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Arrowheadlines: Travis Kelce thinks Chiefs got conservative, Tyreek Hill's lack of touches

Chiefs made their own rotten luck vs. the Titans, and here comes the cynicism | The Kansas City Star

But this season has never been about a wild-card spot, or even one more playoff win. This is the best Chiefs team in more than a decade, and from the very beginning they've made it clear they want to be judged on a Super Bowl standard.

And this is why Chiefs fans have been so nervous, sometimes even paranoid, about a team that did not lose a game between Oct. 2 and Nov. 20 and remains in a strong position for a playoff spot.

Team of destiny? Chiefs fan fall on either side of razor's edge | The Kansas City Star

"Other than play-calling, I couldn't really tell you," Kelce said, quickly but somewhat unconvincingly adding, "I'm not blaming it on play-calling. We've got to go out there and execute.

"But it felt like we got a little conservative. I don't know whether it was the weather or what. I don't know. We'll have to look at the film and see what happened."

Chiefs flail late against Titans, lose 19-17 | The Kansas City Star

"Everybody getting to the line of scrimmage I think was like, ‘All right, we have the memory from Oakland, let's do the same thing, let's win the game, let's go home, let's get into the playoff," right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif said. "But it didn't happen."

What happened instead — a third-down stuff on an option run fell just short — resulted in a loss that not only snapped the Chiefs' three-game winning streak and dropped them to 10-4, but also prevented them from clinching a playoff berth.

Titans 19 Chiefs 17: Insta-reaction! | The Kansas City Star

I know I'll get some angry emails or tweets about this, because I always do when I say this, but it's true: the Chiefs have been really lucky this year, and they probably deserved that ending.

Chiefs defense good early, not good enough late | The Kansas City Star

After the Titans scored on Derrick Henry's 1-yard run to cut the Chiefs' lead to 17-16 with 3:14 remaining, coach Mike Mularkey decided to go for two.

The Titans were all in.

"I loved it," Mariota said of the decision. "For him to have the confidence in us, to have the opportunity to go in there and win it, I didn't question that call at all."

Ask Terez: Q&A about the Chiefs 19-17 loss to Tennessee | The Kansas City Star

Hill's lack of touches on offense was unacceptable — period. He's been the Chiefs' most explosive playmaker, and generally coach Andy Reid will hand him the ball on jet sweeps or throw him some screens to get him involved. The fact Hill didn't touch the ball again after it became clear the Titans couldn't run with him is odd. And although Reid did try to use him as a decoy — he was motioned multiple times Sunday — the criticism about his lack of touches is fair.

Chiefs report card: No shortage of issues in loss to Titans | The Kansas City Star


Passing offense: Smith seemed to rekindle his connection with Jeremy Maclin, with the two hooking up six times for 82 yards. Smith, however, did not have a good statistical day against a team that entered with the league's 31st-ranked pass defense (274.9 yards per game). He completed only 15 of 28 passes for 163 yards, and he also had a brutal red-zone interception intended for Maclin midway through the third quarter.

Alex Smith's end-zone interceptions could be ruining a good thing | ESPN

But the Chiefs have come to rely on Smith and his usual ability to avoid this kind of mistake. If the 10-4 Chiefs don’t win the AFC West championship, get a first-round bye or -- imagine the shame after being so close -- reach the postseason at all, they’ll look back at the things they failed to accomplish on offense.

Notebook: Jeremy Maclin bouncing back from injury | Chiefs Digest

"I was able to make some plays down the field a little bit today but it wasn’t enough though," Maclin said. "But I feel pretty good." The most encouraging numbers from Maclin’s stat line against the Titans may be his efficiency. Maclin caught six passes on eight targets, posting a catch rate of 75 percent. Maclin averaged a career-low 52.5 percent catch rate entering Sunday’s game.

Reid: "The Red Zone Was an Issue" |

Chiefs vs. Titans: 10 Observations |

The Chiefs built an identity this season around their ability to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes, particularly when it comes to turnovers. They came into Sunday’s game tied for the NFL lead with 25 takeaways, and they had scored 79 points off those turnovers, which ranked fourth in the league. While the Chiefs were able to add three more takeaways against the Titans, they were only able to convert those into seven points.

Smith: "Offensively, We Didn't Get It Done" |

Kansas City Chiefs leave points on field in potentially crushing loss | ESPN

It could be the reason they fail to win the AFC West or get a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The Chiefs (10-4) are looking at such a fate after failing to put away the Titans.

Titans come back to stun the Chiefs on the road, take first in division | ProFootballTalk

At some point, people might have to accept that the Chiefs might be pretty good. But they’re definitely going to have to wrap their minds around the fact the Titans are OK too. The Titans moved into first place in the AFC South with a 19-17 win over the Chiefs, moving them to 8-6.

NFL games in Kansas City, Chicago saw historic cold temps | Mashable

In Kansas City, Missouri, where the Chiefs were hosting the Tennessee Titans, the mercury dipped to a meager 1 degree Fahrenheit at kickoff with a -9-degree wind chill. That is reportedly a record for the coldest regular season Chiefs home game since records were kept.

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