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45 Seconds: Blame all around for the Chiefs

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Kansas City Chiefs v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

45 seconds is a deep dive into one play a week, or the roughly 45 seconds from the start of the play clock to the play being blown dead.

This week we talk about the Hill Mary.

<Joke about Alex Smith throwing downfield.>

<Screenshot of Tyreek with the ball. He turned THAT into a touchdown!>

Teams will have to re-think end of half/game scenarios now.

Fin.

Bonus Content

Writing about something good would require ignoring the elephant in the room which is the Chiefs offensive performance against Dallas. It was bad. So bad that I don’t want to write about one play in detail. I want to write shorter blurbs about four plays. I guess I should call it 180 seconds. Nah, 45 seconds isn’t even a thing yet. Anyways, here’s four plays that didn’t work.

Dallas gets Alex

Alex got got on the first third down for the Chiefs offense. Dallas did a good job of disguising their look here. Morse sets the protection to linebacker Sean Lee (see him point). Smith sees #25 safety Xavier Woods creeping behind #31 Byron Jones, getting him to think Jones is blitzing and Woods is replacing him. Alex changes the protection to identify Jones as the Mike, so Morse and the line adjust to Alex’s decision.

Woods bails late, Jones doesn’t come. Protection is fine. Alex thinks he has 2 man with Travis Kelce one-on-one. Instead, Woods is playing a robber role, freeing him to drive on the ball. Smith’s first pick almost came earlier in the game.

Excellent disguise by the rookie to get the protection changed and show 2 man. They got him.

6 for 5

This was the crossing route Kelce was wide open on that I’ve seen floating around on Twitter. The Chiefs have six in pass protection for five rushers. They can keep Alex clean, right? Nope. Five guys do their job. One doesn’t. The offensive line looks to be taking the three down lineman plus the two linebackers inside.

Alex actually identifies or is at least alerted to the potential blitz by Jones. He alerts Jones to Charcandrick West. My guess is he wants West to scan for Jones. Well, he doesn’t.

Neither linebacker comes, but Jones off the left edge and a corner off the right edge do. The front side of the protection sorts through the CAT blitz, but Jones comes free. West doesn’t see him or touch him. He’s the only guy that can pick him up if the line is sliding right. That sack is either on West or Smith. My guess is West.

A Bad Sequence Starts

This is the sack that comes before the interception. This is the 6th straight play in this formation. 3 x 1 with the Y (Kelce or Harris) detached. That appears to be their no huddle/tempo formation for the week.

It’s 3rd and 5. 2 man coverage. Safeties are squeezing the middle of the field. All receivers except Harris are running to the sticks. The defense is pushing Harris into the safeties, and everyone else hands on their receiver. No one’s open. Sack.

Alex’s First Pick

After escaping the inevitable earlier in the game, Dallas ends the streak. 7th straight play in that alignment, only Robinson is in a reduced split. Hill is one on one to the field. The corner guarding is keeping everything to the sideline and not letting Hill cross his face. The safety #25 Woods gets depth and is reading Smith. He is well positioned to stay on top of anything in the middle of the field. It’s unlikely Smith is taking that shot on 4th and 8 outside to Hill. Jones is playing an outside technique on Thomas. So is the corner on Robinson. They’re funneling everything into the other safety Jeff Heath.

Jones and the linebacker Lee appear to have a “Banjo” call on Harris and Thomas where they can switch coverage responsibilities if the receivers switch release. They do. Jones is outside leverage for out breaking routes, and can funnel anything inside to where he has help. Jones and Heath both had good jumps on the ball. Either might have been able to get it.

Dallas used the down and distance of the last two plays to their advantage. The Chiefs don’t play beyond the sticks very often in those situations. Alex likes the middle of the field in those situations. They were right to be there.

Plenty of blame to go around

Even outside of these examples, there’s plenty of blame to be dispersed throughout the offensive side of the ball. Dallas had a good beat on what the Chiefs wanted to do, the line lost some individual battles. Mental errors. It’s all over. These were a few things that I saw. Not the only things, just some interesting examples. It looked to me like a team loss.