"I thought Zach did some good things," Reid said. "Again, I take into consideration that it was his first time going and playing a full game, so I keep that in mind. Can he continue to get better? Absolutely. Are there things he needs to keep working on? Yeah. Overall, he did some good things." Reid said he’ll "probably end up sticking with Zach right now," so look for another starting assignment for Fulton when the Chicago Bears arrive at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
It’s easy to look at the 11 carries Jamaal Charles had in each of the last two game and conclude that one of the problems with the Kansas City Chiefs offense is that they’re not feeding their best player enough. Except it’s not true. Charles is getting the ball plenty. The Chiefs are just getting it to him more as a receiver.
"I’m just here to win," Charles said. "Whatever coach calls, I’ve gotta go with it. You can’t be mad at whatever’s called. Sometimes it’s just the wrong situation to get the ball. Sometimes I come out of the game and I’m not able to break a long run in those situations. "I could have had more than 11 carries [last week against the Bengals]. The second half I got cramped so I didn’t go into the game [for a short stretch]."
In 2014, the Chiefs had one of the toughest pass defenses in the NFL, thanks to their powerful pass rush. K.C. had 46 sacks last season, which meant opposing QB's were taken down on nearly 9 percent of their pass attempts. This season, through four weeks, the Chiefs have only nine sacks total. Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali are talented players, but with the pass rush lacking, the pass defense is struggling too. Opponents have thrown 11 touchdowns this season, compared to only two interceptions, and the Chiefs rank 28th in the NFL by allowing 295.5 passing yards per game.
Smith at times doesn’t help himself by holding on to the ball. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith has been sacked 13 times this year when holding the ball at least 2.6 seconds. So he’s part of the problem. But the issue is far more complicated than that.
Throughout the game, quarterback Alex Smith showed confidence in the rookie by trying to get him involved in the offense. Conley finished with 7 targets by the game’s end, and while the trust in him was satisfying, he expressed that the most learning came from what he wasn’t able to do well. "The funny thing about it is it allows me to learn from my mistakes," he said. "There are some mistakes that you don't make in practice that you can only make in a game, and in those game-time situations, you have to take account of everything that you've done and learn from it."
"By 2003, I think, I was just conditioned for it. Of course, the 'No Punt Game' was incredible. It didn't feel as painful as the others," he says. "You understood you were a Chiefs fan and something horrible was going to happen. That was the lesson I took from the 1990s."
"It's a long season," Charles said. "It’s like a storm. You can (let it get) messy or you can clean it up yourself ... You can go in the community and pick up all the junk and the wood up and start rebuilding. Right now, we've got to continue to do everything in the locker room to straighten all trash up."
But the Bears are tied for last in the league in points allowed, coincidentally with the Kansas City Chiefs, this week's opponent. In the Bears' case, though, that low ranking is largely because special teams have allowed 2 kickoff-return touchdowns and the offense had an interception returned for a touchdown. The defense has shown the most improvement in its pass rush with 6 sacks in the past two games after failing to get any in the first two games.
"I feel good," Smith said. "I do, to be honest. I feel really good. I know it’s a number and guys are looking at the total but they’re all different. There are a lot of weeks where maybe your sacks total isn’t as high but you’re taking a lot of hits or maybe you’re running the football more and you’re more sore."