It’s a short practice week for the Kansas City Chiefs, and that means the entire media schedule gets a bit jumbled up as the team prepares for it’s Thursday matchup away at Oakland.
Chiefs coordinators Matt Nagy and Bob Sutton spoke to the KC media via conference call Monday morning, and the most interesting part for me was hearing about what exactly happened through their eyes in the 19-13 loss yesterday.
While the Chiefs offense finished with 251 net yards, it had just six at halftime.
“[The Steelers] do a good job with their scheme,” Nagy said. “They move guys around a lot and that’s a credit to their defensive coordinator of being able to mix guys around. They play physical, they play fast and hard. Not that other teams don’t, but they do some good things and for us, again, we look in the mirror and try to see what we can do better on our end.”
Alex Smith mentioned twice Sunday night that he had struggled to get into any sort of rhythm until the fourth quarter, and Nagy echoed that.
“There were some fundamental things that we normally had done well with that maybe for whatever reason, we didn’t hit it yesterday,” Nagy added, “but that’s a part of football and nothing’s because of effort. Guys were out there trying and they have some good stuff that they do defensively and when you just don’t get in a rhythm offensively, it makes it easier for the defense to keep doing what they’re doing.”
Now, to the other side of the football--the defense.
The question: what went wrong with the run defense?
“Le’Veon Bell,” Sutton lightheartedly said. “Is that deep enough?”
Then he continued.
“He’s a really good back. We had him in the backfield two or three times and just didn’t finish him off,” he said. “It’s like everything—you just have to keep playing your defense. We're not going to invent something to take over the fundamental part of your defense. When you have your chances, you have to do a good job of it. Between missing some tackles there and just not playing as good of technique as we needed to play against a player like this, when you rush the ball that many times, you’re going to get some yards. That’s really not the issue. You just need to control the sticks a little better than we did in that game.”
Bell finished with 179 rushing yards and a touchdown on 32 carries, and the Steelers converted 13 of their 26 first downs via rushing the football.
"I don't feel like we played as well as we could have played, but we had great effort,” Sutton added. “We battled through a lot of things there, and like many of these games we’ve been in, if you keep everything close, you have a chance at the end to see if you can make two or three really key plays and give yourself a chance to win the game.
“We definitely have to play better run defense. We understand that. We have to tackle better. All those things have to happen if we want to improve on defense, so that’s big for us, but hey, they’re a tough matchup and they did a great job too.”
Small injury update
With the short week, the first official injury report for the Chiefs should be out this afternoon. If Charcandrick West cannot go, Nagy said to expect Kareem Hunt and Akeem Hunt to be the 1-2 for the Chiefs against the Raiders.