NFL: Chiefs, Clyde Edwards-Helaire run away with win over Bills; Cardinals rout Cowboys
Clyde Edwards-Helaire showed new teammate Le’Veon Bell and the rest of the NFL how dominant the Kansas City Chiefs’ running attack is already.
The rookie had 161 yards rushing and Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes to Travis Kelce, leading the Chiefs to a 26-17 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday night in a game that was originally scheduled for last Thursday.
Mahomes finished 21 of 26 for 225 yards. His first scoring toss to Kelce was the 90th of his career in his 37th game, breaking the NFL record for fewest games to 90 TD passes. Hall of Famer Dan Marino had the previous mark at 40 games.
Darrel Williams scored on 13-yard run to cap a nearly eight-minute, 82-yard drive that gave the Chiefs a 20-10 lead with 1:18 left in the third quarter, effectively sealing the game.
The Chiefs are off to a their third 5-1 start in four seasons, and they bounced back from a sloppy 40-32 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 11.
Last week, Kansas City added another weapon to its high-powered offense by signing Bell a few days after he was cut by the New York Jets. Bell is expected to make his debut this weekend at Denver.
“I can’t wait,” Bell tweeted during the game.
Buffalo (4-2) lost its second straight. The Bills fell 42-16 at Tennessee last Tuesday, a game that was moved because of a COVID-19 outbreak on the Titans. That led to the Kansas City-Buffalo game being pushed back as well.
The Chiefs, who were originally scheduled to play three games in 11 days, wound up having two extra days of rest on Buffalo.
Josh Allen finished 14 of 27 for 122 yards with touchdown passes to Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley.
In what was supposed to be a showdown of the NFL’s top passers, the Chiefs leaned on their running game to help keep the Allen-led Bills cooling their heels on the sideline.
The Chiefs dominated time of possession by more than 15 minutes, rushing 46 times — the most in eight seasons under coach Andy Reid — for 245 yards. It was the first time Kansas City topped 200 yards rushing since Mahmoes took over the starting job.
Buffalo’s run defense had its worst outing since giving up 273 yards in a loss to New England on Dec. 23, 2018.
The Chiefs, up 23-17, avoided a major scare when Buffalo’s Justin Zimmer stripped the ball from Edwards-Helaire at the Kansas City 30. The play was ruled a fumble on the field, but that call was overturned after replays showed Edwards-Helaire’s knee was down.
Two plays later, on third-and-11, Mahomes scrambled out of trouble and hit Byron Pringle for 37 yards.
The drive finished with Harrison Butker hitting a 30-yard field goal with 1:56 left.
Cardinals 38, Cowboys 10
Kyler Murray accounted for three touchdowns in his first game back home as a pro, Ezekiel Elliott set up the first two Arizona TDs with fumbles and the Cardinals beat the Dallas Cowboys 38-10 on Monday night.
The speedy quarterback who won three high school championships and a Big 12 title at the home of the Cowboys improved to 7-0 as a starter at AT&T Stadium, throwing for two scores despite a rough start through the air and rushing for 74 yards and a TD.
It was the “Monday Night Football” debut for Murray, a star in high school football-obsessed Texas while playing in the Dallas suburbs, and Kliff Kingsbury, who also had a happy first trip to his native Texas as an NFL coach.
Fired after six seasons at Texas Tech in 2018 without any winning records in Big 12 games, Kingsbury was hired by Arizona soon after and has the Cardinals (4-2) tied for second place in the tough NFC West. Arizona is above .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2015, its most recent playoff year.
Andy Dalton had the rest of Dallas’ four turnovers with two interceptions in his first start for the Cowboys in place of injured star Dak Prescott, just down the road from where he had a standout career at TCU.
The nine-year starter in Cincinnati led a come-from-behind victory over the New York Giants in Week 5 after the gruesome-looking compound fracture of Prescott’s right ankle. There wasn’t anything resembling a rally this time.
While the Dallas offense didn’t look anything close to the NFL-leading unit it was with Prescott — and lost the fourth of its five projected starting offensive linemen in four-time All-Pro Zack Martin (first-quarter concussion) — Elliott’s miscues led to the fifth straight game in which the Cowboys have trailed by at least two touchdowns.
The Cowboys (2-4) overcame two of those deficits, which is why they were guaranteed to stay in first place in the woeful NFC East no matter what happened in the last of three straight home games — and a third straight road game for Arizona.
Elliott was benched briefly after the two-time rushing champion lost a second fumble in the same game for the first time in his career. He has five fumbles (four lost) already this season — one shy of his career high for an entire season as the NFL’s worst turnover margin dropped to minus-12 with four giveaways and no takeaways.
Murray was playing in the $1.2 billion stadium with the retractable roof and giant video board for the first time since leading Oklahoma over rival Texas there in the Big 12 championship game.
While the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner misfired on eight of his first 11 passes and finished 9 of 24 for 188 yards, Murray hit Christian Kirk in stride on an 80-yard touchdown for a 21-0 lead in the second quarter.
Kirk opened the scoring on a 6-yard jet sweep that counted as a pass after the first fumble from Elliott. Kenyan Drake scored from the 1 after the second Elliott miscue, while Murray added a 1-yard TD run.
With the game out of hand in the final two minutes, Drake broke free for a 69-yard touchdown run, giving him 164 yards.
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