KC Chiefs handle business and snag 12th win against Seahawks – Arrowhead Addict

Dec 24, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end George Karlaftis (56) celebrates with defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) after a sack during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
It’s been five weeks since we’ve seen this version of the Kansas City Chiefs. Their last stress-free outing came in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams (a 26-10 victory). The visiting Seattle Seahawks came in 7-7, but still very much in the hunt for a wildcard berth in the NFC. They needed a win as much as any team in the league this week.
While the situation isn’t as dire in Kansas City, the Chiefs are also in pursuit in their own conference. They entered the week tied with Buffalo at 11-3. Unfortunately, the Bills own the tie-breaker so the Chiefs need them to falter to recapture the No. 1 seed. The mission coming into the Christmas Eve game was simple: win and keep pace.
Offensively, the Chiefs were a mixed bag on Saturday. Kansas City did manage another turnover-free performance, but left some plays on the field. Patrick Mahomes built on his Week 15 showing with another three total touchdowns versus Seattle. The highlight of Mahomes’ day was him going fully horizontal, into the pylon, on a three-yard TD run.
Mahomes’s touchdown was set up by a 52-yard reception by tight end Travis Kelce midway through the fourth quarter. His six receptions and 113 receiving yards led the way among all Chiefs’ receivers. Kansas City got another chunk play from rookie running back Isiah Pacheco on his lone reception on Saturday (a 32-yard play late in the second quarter).
Defensively, Kansas City put together one of their best performances of the season. They consistently generated pressure with four despite only getting home twice on Saturday. Turnovers have been tough to come by for the Chiefs’ defense, but Juan Thornhill did pick Geno Smith’s pocket on a drive when Seattle threatened to score. The defense would go on to allow a late touchdown, but ultimately gave just 10 points up to the Seahawks’ 7th-ranked offense.
In fairness to Seattle, they were missing wide receiver Tyler Lockett. Another Seahawks’ wide receiver Marquise Goodwin didn’t look to be 100% either in the game. Every team is battling injuries at this point in the season, but that might demand taking Saturday’s defensive showing with a grain of salt. This is a game that defense coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will take, but there are a few things to note in the film room this week. Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker posted his third-best performance of the season with 107 rushing yards on 26 carries—an average of 4.1 yards per carry.
Kansas City’s special teams were fairly quiet on Saturday, but that’s a positive sign for a unit that had been a liability throughout the season. Harrison Butker connected on a 47-yard field goal attempt with just under three minutes to go in the first half. The Chiefs avoided disaster when a punt bounded into linebacker Jack Cochrane in the middle of the field. It was eventually recovered by cornerback Chris Lammons to avoid a costly turnover.
After nearly stumbling to the Houston Texans in a sloppy, lethargic showing last week, it was encouraging to see the Chiefs take care of business on Saturday. They can’t afford a slip with just a few weeks left in the regular season. The final two weeks present rematches with the Denver Broncos and the Las Vegas Raiders. Closing strong is key as the Bills have little margin for error in their quest for home-field advantage.
Divisional opponents with nothing to play for are late-season landmines. The Chiefs will face the Broncos, for the second time, in their home finale at Arrowhead. The last time these two teams met, Kansas City narrowly escaped with a six-point win over Denver. The hope is that the forthcoming matchup is far less eventful.
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