The Kansas City Chiefs first game of the 2014 season was a complete and utter disaster. Not only did the Chiefs lose the game to the Tennessee Titans in embarrassing fashion by a score of 26-10, they lost it at home AND they lost one of their best players in franchise history when LB Derrick Johnson went down with an Achilles injury. It has since been reported that it's a torn Achilles for DJ. Starting DE Mike DeVito was also lost for the season with a torn Achilles.
This was just a bad, bad game from all standpoints. Read the enemy perspective at Music City Miracles.
Offensively, the Chiefs couldn't do diddly squat. Minus Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs receivers were unable to stand out. The offensive line wasn't great but they gave Alex Smith enough time on some throws where he wasn't able to find anyone. The Chiefs let key penalties kill their drives, especially on third down and especially early in the game Smith threw two uncharacteristic interceptions in the game.
Defensively, the Chiefs were solid enough in the first half holding the Titans 10 points but there were mistakes. By the time the second half rolled around, the Titans were able to push the ball more through the air. The Chiefs pass defense was not impressive. The real problem defensively was the lack of turnovers, which the Chiefs lived on last year.
The Chiefs were known for being a sound football team last year; this was not that team.
Six things we learned in the Chiefs loss
1. The Chiefs offense is not very good. At least not in this game. You're hoping that they weren't very good because Dwayne Bowe wasn't on the field. Unfortunately, that probably won't explain it all. Alex Smith threw three interceptions -- two on deep balls to Donnie Avery.
2. Andy Reid can still be maddening. Why just 11 touches for Jamaal Charles, why?
3. The Chiefs pass defense is as advertised (not all that good) Remember when the defense was going to carry the Chiefs through the season? After game one, it sure doesn't feel like that will be the case. Jake Locker is not an elite quarterback yet he looked solid against the Chiefs this year. The Jake Lockers of the world are the ones the Chiefs beat up on last year. They are the ones you need to beat up on with this schedule.
4. The Chiefs may have made the wrong decision at kicker. The Chiefs chose rookie Cairo Santos over Ryan Succop, who then signed with the Titans. Santos was 1-for-2 with a 48-yard miss. Meanwhile, Succop was 4-for-4. Obviously, it's too early to tell but we're all wondering the same thing.
5. Justin Houston is going to have a monster year. Yep, this is a positive thing that we learned. Houston had two sacks in the game confirming what we all knew -- he's in outstanding shape and primed for a huge season. The over / under on his sacks is 12.5. He could pass that.
6. This feels like the 2011 season. Remember that year? The Chiefs were a playoff team in 2010 and came in with expectations. They started off the 2011 season with three straight losses and ACL tears to Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki and Jamaal Charles. I hope, hope this is not how this season turns out. But it does remind me of that right now.
Bonus item we learned: Fans don't like staying for double digit losses. I was surprised at how few fans stuck around considering this is the season opener. This is like a 2009 December game. This is how it looked when the game started.
- Alex Smith threw three interceptions.
- Penalties were a problem. The Chiefs had two third down penalties that killed the first two drives.
- Running backs touched it on the first five plays of the game for the Chiefs (four for Jamaal Charles, one for Knile Davis).
- Chiefs offense had a stretch of 17 (Alex Smith run), 17 (Donnie Avery catch) and 22 yards (Frankie Hammond catch) plays. That was as good as it got.
- Donnie Avery's false start on 3rd-and-3 inside the red zone turned it into a 3rd-and-8 and the Chiefs had to kick a field goal. That's where you lose points.
- Travis Kelce's first NFL catch: 27 yard gain. The Chiefs didn't run as many two tight end sets as I thought they would.
- The first touchdown drive for the Chiefs first team offense since January was a 10-play, 83-yard drive with Anthony Fasano punching it in in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs were helped quite a bit by Titans penalties on the drive.
- First Titans play on offense: False start. That was the only time the Chiefs' play could keep the fans in the game.
- Allen Bailey, a 3-4 DE, sacked Jake Locker for a 10-yard loss. He came diving up the middle. As you remember, the Chiefs didn't get many sacks from their 3-4 DEs in years past and this was a focal point this year.
- Chiefs had a neat blitz on 3rd-and-8 that sent both safeties (Eric Berry and Husain Abdullah) to force the incomplete.
- Justin Houston had two sacks on Jake. His over / under on sacks is 12.5.
- Ron Parker gave up a 16-yard pass to the receiver after slipping. A few plays later, it looked like he came down with an interception on a deep ball but the ref ruled the ball hit the ground.
- Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito were both injured in the game. James Michael-Johnson replaced DJ and Jaye Howard replaced DeVito. DJ and DeVito's injuries are torn Achilles.
- Rookie DE Dee Ford did not register a stat.