Baltimore double-teamed Hill, limiting him to three catches for 14 yards, while Kelce torched the Ravens to the tune of seven catches for 109 yards, including a superlative 46-yard catch and run in the third quarter.

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But Hardman, Jerick McKinnon, Michael Burton, Blake Bell, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle and Jody Fortson all had receptions of at least 10 yards.

Overall, Mahomes spread the ball around to nine different targets, completing 14 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns to receivers not named Kelce or Hill.

Robinson hauled in a 33-yard touchdown on Kansas City’s opening possession and Pringle opened the second half with a 40-yard catch and run for another score.

“To look at a positive, I thought the other guys stepped up and made plays,” Mahomes, who finished 24 of 31 for 343 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, said. “If teams are going to start doing this, I saw Mecole and ‘D-Rob’ (Robinson) with a big touchdown play. Those guys are going to have to contribute for us this year. So, for them to have games with the caliber of them we played today, we can take that as a positive going into next week.”

Still, to have that success come in a loss still left a sour taste in the Chiefs’ collective mouths.

“We thought we were going to see a lot more man, a lot more blitzes,” Kelce said. “That’s the thing. When a team is rushing three and playing off coverage, we’ve got to be able to put up more points — flat out.”