If this was the measuring stick game everyone billed it as then the Kansas City Chiefs have found a great reason to believe they remain a legitimate Super Bowl contender while the Dallas Cowboys have a legitimate reason to wonder.
How else to come away from Sunday’s 19-9 Kansas City victory over Dallas without believing Andy Reid’s team has found a championship defense while Mike MacCarthy’s team, so proficient offensively all year long, has lots of work to do.
The Chiefs blew out the Cowboys in a defensive sort of way.
As in with five sacks.
Members of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
As in with two interceptions of Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott.
As in with the Cowboys not getting in the end zone.
“Our defense brought it every snap,” Reid said.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, didn’t show up on offense. And that’s an offense that came into the game leading the NFL in both points and yards per game.
The Cowboys offense had scored at least two touchdowns in every game this season. They scored none this game.
Reid was so thrilled afterward he wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and talked about his holiday plans during his team’s upcoming bye.
“I’m cooking,” Reid said. “Glad I can contribute, in both ways.”
This victory marked the fourth consecutive game the Chiefs have allowed fewer than 20 points. That’s not unprecedented. They did that the final four weeks of the 2019 season.
That is the year they won the Super Bowl.
It was great stuff from the Chiefs on defense Sunday. If that’s who they are on defense, the possibilities are pretty good.
“It was tough to get in rhythm, throwing the ball, running the ball,” Prescott said. “Neither were working for us early or, really, any point of the night. When you’re playing on the road and you’re struggling to do that, I mean, it’s tough to win.”
The Chiefs, meanwhile, scored on each of their first three possessions to start the game.
It was a nightmare early and late for Prescott but the early struggles set the tone for the game.
Some of those struggles included:
Prescott overthrowing receiver Michael Gallup who was open deep down the sideline on the first possession.
There there was a sack-fumble on the second possession.
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, right, celebrates with teammates after catching an interception late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs won 19-9. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Receiver Cedrick Wilson had two drops to lead the Cowboys, which had four for the afternoon. Yeah, a day to forget.
Even after Micah Parson caused a Patrick Mahomes fumble to give Dallas a big opportunity just before halftime, Prescott threw an interception in the end zone that was a terrible decision because the receiver was well covered and a bad throw because he underthrew it.
Prescott finished with a 57.9 quarterback rating.
“I’m pissed when I don’t play well, the team doesn’t play, or the offense doesn’t play well for the fact of tonight, in general,” Prescott said., “especially when you have a chance to come out and play a team that’s been in the Super Bowl the last two years and really prove it to ourselves, prove to one another what we’re capable of …”
The dagger came when Chris Jones tipped a Prescott pass at the line of scrimmage and L’Jarius Sneed intercepted it in the final minute of the game.
Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones celebrates a 19-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
“It sucks but we’re a confident group” Prescott insisted. “The defense did plenty enough for us to come and win this game. The offense didn’t get the job done and it starts with me and it starts with the way we communicated and executed. I’ve got a lot of confidence in this group and we’re a resilient group and no worries on what our future holds.”
For the Chiefs that definitely feels correct. For the Cowboys?