Kansas City Chiefs win at Washington to even record at 3-3: What we learned Sunday

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The Chiefs are clearly not the same dominating team that they were the past two seasons.

But they were good enough Sunday to hold off the Washington Football Team in a game that featured more self-inflicted wounds by Kansas City early en route to a convincing 31-13 win at FedExField.

The Chiefs’ offense accounted for three turnovers, but balanced that out with 499 total yards and 29 first downs against one of the league’s worst defensive units. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 32 of 47 passes for 397 yards and two touchdowns, with two turnovers, for a 90.5 passer rating.

And the beleaguered Chiefs defense hunkered down after giving up another big downfield scoring play to hold Washington to 276 total yards.

Kansas City wasn’t winning style points on either side of the ball Sunday, but a win is a win, and the Chiefs improved to 3-3.

TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS

The Chiefs continue to appear allergic to ball security.

They had three turnovers, including two Mahomes interceptions, giving them 14 since Week 2.

One of Mahomes’ interceptions wasn’t his fault, as his pass bounced off wide receiver Tyreek Hill’s hands into the waiting arms of Washington cornerback Kendall Fuller. The second interception, however, falls squarely on Mahomes: During the play, Mahomes was pressured and his attempted pass fluttered high in the air, leading to an easy pick.

The Chiefs’ quarterback now has eight interceptions through six games. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman accounted for the other turnover by losing a fumble.

The Chiefs have stated repeatedly in recent weeks that they know ball security must be an essential part of their success, but so far they have not practiced what they’ve preached.

Kansas City got away with Sunday’s miscues largely because of the opponent. That won’t work against the better teams still remaining on the Chiefs’ schedule.

SHAKE-UP

The Chiefs made numerous roster changes for this game on both sides of the ball.

The most notable occurred at the safety position, where Juan Thornhill started in place of Daniel Sorensen. Thornhill totaled three tackles, including one for a loss, and wasn’t on the bad end of big plays. Sorensen had been plagued by downfield miscues.

Kansas City also adjusted its linebacker group, providing a glimpse to the future by going with Anthony Hitchens, Willie Gay Jr. and rookie Nick Bolton, who led the team Sunday in tackles with nine total tackles, seven solo and one for a loss.

With the defensive changes, which appeared to inject much-needed speed to the lineup, Sorensen and linebacker Ben Niemann saw a majority of their snaps in dime personnel.

On offense, the Chiefs turned to veteran Mike Remmers to man the right tackle position. Remmers’ return to the starting lineup came at the expense of rookie Lucas Niang, who had started the first five games.

BETTER DEFENSE

The Chiefs’ defense entered Sunday’s game having allowed opponents to score 30 or more points in four straight weeks. Washington didn’t come close to extending that dubious streak.

The Chiefs harassed WFT quarterback Taylor Heinicke throughout the game, holding him to 182 yards and a touchdown through the air, and intercepting him once. With their quarterback struggling to find a rhythm, Washington managed just 276 yards and 15 first downs.

INJURIES

Linebacker Anthony Hitchens suffered a right elbow injury in the second quarter and did not return.

Tyreek Hill, who’d been nursing a quad injury, was observed late in the second quarter holding his helmet and watching his teammates on the field. While the Chiefs designated him as questionable to get back into the game, Hill indeed returned in the third quarter.

Tight end Jody Forston suffered an Achilles injury during a non-contact play in the third quarter and was carted off the field. He crumpled to the ground while running a route.

INACTIVES

Defensive end Chris Jones (wrist), cornerback Charvarius Ward (quad), tight end Blake Bell (back), guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, center Austin Blythe and tackle Prince Tega Wanogho did not dress for the game.

UP NEXT

The Chiefs travel to Nashville next Sunday to face the Tennessee Titans in a game that kicks off at noon on CBS.

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