The Kansas City Chiefs moved to 4-1 on Sunday with a victory over the Minnesota Vikings, 27-20, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Here are some quick notes from the victory.
1. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has now defeated all other 31 teams in the NFL.
Mahomes, who had yet to play the Vikings in his professional career prior to Sunday's game, has now beaten every team in the NFL (other than the Chiefs, of course) during his career (including the playoffs). He is the first player to accomplish that feat before turning 30 in league history since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002.
The reigning NFL and Super Bowl MVP is now one of just 10 players in league history to beat at least 31 other teams, joining Tom Brady (32), Drew Brees (32), Peyton Manning (32), Brett Favre (32), Aaron Rodgers (31), Ben Roethlisberger (32), Russell Wilson (31), Kerry Collins (31) and Alex Smith (31).
Mahomes completed 31-of-41 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's victory. Additionally, one of the major storylines coming into the game was whether or not the Vikings – who owned the highest blitz rate of any team in the NFL – would send additional rushers after Mahomes, who came into the game as the least-blitzed quarterback in all of football. The Vikings indeed chose to blitz quite a bit, doing so on 56 percent of Mahomes' dropbacks, and on those snaps, he completed 17-of-23 passes for 152 yards, nine first downs and two touchdowns. His passer rating was 120.2.
2. Tight end Travis Kelce fought through an ankle injury to make some huge plays.
Kelce, who injured his ankle late in the first half on Sunday, returned to the game midway through the third quarter and made an immense impact. Specifically, on the Chiefs' second possession of the second half, Kelce converted two third downs with catches of 14 yards (on 3rd-and-7) and 11 yards (on 3rd-and-8) before hauling in a 4-yard touchdown grab to complete the drive.
The All-Pro tight end finished the game with a team-leading 10 receptions for 67 yards and a score. He now has at least 60 receiving yards in three consecutive games.
3. The defense did an excellent job of containing Vikings' wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
Kansas City held Jefferson – who entered Sunday's game with the most receiving yards in the NFL – to just three catches for 28 yards on six targets. It was his lowest output in terms of receiving yards since Week 17 of last season.
Specifically, safety Mike Edwards and cornerback Trent McDuffie broke up a third-down pass intended for Jefferson midway through the third quarter. The play led to a Vikings' punt, and just a handful of snaps later, Kansas City was back in the end zone with a two-score lead.
Overall, the Chiefs held Minnesota to its second-lowest point (20) and yardage (329) totals of the season. Kansas City has yet to allow more than 20 offensive points in a single game this season.
4. Rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice was back in the end zone.
Rice hauled in his second-career touchdown on Sunday with an 8-yard scoring grab early in the third quarter. It was part of a strong day for Rice, who caught four passes for 33 yards – two of which picked up a fresh set of downs. Additionally, Rice's touchdown took place on a 3rd-and-8.
Rice now has 17 catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns on the year. The former second-round pick ranks eighth among all rookies in terms of receptions. According to Pro Football Focus' grading metrics, Rice was the Chiefs' top performer on Sunday.
5. Wide receiver Justin Watson made two enormous plays deep down the field.
Watson was responsible for two critical catches deep down the field on Sunday, the first of which took place in the closing seconds of the first half. Facing a 2nd-and-10 from the Chiefs' 41-yard line with only 38 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Watson hauled in a terrific catch near the sideline that picked up 23 yards. The reception helped Kansas City move into position for a 40-yard, game-tying field goal prior to halftime.
Then, on the Chiefs' first drive of the second half, Mahomes found Watson again – this time for 33 yards – to convert a 3rd-and-18. The series eventually ended in a go-ahead touchdown that provided Kansas City with a lead that it never relinquished.
Watson finished the game with two catches for 56 yards, but the box score doesn't tell the entire story. Both of those catches – each of which were difficult, acrobatic grabs – occurred in critical moments and led to points.
6. The Chiefs recorded 17 unanswered points between the second and third quarters.
After falling behind by three points with one minute and 39 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Kansas City erupted for 17 unanswered points that eventually proved to be the difference in the game.
The Chiefs tallied a 40-yard field goal on their final drive of the first half before tallying consecutive touchdown drives to begin the third quarter, all while Minnesota ran just three offensive plays.
Kansas City has now put together a run of at least 17 unanswered points in three-straight games.
7. Defensive tackle Chris Jones has a sack in every game in which he has played this year.
Jones now has 4.5 sacks on the season after he blasted through the line and enveloped Vikings' quarterback Kirk Cousins midway through the second quarter. The All-Pro defensive tackle has recorded at least one sack in every game in which he has played this year, and despite missing Week 1, Jones ranks ninth in the league in terms of total sacks on the season.
Jones recorded five pressures on Sunday, which led the team.
8. Cornerback Trent McDuffie tallied a pair of critical, back-to-back plays late in the game.
It won't look like much in the box score, but McDuffie recorded a pair of consecutive, game-changing plays late in the contest. First, with Minnesota facing a 3rd-and-7 at the Chiefs' 19-yard line and Kansas City leading by seven points, McDuffie came on a blitz and hit Cousins as soon as he released the ball, effectively leading to an incompletion.
Then, on the ensuing fourth-down play, McDuffie – who was sent on a blitz once again – struck Cousins' arm as he released the football, creating another incompletion and a change of possession.
It was a huge sequence that helped win the game for Kansas City.
9. Ten different players caught a pass for Kansas City on Sunday.
Patrick Mahomes spread the football around on Sunday, connecting with Travis Kelce (10 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown), Justin Watson (two catches for 56 yards), Rashee Rice (4 catches for 33 yards), wide receiver Justyn Ross (2 catches for 28 yards), wide receiver Kadarius Toney (5 catches for 26 yards), tight end Noah Gray (2 catches for 21 yards), tailback Jerick McKinnon (2 catches for 18 yards), wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (1 catch for 12 yards), wide receiver Skyy Moore (2 catches for 11 yards) and tailback Isiah Pacheco (1 catch for 9 yards).
As a team, Kansas City converted 9-of-15 third down attempts on Sunday while tallying 21 first downs.
10. Kicker Harrison Butker remained perfect on the season.
Butker nailed both of his field goal attempts on Sunday, connecting on kicks of 38 and 40 yards. The veteran kicker has successfully converted all of his attempts this season, going a perfect 10-for-10 on field goals and 14-for-14 on extra points.
Additionally, Butker now owns sole possession of third place in NFL history in terms of points scored through 100 career games. Butker, who has tallied 807 points during his brilliant career, trails only Justin Tucker (850 points) and Stephen Gostkowski (834) in league history, and he reached that mark in just 95 career games.
The Chiefs will now quickly turn the page with a matchup against the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football coming up in just a few days.