Mahomes started and scored on Kansas City's first two — and his only two — possessions to take an early 14-3 lead, and the backups finished the job.
Kirk Cousins led the Vikings down the field into the Chiefs' red zone quickly on the team's first drive but was bottled up by the Chiefs defense. That was the high point for the Vikings offense, as it could barely move the ball after that moment.
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Mahomes was almost flawless, as he carved up the Vikings' first-team defense for 221 yards and two touchdowns while completing 8 of 9 pass attempts. He was 6 of 6 from a clean pocket, which included the two touchdowns.
After the first two drives, Shane Buechele played the rest of the game.
Derrick Gore as a Receiver
|Targets||Catches||Yards||Yards After Contact||Yards After Catch||WR Rating When Targeted|
Playing against his former team, Jerick McKinnon rushed four times for 23 yards and forced one missed tackle. He led the team with 5.8 yards per carry. Derrick Gore came off the bench to touch the ball 11 times — six carries and five catches — for 106 total yards and a touchdown.
The opening day receiving corps played well, as Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Demarcus Robinson caught all five of their targets. Hill had a 35-yard touchdown while Kelce’s two catches gained 35 yards as well. Mecole Hardman was not targeted.
The projected starting offensive line played to start the game, as Lucas Niang and Orlando Brown Jr. manned the two tackle spots while Creed Humphrey played center, and Joe Thuney and Trey Smith slotted in at the guards.
Jarran Reed and Khalen Saunders started the game at the interior linemen spots. Saunders had two tackles while edge rushers Alex Okafor and Michael Danna combined for three total pressures but zero sacks.
Presumed Week 1 starters Anthony Hitchens and Willie Gay Jr. played the first quarter for the Chiefs defense. Hitchens had a sack but gave up a seven-yard completion. Gay Jr. had two tackles but also gave a 16-yard completion on two targets.
The starters played the first drive, which meant seven snaps each for Charvarius Ward, L’Jarius Sneed, Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen. Safety Juan Thornhill came in during the first quarter and played 11 snaps total.
Cousins started the affair going 5 of 7 for 57 yards and an incredibly low average depth of target of 4.4 yards. The battle for the backup spot seems to have been locked up by Kellen Mond, as he threw the ball 23 times for 196 yards on 16 completions. Jake Browning delivered an abysmal 2 of 8 game for 41 yards.
The Backup Quarterbacks from a Clean Pocket
|Quarterback||Completions||Attempts||Yards||Average Time To Throw||ADOT|
Three Vikings running backs carried the ball, and Ito Smith led the way with 10 carries but just 27 yards. Asim Rose had seven carries for 41 yards and a couple touchdowns while Ameer Abdullah had six carries for 21 yards and forced a missed tackle.
Irv Smith Jr. — the only starting pass-catcher who saw snaps in this game — caught two Cousins passes for 39 yards and two first downs with 32 of the 39 yards coming after the catch.
The Vikes were able to get after the quarterback, as defensive linemen Everson Griffen — making his return to Minnesota — D.J. Wonnum and Hercules Mata’afa registered sacks. The line finished the game with 10 total pressures.
Nick Vigil started at inside linebacker but missed two tackles. He had three tackles in total and allowed one catch, but it was for zero yards. The Chiefs picked on the Vikings linebackers, who saw eight targets and allowed six catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Bashaud Breeland returned to Kansas City and promptly gave up a Tyreek Hill touchdown and one other catch for 42 yards total. Cameron Dantzler and Harrison Hand were both targeted eight times. Dantzler gave up five catches but only for 29 yards, and he forced an incompletion. Hand allowed five for 55 yards.