i'm having a little trouble grading the Kansas City Chiefs against the Atlanta Falcons.
On the one hand, it's hard to sugarcoat a 16-point loss. The Chiefs got beat and they got beat by multiple touchdowns. If that happens then you failed in a number of areas. For the Chiefs, the big one is on defense, which looked a lot like the team that started 0-2 last year with two big blowouts. They just couldn't stop anyone. The Falcons punted once. That's bad.
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On the other hand, I want my grade to acknowledge that the Chiefs offense looked solid in the first half and, while not as good, still decent in the second half. The turnovers are killer, though. Cassel could've thrown for 400 yards and four touchdowns but if you turn the ball over multiple times it's hard to receive a passing grade.
I also want to acknowledge reality -- that the Chiefs had multiple starters missing on defense, including arguably their two best defensive players in Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers. Bringing up the injuries isn't meant to be an excuse. Every team has injuries. But it's fair to recognize that this team, on paper, is significantly better with Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers in the lineup.
This doesn't have the same feeling as the blowout loss to the Bills in Week 1 last year. There was some good from this game. I don't feel as if all is lost. Plus, the Falcons are, ya know, a pretty good team.
So my grade is a D. The defense was miserable all afternoon. The offense turned the ball over way too much. But I did see some flicker of hope from the offense that prevents me from giving the Chiefs a failing grade.
What's your grade?