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Week 4 Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 34, Detroit Lions 30


What you need to know

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Detroit Lions 34-30 to improve their record to 4-0. Patrick Mahomes completed 24 of 42 passes for 315 yards and rushed six times for 54 yards. LeSean McCoy rushed 11 times for 56 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 33 yards. Darrel Williams rushed eight times for 13 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 43 yards. Sammy Watkins caught three passes for 54 yards and Demarcus Robinson caught four passes for 35 yards. Mecole Hardman caught two passes for nine yards. Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 85 yards to lead the Chiefs in both categories.

Detroit Lions

The Lions lost a tight game to the Kansas City Chiefs in week four. Matthew Stafford played well despite entering the game questionable to play with a hip injury. Stafford threw three touchdowns, two to Kenny Golladay and one to T.J. Hockenson. Kerryon Johnson had his biggest workload of the season with over 100 yards rushing, while T.J. Hockenson left the game in the concussion protocol.

Kansas City Chiefs

QB Patrick Mahomes, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 42 - 315 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 54 - 0
Patrick Mahomes completed 24 of 42 passes for 315 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. Mahomes also rushed six times for 54 yards. This was only the third time since Mahomes became the Chiefs starter last season that he failed to throw a touchdown pass. Coming into the game, Mahomes had thrown for 10 touchdowns in the first three games of the season. He did keep his streak of 300 yard passing games alive, with four consecutive games to start the season. The Lions surprisingly kept Mahomes in check by playing man to man defense and double teaming Travis Kelce on a lot of plays, while also choosing to double Watkins, Hardman and Robinson on certain looks. This was surprising not only because of Mahomes prior production (and talent), but also due to the Lions missing star cornerback Darius Slay and losing safety Quandry Diggs to an injury in the first quarter. The Chiefs offensive production is a mix of Mahomes innate talent and the scheming of Andy Reid, but without the deep ball open to him, Mahomes had difficulty getting the ball to Hardman and Robinson, with the two combining for six catches for 44 yards on 14 targets. Mahomes did find a small way to exploit the Lions defensive scheme in the second half, which was to run when they dropped a second linebacker in coverage. This was highly apparent on the games biggest play, a fourth and eight from the Chiefs 34 yard line with 1:55 left in the game and the Chiefs down 39-27. Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun, and after dropping back he noticed that Kelce was being double teamed. He tucked the ball and split the line rushing straight up the middle for a 15 yard gain that kept the drive alive and allowed them to score the winning touchdown. This type of game is super rare for Mahomes, and while other teams will try and copy the Lions game plan, in the end the Chiefs still won the game.

RB LeSean McCoy, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 56 - 1, Rec: 2 - 33 - 0 (4 targets)
LeSean McCoy rushed 11 times for 56 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 33 yards on four targets. McCoy continued to look very good in this contest, with 51 of his 56 yards coming in the first half before Williams came in and got most of the second half work. McCoy had a long run of 39 yards, which looked like vintage LeSean McCoy, juking and cutting in his distinctive style of running. McCoy also was involved in perhaps the most impressive play of the day where Kelce caught a ball in the middle of the field and as he was being brought to the ground he lateralled the ball to McCoy for a 23 yard gain. The play was not drawn up that way, but was the product of two veterans who know the play is not dead until the whistle blows. McCoy’s touchdown run came with the Chiefs facing a third and goal from the Detroit one yard line. Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun and handed to McCoy who started right and then jump cut to his left before running through the line for a touchdown. McCoy is averaging 5.4 yards per carry on the year and looks to have carved out a significant role for himself in the Chiefs offense.

RB Darrel Williams, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 13 - 2, Rec: 3 - 43 - 0 (4 targets)
Patrick Mahomes completed 24 of 42 passes for 315 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. Mahomes also rushed six times for 54 yards. This was only the third time since Mahomes became the Chiefs starter last season that he failed to throw a touchdown pass. Coming into the game, Mahomes had thrown for 10 touchdowns in the first three games of the season. He did keep his streak of 300 yard passing games alive, with four consecutive games to start the season. The Lions surprisingly kept Mahomes in check by playing man to man defense and double teaming Travis Kelce on a lot of plays, while also choosing to double Watkins, Hardman and Robinson on certain looks. This was surprising not only because of Mahomes prior production (and talent), but also due to the Lions missing star cornerback Darius Slay and losing safety Quandry Diggs to an injury in the first quarter. The Chiefs offensive production is a mix of Mahomes innate talent and the scheming of Andy Reid, but without the deep ball open to him, Mahomes had difficulty getting the ball to Hardman and Robinson, with the two combining for six catches for 44 yards on 14 targets. Mahomes did find a small way to exploit the Lions defensive scheme in the second half, which was to run when they dropped a second linebacker in coverage. This was highly apparent on the games biggest play, a fourth and eight from the Chiefs 34 yard line with 1:55 left in the game and the Chiefs down 39-27. Mahomes took the snap out of the shotgun, and after dropping back he noticed that Kelce was being double teamed. He tucked the ball and split the line rushing straight up the middle for a 15 yard gain that kept the drive alive and allowed them to score the winning touchdown. This type of game is super rare for Mahomes, and while other teams will try and copy the Lions game plan, in the end the Chiefs still won the game.

WR Demarcus Robinson, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 35 - 0 (9 targets)
Demarcus Robinson caught four passes for 35 yards on nine targets in the Chiefs win over the Lions. Robinson continued to be the Chiefs deep ball target, totaling 150+ yards in targets, but he failed to make an impact in that aspect of the game. He did total three of his four receptions in the second half with the Chiefs playing from behind, but they were in the short and intermediate passing game and Robinson failed to score after catching three touchdown passes in his last two games.

