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Chiefs problems are lack of passion and explosive plays, say NBC’s Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison

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As we struggle to explain what’s wrong with the Kansas City Chiefs, we’ll look to people who know far more about football than I do to help explain it. Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison discussed the Chiefs last night on NBC’s Football Night in America and offered up a few possible explanations for the Chiefs struggles.

Here’s the exchange on NBC:

Dan Patrick: “What is wrong with the Chiefs?”

Rodney Harrison: “It is a lot. I think back to the trick plays and all the gimmick plays that worked early in the season, they no longer work. The defenses are a lot more disciplined. You don’t see that same passion from the defensive side of the ball. They have to get back to a mentality where they line up and they just pound people, they physically pound people instead of these trick plays.”

Tony Dungy: “That and the other thing that has happened, the big plays, those explosive plays, that we saw that first game up in New England, they’re gone now. So they are not scoring, and that is putting some pressure on their defense. Defense was ahead in the first half of this season, when they were on that winning streak, they were just teeing off, rushing the passer.”

Harrison: “Passion. They have to play with passion, just like when they played against the Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Play with that type of passion.”

Patrick: “But if I look at the weapons-- there are not many teams in the NFL who have the same weapons.”

Harrison: “You get too cute. Andy Reid gets too cute at times with all of the different weapons.”

Dungy: “They have got to let Alex Smith throw some balls up the field.”

Dungy: “They have stopped making those explosive plays. We saw them taking chances, taking shots down the field, going to Tyreek Hill. I think now we’re back in that old Chiefs mode of five- and 10-yard plays, dink and dunk. Let Alex Smith go. Let him play.”