Chiefs overpower Seahawks on offense and defense, keep No. 1 seed hopes alive

Now that the Kansas City Chiefs have clinched the AFC West for the seventh straight time, running back Frank Clark believes there are more important things for his team.

“Our goal is to win the conference,” Clark said. “We want to win the conference first, secure home field advantage. And then we have fun during the playoffs and when we get to the big ball, we crush them. That’s the goal here in Kansas City.”

Clark’s Chiefs took another step toward that goal by beating their former team, the Seattle Seahawks, 24-10 in the freezing cold at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday.

The Chiefs improved their record to 12-3 on the year, the team’s fifth straight season with at least 12 wins, as Kansas City tries to contend with the top seed in the AFC playoffs outside of the Buffalo Bills ( 12-3), 35-13. winners over the Chicago Bears. The Bills own the No. 1 seed because of their win in Kansas City earlier this year.

Seattle fell to 7-8 on the year. The Seahawks have lost five of their last six games but still have a chance to make the postseason with two games to play.

Patrick Mahomes did enough offensively for the Chiefs, finishing 16 of 28 for 224 yards passing, with two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Mahomes also rushed for a 3-yard score.

Travis Kelce led the Chiefs with six receptions for 113 yards. Also, for the first time in 11 games, Kansas City went without a turnover.

“Ball security ends up being important because of how the defense played,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “The defense was playing well, so we didn’t force anything on offense, even though we were trying to score touchdowns. . . . But things just weren’t clicking. If it wasn’t for the defense playing well, this could have been a real problem.”

How bad was it for Geno Smith and Seattle’s offense? They failed to get a first down on the team’s first four possessions and were held to 98 total yards in the first half as the Chiefs held a 17-3 halftime lead. Linebacker Nick Bolton led the Chiefs with 17 combined tackles, eclipsing Donnie Edwards’ franchise record of 10-plus tackles in eight games this season.

Smith, who was voted to his first Pro Bowl this season, couldn’t get anything going on offense. The West Virginia product finished 25-for-40 for 215 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown to tight end Noah Fant with the game already decided and a fourth-quarter interception cornered by defensive end Juan Thornhill.

Seattle’s Kenneth Walker III was effective running the football, finishing with 107 rushing yards on 26 carries. But the Seahawks struggled to get the ball into the end zone.

Seattle went on fourth down three times inside Kansas City territory instead of kicking a field goal and failed to convert all three times. The Seahawks finished 2-for-14 on third down.

Before the game, the Seattle wide receiver warmed up shirtless in the freezing cold at Arrowhead.

Kadarius Toney drove into the end zone for Kansas City to open the scoring on a shovel pass from Patrick Mahomes for an 8-yard score. Mahomes connected with Jerick McKinnon for a 9-yard reception, giving the Chiefs a 14-0 lead. Harrison Butker extended that lead to 17-0 with a 47-yard field goal.

The Seahawks finally got on the scoreboard late in the first half with a 22-yard field goal by Jason Myers, his 22nd consecutive field goal. The big play of the game was a 35-yard Smith completion to DK Metcalf, who led Seattle with seven receptions for 81 yards.

Mahomes’ touchdown run and Fant’s touchdown reception rounded out the scoring in the second half.

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Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.

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