Mahomes or not, Vikings wary of Chiefs offense

The absence of Patrick Mahomes is something the Minnesota Vikings grasp completely before visiting the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Kansas City, Mo.Although the reigning MVP of the NFL is progressing after suffering a dislocated kneecap in an Oct. 17 victory at Denver, the Chiefs could quite conceivably be looking at starting a backup quarterback again.Yet Vikings coach Mike Zimmer attempted to dispel any beliefs that Kansas City (5-3) will struggle if its marquee playmaker doesn’t return to key an attack that averages 6.6 yards per play (second best in the NFL).”They do a lot of unorthodox things offensively because they’re trying to get big plays downfield,” Zimmer said. “They’re number one in the league in yards per catch. … We’re going to have to be on our toes, and we’re going to have to play good against them and try to eliminate some big plays.”The Vikings (6-2) are capable as winners of four straight. Their defense limits opponents to 16.5 points and 313.9 yards per game to rank third and fifth, respectively, in those categories. The unit is led by defensive end Daniel Hunter (eight sacks) and linebacker Eric Kendricks (68 tackles).The Minnesota offense can also milk the clock behind the NFL’s leading rusher, Dalvin Cook, who has 823 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns and 1,116 yards from scrimmage, all league highs. He faces a Chiefs defense ranked 30th against the rush (145.0 allowed per game).Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins enjoys a passer rating of 137.1 during the current win streak and favors productive receiver Stefon Diggs.Kansas City is looking to avoid a fourth consecutive home defeat in deafening Arrowhead Stadium, which hasn’t happened since a skid spanning the 2013-14 seasons.”We have to do better at home,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “We haven’t gotten the wins we need.”Reid indicated Mahomes will do “a little bit more” in practice this week without revealing details. He was officially limited on Wednesday, working in as the second quarterback.