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Chiefs stock report: Terrance Mitchell up, Alex Smith and Andy Reid down

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There’s a concept in investing called margin of safety. Essentially, you need to give yourself room to be a little bit wrong and still be right. As Warren Buffett said, “You build a bridge that 30,000 pound trucks can go across, then you drive a 10,000 pound truck across it.”

The Chiefs haven’t played with a margin of safety this season. They’ve won games they probably shouldn’t have won, and lost games they probably shouldn’t have lost. They have only been blown out once (Pittsburgh) and have only had two comfortable wins (Oakland and New York). If they get a lead, they sit on it. If they’re behind, they don’t seem to do anything until the fourth quarter.

Andy Reid’s team plays a style of football that requires the offense to be mistake free, and requires the defense and special teams to make plays. If either one doesn’t happen, they likely lose. They are driving a 10,000 pound truck across a bridge that holds 10,000 pounds.

Can they continue to win this way? Of course they can. The bridge might not collapse. The only sure thing is that every week is going to be frustrating and uncomfortably close. As was the case against the Titans.

Stock Up

Terrance Mitchell

Terrance Mitchell came to play once again. I counted at least five passes defended. PFF had him allowing only one catch for four yards on seven targets. He’s been nothing short of spectacular in coverage the last two games.

The rest of the Chiefs secondary

Eric Berry had another impact turnover with the forced fumble, and several big hits as usual. Ron Parker had a spectacular interception. Marcus Peters fought through injury and the opponents still avoided throwing his way. Steven Nelson battled all day. I noticed several plays where the Titans had absolutely no one to throw to .... credit to the entire secondary.

Jeremy Maclin

Jeremy Maclin finally looked like himself, with six catches for 82 yards. He had a big catch down the field, and showed that Alex Smith still trusts him more than any other wide receiver. This should be a positive development going into the postseason.

Others trending upward: Tyreek Hill, Chris Jones

Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Stock Down

De’Anthony Thomas

The TD that wasn’t ... DAT appeared to get everything but the ball inside the pylon, and the Chiefs ended up turning it over on downs on the one yard line. In the third quarter, Thomas had a big drop on third down and a false start on fourth down. For whatever reason, the Chiefs got him touches on offense instead of Tyreek Hill. Thomas is still an important role player, but this wasn’t his week.

Andy Reid

If I never see any coach at any level try to ice a kicker again, it will be too soon. It seemed obvious (to me) that giving him a practice swing in those conditions was a bad idea. Prior to that play, Reid’s offense got crazy conservative.

That’s flat out shutting down your offense unless the run game is really working. With Ware averaging 3.8 yards per carry, it wasn’t. It’s now a clear trend (and an issue), the Chiefs offense shuts down (and gets shut out) in the second half. One other decision I hated: punting at the Tennessee 37 on fourth and three (touchback netted 17 yards) Deserved or not, Reid almost always takes the blame for Chiefs losses, but this time I actually agree with him.

The Chiefs pass rush

Tamba Hali had one tackle / assist ... otherwise the trio of Chiefs OLBs were absent from the box score. No tackles or sacks from Justin Houston or Dee Ford. Rewatch note: Ford had some good rushes that affected plays, but didn’t result in stats. Titans also have very good OL and kept as many as nine in protection. There was more to it than the box score. When games are close, and a stop is needed, we expect one of these guys to make a play. The Chiefs have to be able to hang their hat on something. With these three guys healthy, it SHOULD be the pass rush.

Alex Smith

The Chiefs have lost twice at home this year to South teams by a score of 19-17. Both times Smith was intercepted in the end zone on pivotal plays where they could have put the opponent away. Smith wasn’t otherwise terrible this week, though several of his passes were sailing high. He just needed to make a couple more plays (or avoid that one bad one) to close this win out. He didn’t.

Others who are struggling: Chris Conley, Charcandrick West, Albert Wilson

Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images

Stock Flat

Spencer Ware

His numbers are way down, and he’s not sparking the team like he once did. But, Ware is running hard, fighting through tackles and scrapping for every yard he does get. Whether it’s blocking, scheme or play calling, the Chiefs aren’t getting it done on the ground. I’s not due to lack of effort or ability on Ware’s part.

The Chiefs Offensive Line

It’s pretty clear who they are at this point. They are solid pass blockers, sub-par run blockers. They can execute zone running plays, but they can’t just line up and win matchups on short yardage. With this group, the only back on this team that can make an impact is one that can create on his own without good blocking ... Jamaal Charles.

The Chiefs playoff hopes

I went outside to check, and confirmed the sky is in fact not falling. Not much really changed this week. They aren’t getting the No. 1 seed, but we knew that already. They might get the division win and the No. 2 seed if they win out and get some help, but more likely they end up with a Wild Card and go on the road vs. the AFC South. Everything is still in play for this team if they take care of business over the next few weeks.

Others who are who we thought they were: Ramik Wilson, Daniel Sorensen, Travis Kelce

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