WR Sammy Watkins, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 54 - 0 (6 targets)
Watkins caught three passes for 54 yards on six targets in the Chiefs win over the Lions on Sunday. It was the first game that Watkins did not lead (or tie for the lead) in targets from Mahomes this season. With Slay out for Detroit, Watkins had a great opportunity to put up big numbers, but Detroit’s backup corners played him very well. This was especially true in the red zone where Watkins had three targets but could not convert on any of them. Watkins also had a fumble for the second straight game, but this was the first one he lost on the season.

WR Mecole Hardman, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (5 targets)
Mecole Hardman caught two passes for nine yards on five targets against the Lions on Sunday. His low yardage was not a result of Hardman only being targeted in the short passing game as three of his five targets came at least 20 yards down the field. Hardman was unable to reel in any of those passes, so he had to settle for trying to create yards after the catch, which he was unsuccessful in doing. Hardman is a feast or famine type target, and as we saw this past week, when he’s not blowing by defenders with his speed, he’s not going to come down with a lot of catches.

TE Travis Kelce, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 85 - 0 (8 targets)
Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 85 yards on eight targets in the Chiefs win over the Lions on Sunday. Kelce was the Chiefs most productive player on Sunday, consistently beating the double teams that the Lions threw at him and missing only one target in the game. In the past three weeks, Kelce has caught 21 of 25 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown, and he has surpassed 80 yards receiving in every game this season. Kelce made several clutch catches in this game, including an 18 yard reception which put the Chiefs in Lions territory with 1:32 left in the game. The aforementioned play to McCoy was my nominee for play of the week as it showed how intelligent a football player Kelce is. While most of the play is a reaction and not necessarily thinking, Kelce had to do quick calculations to ensure the lateral was worth trying, and it ended up being a big play in the fourth quarter. Kelce continues to be the most consistent tight end in the NFL, and the #1 fantasy tight end.


Detroit Lions

QB Matthew Stafford, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 34 - 291 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 18 - 0
Matthew Stafford started against the Chiefs after being questionable during the week with a hip injury. Stafford played well and looked mobile with no visual limitations from the injury. Stafford threw the ball particularly well throughout the game, including a throw that threaded defenders in the red zone to Kenny Golladay for a touchdown. The throw was one only a handful of quarterbacks have the arm to make. Stafford also threw an open touchdown to T.J. Hockenson out of a bunch set and a good throw to the perimeter to Golladay who dragged two feet in bounds for the third score. Stafford could have had an even bigger day, but for a weird sequence in the red zone. Stafford threw what looked like a touchdown to Golladay along the back of the end zone, but Golladay bobbled the ball and it was ruled an incomplete pass. On the next play, Stafford scrambled but fumbled just short of the endzone that was recovered by the Chiefs. Stafford also had a well-placed throw down the seam to Hockenson that was dropped. Stafford played without Danny Amendola and lost Hockenson to injury during the game, but neither hurt his fantasy performance. Stafford is off for a bye next week before facing the Green Bay Packers on Monday night in week six.

RB Kerryon Johnson, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 26 - 125 - 0, Rec: 2 - 32 - 0 (3 targets)
Kerryon Johnson had the best day of the season against the Chiefs on Sunday. Johnson continuously had running room on the interior and the perimeter, which was exploited by Detroit to the tune of a season-high 26 carries. Johnson got the full workload including multiple carries inside the 10 yard but was held scoreless. Johnson had a near miss, as he got a carry at the goal line he attempted to reach into the endzone, but fumbled for a Kansas City recovery that was returned for a touchdown. Johnson missed no time because of the fumble, as he was in on the next offensive play from scrimmage where he had a good catch and run. Johnson also drew an endzone target on a well-covered go route that was broken up. After sharing work with C.J. Anderson and Ty Johnson earlier in the season, Johnson has consolidated his role as the lead back in the offense, with 28 touches to a combined nine for J.D McKissic and Ty Johnson. Johnson will have an off week in week five before facing a strong test on Monday night against the Packers in week six.

RB Ty Johnson, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 13 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets)
Ty Johnson was the clear second back behind Kerryon Johnson in a loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. Johnson worked as a reserve behind Kerryon Johnson with only four touches on the day. He projects as a pure backup without standalone value against Green Bay in week six after a week five bye.

WR Kenny Golladay, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 67 - 2 (9 targets)
Kenny Golladay had a strong week four performance against the Kansas Chiefs after struggling last week. Golladay’s two highlights were touchdowns. The first a seam route in the red zone out of the slot on a well-thrown pass from Matthew Stafford. The second was an out route in the end zone where Golladay used good extension to catch the ball and dragged two feet in bounds for a touchdown. He could have had a better day, but he bobbled a catch along the back of the end zone and dropped another ball along the sideline. Golladay will have a bye in week five before facing a tough test against the Packers in week six.

WR Marvin Jones, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 77 - 0 (5 targets)
Marvin Jones had a relatively quiet game against the Chiefs in week four. Jones caught a deep post on third down in the first quarter to set the Lions up in the red zone but was quiet through much of the rest of the game. He had a near-miss at the end zone where he was overthrown on a slant where he could have scored a touchdown. Jones will be off in week five before facing the Packers in week six.

TE T.J. Hockenson, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 27 - 1 (3 targets)
T.J. Hockenson left the game against the Chiefs after a scary injury. Hockenson attempted to hurdle a defender but fell and landed awkwardly. Hockenson laid on the ground very awkwardly and was in the concussion protocol after the game. Prior to the injury, Hockenson caught a touchdown pass on an out route from a bunch formation where he broke easily open in the end zone. Hockenson also was schemed up for a chunk play on a tight end screen play. Hockenson did have a drop on a target down the seam on a well-thrown ball from Matthew Stafford. He will have an extra week to clear the concussion protocol with a week five bye before facing the Packers in week six.