Last week, I mused about the Bills loss being “the bottom”. Well, the Chiefs went and surprised me again with yet another loss. The offense bounced back for most of the game, but it proved to be a dead cat bounce.
When the game was on the line, Alex Smith and company had a chance to score a TD to send the game to overtime. If you’re anything like me, you knew what was coming. Another “had a chance to win, just couldn’t do it” moment.
This week, the defense failed the Chiefs. They were completely and totally unable to get off of the field. Even when they stopped the Jets, they found ways to blow it.
So, with that rosy recap, let’s take one final look back at the new bottom of the Chiefs season ... until next week.
Tyreek Hill: A monster game from the Chiefs top big-play threat. Not only was he able to display his speed on repeated deep pass plays, but again showed he’s more than just raw speed. His ability to track, adjust and make plays on the football are as good as any No. 1 WR in the league. He should get the ball anytime he has single coverage (and often when he doesn’t).
Others with an arrow pointing up this week: Travis Kelce, Reggie Ragland, Dan Sorensen
Steven Nelson: I’m not sure what was more frustrating, Nelson bear hugging the receiver twice in the endzone in a critical situation, or the fact that he and the Chiefs were surprised when he was flagged for holding. Nelson was also beaten on a regular basis this week, including some of the Jets biggest pass plays. Perhaps the most concerning recent development in the Chiefs secondary is the apparent lack of communication and increased confusion on assignments between defenders. Nelson seems to be party of a lot of the mixups in the secondary, which leads me to wonder if he’s a bigger part of the issue than others.
Marcus Peters: I’ve been reluctant to put him on the down list, because he’s still one of the two best players on the Chiefs defense, and I don’t typically don’t care if he gets animated on the field or sidelines. He is who he is, and when he’s right, he’s among the elite players in the league. Peters doesn’t seem right at this point, however. His body language shows frustration and defeat, and it does appear he’s complaining instead of delivering on the field. He’ll have a week off to get his mind right. If the Chiefs have any hope of salvaging this season, they’ll need Peters back at the top of his game next week.
The Trick Play: Perhaps you recall the Tyreek Hill interception, or the Travis Kelce interception. To a lesser extent, we’ve seen failed shovel passes and direct snaps among other plays that look laughable after the fact. Never would I have expected to see a third down pass thrown in the direction of offensive lineman Cam Erving, even when he was well covered. We all love Andy Reid’s creativity, but they have to be smarter about how they deploy trick plays going forward. Given the Chiefs lack of fundamental execution lately, I would think they’d be better served by keeping things simple and getting their best playmakers the ball.
Others trending in the wrong direction: Jarvis Jenkins, Andy Reid, Bob Sutton, All hope for this season.
Alex Smith: The numbers were great this week, and the aggression was back. The deep shots to Tyreek Hill put this game within reach. His 70-yard run was fantastic as well, he broke several tackles along the way. So, why didn’t I put him on the stock up list? The Chiefs had the ball with two minutes left and a shot to tie or win the game. At no point during that drive did I believe they’d actually score, and Smith unfortunately proved me correct. Missing on three straight passes to end the game was disheartening. Take a step back and remember Smith and the Chiefs offense had the opportunity to tie or win on the last drive for three weeks in a row, and couldn’t get it done. Alex Smith had a very good game this week, but when the game was on the line, he wasn’t able to inspire confidence or get it done. I said on Twitter that this was the best argument in favor of Patrick Mahomes, and got a lot of arguments, but I stand by my original point. I’m not saying the Chiefs absolutely should go with Mahomes this week, but when the QB doesn’t give you a chance to win the game in the two minute drill, it’s easy to see why the idea of the rookie is appealing. We know what Smith is. There’s hope that Mahomes can be much more. At this point in the season, hope would be nice.
Others who are who we thought they were: Kareem Hunt, Bennie Logan, Derrick Johnson, Albert Wilson