1. Hill caused Colquitt’s big shank
Vikings punter Britton Colquitt admitted Tyreek Hill’s presence caused the shanked 27-yard punt that put the Chiefs on the Vikings 45-yard line and led to Harrison Butker’s 44-yard field goal as time expired in Sunday’s 26-23 loss at Kansas City. “I was focusing on doing whatever I could for him not to touch the ball,” Colquitt said. The first time the Chiefs subbed Hill for Mecole Hardman, Colquitt boomed a 46-yarder out of bounds. Colquitt matched older brother Dustin punt for punt up until Britton’s final one with 1:47 left. Britton averaged 44.1 yards (42.0 net) and two punts inside the 10. Dustin averaged 50.2 (44.4). “I definitely feel I let our team down at the worst time,” Britton said. “But if that guy [Hill] gets the ball in his hands, he’s the best, most dangerous person in the NFL.”
2. Cook hit immediately
NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook was hit behind, at or within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage on 15 of 21 carries. Four times, the initial hit came behind the line of scrimmage, including a 3-yard loss on second-and-10 with 6:59 left and the Vikings leading 23-20. Right guard Josh Kline even held on that play, but the Chiefs declined the penalty. The Vikings were ranked third in rushing (160.1) while the Chiefs were 30th in run defense (145.0). The Vikings had 96 yards on 27 carries for a 3.6-yard average, 1.34 lower than the Chiefs’ season average. Cook had 71 for a 3.4 average and only one explosive run, 12 yards, when the first hit came at 11 yards. “They wasn’t doing nothing special,” Cook said. “We knew they were going to come and try to stop the run. They just loaded the box. That was it.”
3. Zimmer 0-for-3 on PI challenges
Mike Zimmer is 3-for-6 on challenges this year but 0-for-3 on those involving pass interference. The Chiefs completed a 4-yard pass in the second quarter to set up second-and-6 from the Vikings 12. Zimmer challenged because he felt receiver Sammy Watkins executed an illegal pick on linebacker Eric Kendricks. And Zimmer was right. But he also knows the NFL has been steadfast for weeks in rejecting almost all pass interference challenges. “I thought it was a pick,” Zimmer said. “It’s a gamble any time you challenge those, but they have to be held accountable, too.” Later, a booth review inside of two minutes before halftime overturned an offensive pass interference call on Laquon Treadwell. The 19-yard completion set up a field goal. “That one obviously was a bad call because they overturned it,” Zimmer said.
4. Career high for Treadwell
We’re so far past Laquon Treadwell needing to live up to being the 23rd overall pick in 2016. The 24-year-old receiver already has been released, ignored by the rest of the league and re-signed only after Chad Beebe got hurt. At this point, can Treadwell salvage what’s left by providing depth when needed? Sunday, he answered that with a solid yes. The Vikings started with two three-and-outs, lost receiver Adam Thielen to his balky hammy and were trailing 7-0. On their next series, Treadwell got open for a 26-yard gain on third-and-7. Four plays later, on third-and-11, he gained 13 more. Treadwell posted career highs for yards (58), long catch (26) and average in a multi-catch game (19.3). “I’m seeing the game a lot better from hours and hours of watching film,” he said. “I was ready for the moment.”
5. Zimmer blitzes have hits, misses
Chiefs coach Andy Reid joked Wednesday that old friend Zim told him he’d only blitz once Sunday. This press box observer spotted only two in the first half. Both failed to get to Matt Moore on Kansas City’s fourth possession. Moore completed passes to Sammy Watkins for 11 and 17 yards during a 17-play touchdown drive that took 8:56 off the clock. Zimmer blitzed five times in the second half. In the third quarter, he blitzed on back-to-back snaps, rattling Moore into two incompletions, one of which was a batted ball by Anthony Barr. In the fourth quarter, one third-down blitz resulted in a sack by Harrison Smith. On two others, Moore was able to get the ball to Hill for first downs of 11 and 13 yards, the last of which came with 24 seconds left to set up Butker’s game-winner.