When Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire addressed reporters after the team’s 30-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, he was blunt about ball security.
“From the offensive standpoint, we can’t turn the ball over,” he declared. “It’s just that simple. Four turnovers in a game is just completely unreasonable.”
Edwards-Helaire was responsible for one of the offense’s four turnovers — a fumble in the second quarter that was recovered by Chargers cornerback Michael Davis. After finishing his rookie season without once coughing up the football, Edwards-Helaire has lost two fumbles through three weeks of the 2021 season.
But the second-year player said that Sunday’s fumble was different than the one he made in the closing minutes of Kansas City’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
“Today, I was actually on the way down,” he explained, “and [I] kind of rolled up on a guy not really knowing what was going on and end[ed] up getting hit from the back. So, [I] didn’t really see the defender coming.”
The fumble marred an otherwise strong performance by Edwards-Helaire. He had 17 carries for 100 yards and caught two passes for nine yards and a touchdown on Sunday. It was the third time in his young career that he had eclipsed 100 yards rushing.
In ways, his performance — both the ups and the downs — was a microcosm of the Chiefs’ offense as a whole.
On Sunday, Kansas City’s offense racked up 33 first downs. Patrick Mahomes became the NFL quarterback with the fewest starts (49) to reach 15,000 passing yards. Travis Kelce surpassed Tony Gonzalez as Kansas City’s franchise leader for most games with 100 or more receiving yards (28). Jody Fortson hauled in his first-career touchdown reception.
Yet for the second straight week, all the production and accomplishments were overshadowed by brief moments of lapsed judgment and poor execution.
“Looking the ball in, having two hands on the ball — it’s those small, minute details that hurt us,” noted Edwards-Helaire. “Like we say, it’s a game of inches. It’s going to be those small things that we see on film — a step here, a step there — that we feel like will make the difference.”
Yet, despite the Chiefs falling to 1-2 on the season — the team’s first losing record in the Mahomes era — Edwards-Helaire dismissed growing media narratives that opposing teams have a viable blueprint for slowing down the Chiefs.
“I wouldn’t say people really figured us out,” he insisted. “We had four turnovers, man. If we don’t have the four turnovers, I feel like this is a completely different outcome in the game — and a completely different feeling in this room.”
Moving forward, Edwards-Helaire acknowledged that Kansas City’s offense knows how it needs to overcome those self-inflicted wounds.
“We just got to step up from that situation and not turn the ball over,” he said. “It sounds like a broken record, but we understand that’s just what we have to do.”
Next Sunday, Kansas City will have an opportunity to clean up its mistakes on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles — a team that has forced one fumble and no interceptions through two weeks of football.