If the Kansas City Chiefs continue losing, Andy Reid will need to evaluate the roster, which is why I have again decided to change the grading scale in our weekly report cards for the Chiefs head coach.
Very reasonable and serious questions need to be asked about the starting lineup the Chiefs have been putting on the field, which is why I have decided to add a starting roster grade criteria. The new grading criteria looks as such:
Grading Criteria (Points Possible)
- Starting roster (15)
- Player preparedness / discipline (15)
- Offensive play calling (30)
- Game altering decisions (25)
- Clock management (15)
- Challenges +/- a range of 5 points.
- Why keep starting Alex Smith if the team has no hopes of making the playoffs?
- Why keep starting the same offensive line when the results have been so poor?
- If the Chiefs keep losing why not look at other players that may or may not help the team?
- The Donald Stephenson at LT experiment should have ended before the game in Minnesota. Fisher is outperforming Stephenson and it is time for Fisher to resume playing LT. As far as putting Stephenson at RT, that should be a decision between Jah Reid, Jeff Allen (where is he?), and Stephenson.
- The Chiefs need a jolt in the worst way. Sometimes changing a teams starting QB can provide such a jolt. If the Chiefs continue to lose and Smith continues to play poorly one of the backup QBs has to be given a shot.
Player Preparedness / Discipline
- Travis Kelce drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for throwing his helmet in frustration after the Charcandrick West fumble. I have no problem with Kelce unleashing his frustration after this play as it was an extremely disappointing play.
- Another play that was somewhat due to frustration was Jaye Howard's late shot on Teddy Bridgewater. As the Chiefs were still in the game and it was third and long for the Vikings; this was a bad penalty.
- The Chiefs OL had three holding penalties in the first 16 minutes of the game. At least they were trying? These holding penalties were likely caused a little from lack of discipline, but perhaps from lack of talent.
Offensive Play Calling
- The Chiefs opened the game with five consecutive pass plays. Most of the error with these plays was poor execution by Smith. However the first two plays of the game were eerily similar WR screens and perhaps Reid shouldn't call the same play twice in a row after getting the defenses attention.
- The offense once again lacked balance. Passing the ball roughly 41 out of 57 plays will spell for disaster. This allows for defenses to relentlessly pressure the QB with no fear of the run game keeping them honest. Not having Charles hurts, I get it, but the balance between run and pass really needs to improve. Asking Smith to lead the Chiefs to victory by dropping back 40 times a game is a problem.
- The Chiefs first half was abysmal. Reid has time to game plan the opponent and he has to be more effective in dialing up the plays at the start of the game. The Chiefs are not built to come back from games. Apparently, they're not built to get the lead in games either.
- Once again the Chiefs offense was miserable on third down: 3/12.
Game Altering Decisions
- 2nd Quarter 1:03 - 4th and 2 on MIN 46. With the Chiefs down 10-0 and one minute left in the first half Reid decided to punt the ball. The Vikings offense wasn't having their way with the Chiefs defense at this point in the game, so the risk of giving the Vikings the ball with good field position was ... well, not too risky. On the road with a 1-4 record, down 10, with the end of the half nearing, I believe Reid should have went for it here.
- 3rd Quarter 4:34 - 4th and 1 on MIN 7. With the Chiefs trailing 13-0 Reid elected to go for it here. Kicking a FG would have kept the Chiefs at a two possession deficit but there was still ample time left in the game. I believe the Reid ultimately made the right decision here with the Chiefs lack of ability to move the ball thus far in the game. They had to swing for the fences when they had the opportunity. Some may disagree and say the FG would have gotten the Chiefs closer but in this situation being aggressive is the correct thing to do.
- In the 4th quarter with roughly five minutes remaining in the game and the Chiefs down by six points, Reid elected to call all three of his timeouts in succession after Vikings run plays. I found this to be extremely interesting. Ultimately the plan appeared smart as the Chiefs had the ball with a shot to drive down and win.