The Kansas City Chiefs were good hosts to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, and served up a healthy helping of triumph. Again. K.C. is now 1-and-5 in their past 6 games after beginning the season at 5-and-0.
While the defense only allowed 16 points to a Bills team that appeared to be hitting on many cylinders, the offense continued their woeful ways as witnessed by the stat line for QB Alex Smith: 23-of-36 for 199 yards with 1TD and 1 INT… a very key INT with the offense driving for the go ahead TD with time winding down in the 4th quarter. Add a couple of sacks of Smith for negative -18 yards, open receivers that Alex Smith missed and throws that were off target completely… and you have a renewed QB controversy with Chiefs fans across the nation calling for Smith’s head… but more, calling for a change at QB with hopes that the team will be inserting this year’s first round pick, the strong-arm QB Patrick Mahomes II.
A bit of irony to this loss is that the Chiefs traded away the 27 pick in the 2017 draft to the Bills for the rights to the 10th overall pick where they took Mahomes, while the Bills took CB Tre’Davious White, who intercepted the pass at the end of this game. But Chiefs fans are not interested in irony at the moment… they want to know why the offense is so abysmal?
The Chiefs have no answers for why this offense is looking increasingly worse:
– At the beginning of the game Alex Smith threw long to Tyreek Hill which landed out of bounds at the 50 yard line, while Hill was running straight down the numbers. Still, he missed him by a country mile.
– The pass to Albert Wilson AND Tyreek Hill who were both standing in the same spot in the left flat was Keystone Cops all over again, but not very entertaining. Certainly not a lol moment.
– 2-of-13 on third down conversions (a 15% efficiency rate).
– A motion penalty on Center Mitch Morse, of all people (I’m still not sure how that’s possible).
An even bigger problem for the Chiefs was their lack of a running game. Alex Smith was their leading rusher with 35 yards. The team had a total of 55 yards rushing. I mentioned yesterday that the Chiefs would need to mix up their play calling and that rarely happened. They called a running play on 1st Down, 3-of-the-first-4 times they touched the ball. All 3-and-outs. In fact, the Chiefs seven drives of first half looked like this:
That’s right, five 3-and-outs in a row to start the game. Predictability is becoming Andy Reid religion. Many Chiefs fans are also crying foul on their kneel down at the end of the half too. Why, when you have the fastest man in football — Tyreek Hill — who previously scored on a “long pass” (actually it was more of a long run than a long pass) now known as a “Hill-Mary” against the Cowboys… why would you not give him a shot again?
That’s just another, in the many mind-numbing questions facing this offense.
The “Start Patrick Mahomes Now” Bandwagon
So, why not give Patrick Mahomes a shot? He certainly must be better than this. Right? Not if you listen to ex-Chief and brother of Mitchel Schwartz, Geoff,
Some of y'all don't seem to understand. Don't you think I'd have some info the quarterback situation in KC. Y'all can keep getting your hopes up for Mahomes, it's not happening w/the Chiefs leading the division.
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) November 26, 2017
Geoff points out the real snag in the “Start Mahomes Now” push… the Chiefs are still leading the division. Now, in my mind, that may be a good reason to go to Mahomes… but I’m sure this Schwartz is right when it comes to sharing insight into how the coaching staff feel about a change at QB right now. Then, Reid said this after the game:
Andy Reid said didn't consider replacing Alex Smith with Patrick Mahomes II at quarterback and isn't thinking about a change for next week's game against the Jets. "That's not where I am at right now," he said. https://t.co/S9eVs0BiMs
— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) November 26, 2017
I don’t want to give the impression that if the Chiefs changed QBs then all their offensive woes would be over. Far from it. The blocking up front has not only had trouble opening holes for RB Kareem Hunt but Alex Smith has gone a long time… since I can’t remember when… since his jersey was kept clean.
There’s just no getting around the fact that you can not have your QB hurdling defensive players to get to the first down markers on a regular basis. Especially at your own 15 yards line. I can understand a goal line leap… but when your QB is your leading running back for the game, there’s big trouble in little China.
The problems with the Chiefs start at the top. Clark Hunt punted on John Dorsey and went for a five-yard gain (a 5-year contract) with head coach Andy Reid. Why is that important? Because he now has no immediate out with Reid. Are you going to fire a guy who you just gave $7.5M? Now, I’m not saying it’s time to do that, but if the team continues this trend….
So, why even talk about going a different direction than Andy Reid?
You can point to every issue on the team and you won’t be wrong. That’s the problem in the grand scheme. Smith, OL, run blocking, run defense issues, play-calling. Nothing is improving. And until there is accountability it won’t change.
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) November 26, 2017
While Nick Jacobs makes some important points about what is ailing the Chiefs, I don’t think the organization knows what accountability looks like.
A lot of fans will be focusing their attention on the “Start Mahomes Now” movement, but there are other aspects to the offense that needs addressing. Unless Andy Reid and his staff come up with real solutions and real accountability… you can expect nothing to change.
If nothing changes, everything gets worse. That was apparent in this loss. The offense which has reportedly been addressing their issues since the Bye Week… has gotten worse, not better.
Sure, K Harrison Butker broke Pete Stoyanovich’s record in this game and has now made 23 straight FG attempts for the Chiefs all-time record. Sure, ILB Reggie Ragland had an excellent game vs his old team leading all Chiefs with 9 tackles including 3 tackles for loss. Plus, it looks like he’ll be a star for the Chiefs one day. The defense also held the Bills to 16 points, well below the Chiefs 22 points per game allowed average prior to the game. However, none of that will console a fan base hoping for so much more from what looks like a top ten talented offensive roster. WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce and RB Kareem Hunt… had 89 yards receiving… combined. It goes without saying, that’s not maximizing your talent!
I’m personally unhappy with Andy Reid’s post game answers. Concerned, is another word. Consider this post-game conversation:
“Reporter: Just like in the fourth quarter there wasn’t a lot of hurry up, there was a lot of going back to the huddles.
Andy Reid: “What was the score?
Andy Reid: “Yeah you get a touchdown you’re right there. We had plenty of time. When was the interception? You look at the interception there was plenty of time of on the clock, that wasn’t the problem.”
“When was the interception?” ??? What kind of response was that from Reid? Was he really that… unaware? Fans have been saying this, “That something’s wrong with QB Alex Smith”… but I think there’s something off about Andy Reid. I can’t say I disagree with friend and writer, Stacy D. Smith,
This offense is doomed.
— d'Jawnz [duh-jahns] (@emceereach) November 26, 2017
AFC West: A Division Up For Grabs
Both of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Oakland Raiders have 5-and-6 records which puts them one game in back of the Chiefs. The Chargers face the Browns, Redskins, Jets and Raiders with a head-to-head game vs. the Chiefs. The Raiders face the Giants, Cowboys, Eagles and Chargers and they also have a head-to-head against the Chiefs. With games against both of their AFC West foes in the next five weeks, the division is wide open.
What comes next, is anyone’s clue. Next Sunday the Chiefs head back to MetLife Stadium in NY to face the Jets. The Jets scored 27 points against the Carolina Panthers yesterday who scored 35 points against their defense. What looked like an easy “W” on the calendar for K.C. at the beginning of the season, now looks like tough game… and the final results for this season are wide open.
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