After two straight losses, it is important to remind Chiefs fans not to give up on this team. However, I would be letting every reader down if I was not honest about my frustration and disappointment. This is not a championship team. Not even close. And you can’t just point fingers at one part of the team or organization. You win together and you lose together. But one thing is for sure if they keep playing like this the Chiefs do not deserve Patrick Mahomes or his talent. After the 31-24 loss to the Houston Texans on October 13th, it became clear there are a lot of improvements needed.
Before I get there I want to give a quick shoutout to former Missouri State University Bear Dylan Cole on a great game Sunday. I loved watching him in my time at MoState and even liked watching him now! He is a good dude that still knows how to bear up! So now take a look at this game and overall pitfalls of the team with me.
An honest look at the loss
Offensively the Chiefs did not even perform up to its usual standards. Even with Tyreek Hill back the offense was a letdown. Patrick Mahomes was only 19/35 for 273 yards. He did outdo DeShaun Watson by throwing for three touchdowns to Watson’s one. Mahomes also threw his first interception of the year, one that if we are all being honest should not have even counted and still confuses the heck out of me. The ground game was again nonexistent only rushing for 53 yards. It was incredible to have Tyreek Hill back with his 5 receptions for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chiefs also only had one fumble on the day.
Defensively it was a much more bleak story. They only forced one fumble the whole game. Tyrann Mathieu lead the defense in 10 tackles. What really hurt the defense was the inability to shut down Watson. The pass rush was nearly nonexistent and the defense recorded exactly zero sacks. However, Jaun Thornhill and Charvarius Ward both recorded an interception apiece. We have been waiting for Ward to make some kind of big plays. With all the injuries you can see how little depth the Chiefs really have.
Weak Offense does not deserve Patrick Mahomes
It is no secret the Patrick Mahomes is one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever take the field. But we cannot depend solely on him to win games. A low performing offense does not deserve Patrick Mahomes at the helm. We need an offensive line that can hold long enough that Mahomes can make good and accurate passes. Yes, fans love the dramatics of the no-look, sidearm, non-dominant hand throws. But what wins games is good and catchable passes between the numbers. But Mahomes is not getting time to get set and throw. Subsequently, we need the line to create a hole so LeSean McCoy or any other running back can gain positive yards. The backs are constantly being met immediately at the line of scrimmage. It is time to take a real honest look at possible trade targets to build a stronger line.
The shortcomings are not all on the line though. Too man passes have been dropped by receivers that are more than catch-able. Mahomes can’t be out here throwing dimes just for the receiver to underrun it or just let it slip through his hands. We do need to hold Mahomes accountable as well. Everyone loved that he attempted the no-look pass in week one that ultimately fell incomplete but he had a wide-open Travis Kelce in the end zone. There has to be a better decision making on the field. Our running backs also need to toughen up when carrying the ball. Keep the ball secure and continue to push hard through the whistle. If I am being honest I miss Kareem Hunt. Hate me all you want I would still have him on my team.
Defense proves we do not deserve Patrick
Okay. I get it, we have a lot of injured players. But if I have learned anything from sports this year it is the philosophy of the New York Yankees “Next man up”. There should be enough depth in the Chiefs roster to fill those shoes. Defense wins championships but defense also loses games. Chris Jones being out has left a huge hole in the defense. the so-called President of “Sack-Nation” goes down and the Chiefs don’t have a Vice President to step up in his absence. Without Jones the Chiefs suddenly have no pass-rush. DeShaun Watson not getting sacked at least once is a travesty.
However, the Chiefs are also giving up way too many yards to receivers. It is like everyone is afraid to tackle. Even more importantly, this defensive scheme does not work. That means you’re on thin ice Steve Spagnuolo. When I first heard he was the new DC I absolutely did not think he was the man for the job. It felt like a slightly younger Bob Sutton. I think this defense needs a shakeup from top to bottom. This defense should be embarrassed that Houston had the ball for 39 minutes. A defense that can’t get turnovers does not deserve Patrick Mahomes trying to save the game. They allowed 35 first downs. That will hand the AFC Championship, if we make it that far, to the presumed opponent New England. And I cannot see Tom Brady’s smug face go to another Super Bowl.
What changes can be made?
First of all, we have some key defensive pieces we can go out and get. With the Eagles reportedly releasing Zach Brown, now would be a perfect time to get him. The next piece I would be getting if I am Brett Veach is Patrick Peterson. His suspension is officially up and I would be making a trade with the Arizona Cardinals today. The Cardinals are off to a 2-3-1 start in a tough NFC West division. This would literally be a perfect time. I have completely forgotten the idea of Jalen Ramsey trade. I don’t want him anymore. The Chiefs also need a new Defensive coordinator. If I am being honest I do not know the best man for the job. But we need someone who can create a more effective defensive scheme for the players on the field not for the wish list of players.
Fans deserve better than this
Mahomes is really an elite quarterback on a struggling team. Fans who have been with this team during dark quarterback eras really deserve Patrick Mahomes now. I have not totally given up on the team. One of the first seasons I actually remember is 2003 so it could be way worse. I may just be a 20 something year old from Northwest Missouri but I understand football. Growing up in football towns means I did not have a choice. So I know this team will not have the sustainability to even make it to the Super Bowl let alone win. If we want to at least hoist the Lamar Hunt trophy changes need to be made now. Stopping or fixing a problem early is the most important thing. All fans across the board still have hope that it can happen but I don’t think they truly believe in it.
Again this does not mean I have given up on this team and you should not either! Come discuss changes you think should be made with me on the forums and on Twitter! @cap_jrm