Kansas City will be fine, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t underlying issues that need to be remedied in order to make a third consecutive Super Bowl. I’m of course talking about the defense, which fell to dead last in defensive EPA after Justin Herbert hung four touchdowns on it Sunday. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is trying to hold things together with schematic scotch tape, but there’s only so much he can do to coach around his underwhelming personnel. You can see that in Kansas City’s defensive splits. On early downs, when Spags can’t get too crazy with the blitz calls and disguised coverages, the Chiefs are allowing 0.25 expected points added per play and a success rate of 60.6 percent, per RBSDM.com. Those numbers are bad. Like, “a league of their own” bad.
2 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · QB
The Chiefs aren’t in sync, and they paid for it on Sunday, losing back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 5-6 of 2019. While Mahomes excelled on quick passes (17-of-18 for 130 yards and three TDs), he struggled mightily on passes of 10-plus air yards against a swarming Chargers defense. It was his first career game with zero TDs and at least two INTs on passes of 10-plus air yards, per Next Gen Stats. His first pick of the day probably should’ve been caught by Marcus Kemp, who tipped Mahomes’ no-look pass before Chargers rookie Asante Samuel Jr. dove to make an impressive pick, and Mahomes simply overthrew Travis Kelce on his second pick. Turnovers are a big concern right now for the Chiefs, who are last in the division.
Chiefs’ mistakes now proving consequential
Mahomes’ powers keeping the Chiefs from paying for mistakes made for one of the NFL’s defining developments of the past three years. Kansas City’s QB prodigy has endured two previous two-game losing skids, but defensive issues largely keyed those. The Chiefs’ four turnovers Sunday should provide a reasonable wakeup call, with Mahomes now throwing crucial fourth-quarter INTs in back-to-back games. Mahomes’ 5.9 yards per attempt represents the third-lowest average of his career. That said, the Chiefs (2-1) lost a turnover battle 4-0 and held a fourth-stanza lead. The degree of difficulty in beating this team remains immense.
CHIEFS GRADE: C-minus | NEXT: at Eagles (Sun.)
Kansas City Chiefs
Don’t mistake this for hyperbolic criticism, because he remains the NFL’s top talent at the position, but Patrick Mahomes might need to cut back on the freestyling. He’s thrown some foolish balls while trying to be acrobatic in two straight weeks.
AFC West now a four-horse race
The Kansas City Chiefs entered the season as -275 favorites to win the AFC West. After a 1-2 start, those odds are down to -125 for Kansas City after three weeks.
The Chiefs’ 1-2 record doesn’t help matters, but the rest of the division has done its part in tightening the market. The Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos are both 3-0 while the Chargers are 2-1 with a win over the aforementioned Chiefs.
Kansas City remains an odds-on favorite due to their reputation and history, and it’s hard to disagree with that. Some might see this is a potential buy-low spot on Kansas City, being able to get a team at -125 that was priced much higher two weeks ago.
Jordan Davis DL
Davis is more likely to go on Day 2 (though a lot can change between now and April), but he also beefs up a Chiefs defense that has really struggled this season, especially against the run. But Davis’ pocket-collapsing ability means he can affect the passing game, too, which potentially makes him a three-down player.
Around the NFL
Sherman, 33, would provide valuable experience to one of the league’s youngest defensive backfields. He’s also a sure tackler, which has been an issue for the Bucs’ defense thus far this season.
The Bucs are without Sean Murphy-Bunting, who was placed on injured reserve with a dislocated right elbow Sept. 20. He also serves as the team’s nickelback.
Collins, a nine-year veteran, stopped reporting to practice ahead of Week 3 as the Lions explored options for his future. Coach Dan Campbell said last week that he met with Collins to communicate the team’s plans to seek a trade, but the Lions ultimately couldn’t reach a deal for him.
Collins can sign with another team immediately. He is making a fully guaranteed $8.8 million from Detroit this year ($5 million bonus, $3.8 million salary).
A one-time Pro Bowler, Collins racked up 10 total tackles, with one for a loss, and a fumble recovery in back-to-back defeats to San Francisco and Green Bay this season.
2. Matt Nagy, Bears
You won’t find many who’ll keep a straight face when calling Nagy a bad coach, at least not in general. It’s because that’s a joke of a statement, all things considered. But it often takes more than love to keep a marriage going, and things are getting a bit thin in the Windy City air. To be fair, Nagy did not draft Mitchell Trubisky, nor did he make a trade for Nick Foles. You could argue he’s simply playing the cards dealt to him, but that only goes so far in any potential argument to keep his job. Fact is, Bears fans are and have been restless for some time now, still reeling from the one-point playoff loss to the Eagles and a wildly disappointing effort in last season’s wild card loss to the New Orleans Saints. Now it’s a 1-2 start to the season that has seen the Bears throttled on two occasions while barely escaping the Cincinnati Bengals.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
6. Kansas City Chiefs (3rd)
We are right to drop them, but the fact that that they were still in a position to win this game shows how much of a powerhouse the team still is.
7. Arizona Cardinals (9th)
Their solid start to the season continues.
8. San Francisco 49ers (5th)
Gut-wrenching loss for San Francisco. They simply left Aaron Rodgers too much time.
9. Los Angeles Chargers (11th)
Mike Williams reaching his potential is a scary prospect.
A tweet to make you think
I don't care if the Chiefs turned the ball over 40 times and insulted the refs mothers, this is such egregious PI, it should be called. Unless any of you can show me where in the rule book it says *except on Hail Marys. pic.twitter.com/YiydDT5hFk— Patrick Allen (@RPatrickAllen) September 28, 2021