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.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PROTESTS
As they’ve done all season, the Bills elected to stay in their locker room for the performance of the national anthem. The Chiefs were along their sideline, with defensive end Alex Okafor the only player spotted kneeling.
The Bills continued to play in an empty stadium because of state COVID-19 regulations.
Chiefs: T Mitchell Schwartz, who started his 134th consecutive game, did not return after the first series because of a back injury. He has the longest active streak among offensive linemen and third longest among offensive players. Okafor was ruled out after hurting his hamstring in the second quarter.
Bills: CB Cam Lewis did not return after hurting his wrist in the first half. Starting left guard Cody Ford was carted off the sideline after hurting his right knee in the fourth quarter.
Chiefs: WR Sammy Watkins did not play after hurting his hamstring last week.
Bills: Buffalo’s defensive struggles led to a line shakeup with DE Trent Murphy and DT Harrison Phillips inactive. They were replaced by Bryan Cox and Justin Zimmer, who were elevated from the practice squad earlier in the day.
Chiefs: At Denver on Sunday.
Bills: At the winless Jets on Sunday. Buffalo beat New York 27-17 in the season opener.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL