News & Analysis

NFL Week 14 PFF ReFocused: Kansas City Chiefs 33, Miami Dolphins 27

Dec 13, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) attempts a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins did everything they could to upset the Kansas City Chiefs, but in the end, it was the Chiefs flexing their playmaking muscle on their way to a 33-27 win.

The Dolphins forced four turnovers, but it wasn’t enough against a Kansas City offense that can produce in a hurry. The 12-1 Chiefs, aided by a special teams touchdown in this contest, continue to show why they’re the most dangerous team in the league, but Miami showed that it can compete with the AFC’s best, as the team stills has playoff aspirations at 8-5. 

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story of the Game

Turnovers helped the Dolphins put a scare in the Chiefs, but this game ultimately showed how difficult it is to beat the defending champs, even when so many things go right for the opponent. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes had just two interceptions coming into the game, but some of his early-season turnover luck reverted back as he finished with three interceptions.

Mahomes still played a solid game, going 7-of-13 for 192 yards on 10-plus yard throws. And four of those six incompletions were dropped. Tight end Travis Kelce was unstoppable once again, as he caught eight passes for 136 yards and a touchdown to go with five other first downs. Kelce was the most dependable receiver, but the rest of the Chiefs’ playmakers got into the mix, as well.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill had 79 yards on three catches, including a 44-yard receiving touchdown and a 32-yard touchdown on the ground to kick off Kansas City’s scoring. Wideout Mecole Hardman had three catches for 40 yards, with his biggest play being a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown.

The Chiefs once again proved that their ability to sprinkle the field with high-end speed and unique playmakers is simply too much for opponents to overcome, even in a game where Mahomes had an uncharacteristically high number of turnover-worthy plays.

On the other side, the Miami offense took advantage of the short fields early on and they made a valiant comeback behind quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. There were some ups and downs for the rookie, as he put the ball in harm’s way, took a sack in the end zone and went just 6-of-16 on 10-plus yard throws for 122 yards. But Tagovailoa made numerous key throws down the stretch, and the Dolphins were an onside kick recovery away from making things even more interesting. 

Defensively, Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard continued his All-Pro level of play, snagging one of the Miami interceptions — a one-handed grab in one-on-one coverage against Hill. He now has an incredible nine interceptions this season to lead the league.

Dec 13, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Ben Niemann (56) reaches for Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Report

Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire gained just 32 yards on his 16 carries, 28 of which came after contact. He did come through with five catches for 59 yards and four missed tackles as a receiver.

Rookie offensive tackle Yasir Durant stepped in at right tackle for a career-high 25 snaps.

Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was the most-targeted Chief on a per-play basis, coming away with an OK game despite a missed tackle in the run game. Defensive linemen Tershawn Wharton and Mike Danna played 47 and 31 snaps, respectively, and they combined for seven pressures to go with solid work in the run game.

Linebacker Willie Gay, Jr. had a tackle for loss in coverage and another tackle in the run game on his 17 snaps. 

The Dolphins’ rookie offensive tackle duo of Austin Jackson and Robert Hunt played well, yet rookie guard Solomon Kindley struggled in both pass protection and the run game.

Wide receiver Lynn Bowden, Jr. was used all over the field once again, throwing a pretty well-paced pass along the sideline. But most importantly, he caught seven of his nine targets for 82 yards and six first downs. 

Defensively, interior defender Raekwon Davis continued his trend of good play against the run while safety Brandon Jones was used as a blitzer on 10 of his 34 snaps. 

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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