23 degrees/ 15 MPH wind
Key Decision #1:
- The Kansas City offense went to a “hard count” the entire game to slow down the Dolphins defensive front. A “hard count” is a vocal technique used by the quarterback and an offense to give off the appearance that the center snapping the ball is imminent if not immediate, except it isn’t. The Chiefs threw the Dolphins off all day with the hard count. A number of times the Dolphins were offsides as they tried to guess the snap count.
Key Decision #2:
- The Chiefs used their roster, especially on offense like they did at the beginning of season. Everyone is a potential target in the Kansas City offense. Seven different pass catchers caught passes, including three different tight ends. QB Alex Smith threw for 304 yards and connected on 25 of 39 passing attempts.
Key Decision #3:
- The Chiefs shut down the Dolphins running game in the second half. The Dolphins only had 59 yard rushing yards. By shutting down the running game, the Chiefs were able to get off the field. Miami was 0-for-8 on third downs against a Chiefs defense that ranked 25th in opponents third down conversion percentage.
Key Decision #4:
- Miami started a drive after a Kansas City punt at the Miami 29 and with 1:43 remaining. The Dolphins had minutes before made it a 17-13 game with a Jakeem Grant 65-yard touchdown reception. The Dolphins took less than a minute off the clock before they were forced to punt to the Chiefs. The Chiefs took over near midfield (their own 45-yard line) and drove the ball to the Dolphins 14-yard line where they kicked a FG to take a 7-point lead. Miami had all the momentum from an explosive play for a score, a big defensive stop and gave it away by not taking more time off the clock and allowing the Chiefs to pad the lead. Being down four points at the half would have been a desired outcome.
- The Dolphins took a toy out of the box (Jakeem Grant) and decided they would let him loose. The little-used Grant had four catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins used him the way Kansas City uses WR Tyreek Hill.
- Along those same lines, in the first half especially, Miami with their use of pre-snap motion appeared as if they were trying to mirror the Kansas City offense. Kansas City for the entirety of the game was able to use these pre-snap motions and shifts to gain chunks of yardage, especially late in the game and between the tackles
- For the second straight week after a team-issued suspension, CB Marcus Peters was dominant. He forced an early fumble that set the tone for the game. The Chiefs defense is much better when he is in the game.