Disappointing. The game and the 19-13 loss was just disappointing. Giving the Chiefs the benefit of the doubt with the plethora of injuries both prior to and during the game, the game was still a massive disappointment. There is no way to excuse the lackluster defensive performance. Not to mention Patrick Mahomes was shutdown and had one of the worst games of his career, by his standards anyway. How spoiled are Chiefs fans that a quarterback throwing for 321 yards and no interceptions is a disappointment. It is time to dive into what went wrong this week in prime time.
Offense Gets Shutdown Early
Kansas City was shutdown and suffered from the fate of the 3-and-out more than it would ever be acceptable. The offense was 4-12 on third downs. That does not win games. However, converting on downs may have been easier for Mahomes had he not been sacked 4 times losing a total of 33 yards. One positive compared to last week in Detroit is that the offense only fumbled 1 time. That was a massive improvement. Mahomes went 22/39 for a 56.4% completion rate. Per usual, Mahomes made big passes when it wasn’t expected, but did not do it when we needed it. The Colts were able to effectively shutdown this offense when they needed to. Ya know the 3-and-out in the Colts half of the field in the 4th quarter when the game was still very in reach.
There were several weak performances by the receivers as well. Travis Kelce, who just turned 30 on Friday, had a rough game to say the least. He only had 4 receptions for 70 yards and never once found the end zone. Couple that with sideline drama with Eric Bieniemy, it is safe to say it was not his day. Byron Pringle scored the teams only touchdown in his 6 receptions on the night.
The ground game did not fair well either only rushing for a total of 36 yards. It was really a lack luster effort by the whole team that left a sour taste in fans mouths. On a 3rd and 28 Mahomes gets the pass off the Byron Pringle who had room to move and still gets stopped a yard shy of the first down without even an attempt to stretch for the first down.
Defense Shuts Down and Implodes
Admittedly, the defense was pretty banged up. With the leader of “Sack Nation” Chris Jones going down, the defense had a pretty big hole to fill. And they didn’t. Frank Clark did not get the job done. As a whole, the defense did not even get one sack, an unfamiliar sight for Chiefs fans. Tyrann Mathieu, however, did have one interception, but this defense made Jacoby Brissett look like a better quarterback than Patrick Mahomes. He’s not, but he sure looked like it. That is the benefit of having a better offensive line I guess.
Damien Wilson did lead the defensive effort with 12 total tackles. Then Ben Niemann had 10 tackles. Next Charvarius Ward, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Derrick Nadi all had six a piece. The defense not playing shutdown football was not enough. The defense not forcing many turnovers kept the ball out of Mahomes hands and that made it hard to win. They did not force any fumbles and allowed several 3rd and 4th down conversions. They say defense wins games and championships, and I whole heartedly agree. Clearly a weak defense did lose this game. No way around it.
What Else Went Wrong + Final Thoughts
The Colts truly controlled this game. They had possession of the ball for more than half the game. Recording 25 first downs made it very clear they were in it to win it. What I think to be one of the biggest problems for this team was the penalties. The Colts only had seven penalties accounting for 50 yards. On the other hand, the Chiefs had 11 penalties that gave up 125 yards. That kills any momentum a team can have and hands easy downs to the opponent.
Just like many other fans, that loss hurt. We did not see our great team play to the caliber we know they can. It was frustrating, but we still hold sole possession of first place in the AFC West. They have a lot to work on. Losing a game early does not seal your fate. Many Patriots championship teams had early losses. All that matters is that our players get healthy, learn, and improve. I know finding positives actually is one of the most annoying things after a loss, but it is important to not hang our heads. It is time to reset and prepare for Houston.
Come discuss what else you noticed about the game and the team with me on Twitter @cap_jrm or the forums.