Following a disappointing 20-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid acknowledged that after a solid all-around game, the Kansas City could not get the job done when it most mattered: with only seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Colts took the lead to win the game.
“In this league,” Reid explained after the game, “a lot of times, football comes down to situations. We had situational football at the end of the game — and we came up short. I think we made too many plays shooting ourselves in the foot. And the Colts came out and executed. Credit to them. They did a good job taking time off the clock, going down and getting points on the board.”
Chiefs fans will likely place blame for the unexpected early-season loss on an abysmal performance by the special teams unit — and on defensive tackle Chris Jones, who kept the Colts’ go-ahead drive alive with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. After the game, Jones accepted full responsibility for the loss — and Reid chose not to criticize him.
“Chris is a veteran, and I don’t really speak much on other players,” he said of the penalty. “He knows what’s going on.”
Instead, Reid shifted the focus to the team.
“We’ll just have to chalk that one up, look at ourselves and get better from it.”
While Reid did not appear to let the Chiefs’ special teams unit off the hook, he also credited the Colts for winning that battle.
“That’s the National Football League — it’s a game of inches,” he observed. “You can’t do things that beat yourselves. You’ve got to go out there and win. I give a lot of credit to the Colts' special teams. I think they did a hell of a job today.”
The safety also said he believes that in spite of the miscues that piled up, his teammates should have been able to pull through — just as they did in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“I think that mentally, this team has a good fortitude,” he said, “to where when bad things happen, we’re able to move on to the next play. It’s just last week [that] we were able to turn the tide on the game. This week? That’s just how the NFL goes sometimes.”
Reid noted that the lack of defensive execution on the last drive overshadowed some positive takeaways from the unit’s play — including good play designs from Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
“We did some good things on the field today,” Reid insisted. “[We] just came up a little bit short. We’re just going to have to go back and watch the tape. We’ll learn to move on from this and not repeat those mistakes.”
One of the positive takeaways may have been the use of defensive backs in blitz packages. Reid himself badly disrupted Colts quarterback Matt Ryan on a third-down blitz that forced a three-and-out on the first Indianapolis drive. Later in the first quarter, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed dropped Ryan for a 10-yard sack and forced a fumble.
“I thought a lot of them were very effective,” Reid noted of the pressure coming from the secondary. “I thought that we were able to confuse their offensive line — but that’s Coach Spags’ specialty: having guys come from all over. That’s part of the good things that we did.”
Reid does not expect Sunday’s loss to have lasting ramifications on Kansas City’s season.
“I don’t think that this is anything that’s going to be detrimental to us as a program [or] to the mentality of the locker room,” he predicted. “I think we’re all still hungry to be successful. We’re just going to be chomping at the bit after we watch this tape to get ready for our next opponent.”