- The injury-riddled Chiefs beat the Vikings on Sunday.
- With Patrick Mahomes returning, Kansas City is set up for a second-half surge.
- Just as importantly, its defense finally seems Super Bowl worthy.
Harrison Butker kicked a 44-yard field goal as the clock expired, giving the Kansas City Chiefs a 26-23 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. As Butker sprinted the Arrowhead Stadium field in triumph, among the first teammates to greet him was one wearing street clothes. Instead of continuing the celebration, though, Butker briefly managed to restrain his gusto.
Better not to risk re-injury of the NFL’s reigning MVP, especially with the Chiefs’ once-fading Super Bowl hopes re-surfacing so quickly.
“I wanted to embrace him,” Butker said of Patrick Mahomes, per The Athletic’s Nate Taylor, “but I’m like, ‘No, he can’t get hurt.’”
The stunning victory pushed Kansas City to 6-3, keeping it apace in the race for home-field advantage come the playoffs. But to anyone paying attention over the past few weeks, the Chiefs’ win was less about where they sit in the standings as a reminder of what this team seems capable of playing at its peak.
Weathering the Injury Storm
Kansas City’s 4-0 start obscured context behind that early success.
Mahomes sprained his left ankle in Week 1, an injury he would re-aggravate on multiple occasions. All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill suffered a dangerous collarbone and chest injury that sidelined him for the following month. Stalwart left tackle Eric Fisher underwent sports hernia surgery in mid-September, while star defensive tackle Chris Jones, cornerback Kendall Fuller, and wideout Sammy Watkins each missed multiple games in October.
Still, the Chiefs’ most significant injury came in Week 7,