1. Mahomes wins blitz battle

Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores blitzed Patrick Mahomes on 19 of his 43 dropbacks (44.2%). It worked in the first half, when Mahomes completed five of eight for 38 yards and one sack. Mahomes won the second half, going 8-for-10 for 88 yards and two touchdowns while converting three of three third downs when blitzed. His 33-yarder over Camryn Bynum's outstretched hand found Justin Watson vs. a seven-man blitz on third-and-18 early in the third. "[Flores'] game plan was perfect," Bynum said. "It was poor execution. I was right there but jumped too early, and it shifted the game." Mahomes capped the drive with an 8-yard TD pass vs. a blitz.

2. Jones wreaks enough havoc

Right tackle Brian O'Neill and left guard Ezra Cleveland experienced the brunt of All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones' versatility. O'Neill's holding call in the red zone ended up causing the Vikings to settle for a field goal in the second quarter. The next possession appeared doomed five snaps later when Jones' quick swim move caused Cleveland to whiff badly. Cleveland was later saved by a successful fake punt. "With Jones, you never know if he's going to give you a bull rush or work your hands or what," Cleveland said. "I'm lucky I only went against him four or five times." Jones also had three QB hits and a pass defense.

3. K.J.'s red-zone woes

Several drops weren't the only issues for Kirk Cousins' targets. Receiver K.J. Osborn seemed surprised by a ball thrown to him in the end zone on third-and-4 from the 11 in the second quarter. He ducked as the ball sailed behind him. "I was expecting it," Osborn said. "It was just miscommunication and timing. I have to go back and watch it to see what happened." The Vikings settled for a field goal. The normally reliable Osborn has had issues in the red zone this year. Cousins is 1-of-7 for 10 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions when targeting Osborn inside the 20 this season.

4. Fumbleitis catches Oliver

It took the Vikings 10 seconds to produce their league-leading 12th giveaway when tight end Josh Oliver was stripped of the ball on the game's first play, which led to the Chiefs' first touchdown. The Vikings' eighth lost fumble of the season matched last year's 17-game total and came from an unlikely source. It was Oliver's first lost fumble in 40 NFL games and only his second overall. "It's something I take a lot of pride in not doing," he said. "I was trying to make a play, was doing too much. Anytime you have the ball in your hands, you have the whole organization in your hands. I have to tuck the ball. I let the Vikings down today."

5. Smith outfoxed on PI

Vikings safety Harrison Smith was asked what the official told him after his critical 31-yard pass interference penalty on fourth-and-1 midway through the third quarter. "They didn't tell me nothing," Smith said. "It would have been nice to get my head back on that play." Receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling hoodwinked the officials into believing Smith interfered by initiating contact and wrapping an arm around Smith's helmet. The ball was placed at the 17, and the Chiefs went up by 14 points six plays later. "We had our chances," Smith said. "There were plays out there. We just have to make them. That's kind of been the theme this year."