The good news? The Chiefs didn’t have to win, because they’ve already locked up a playoff spot.
The bad news? The Chiefs didn’t win, and that’s never fun.
Kansas City welcomed in the Indianapolis Colts for a game that had a lot on the line despite the fact that a win wasn’t necessary. In the end, the Chiefs just couldn’t get it done. The Chiefs’ offense sputtered out and the defense allowed Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense to put up 23 points.
The end result was a 23-7 loss.
The eye in the sky (aka film) doesn’t lie when it comes to breaking down football games, but I’m of the belief that stats can tell you a lot about the makeup of a game as well. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the notable stats from this matchup to see what they tell us about Kansas City’s loss.
Third Down Efficiency: 1-of-8
The Chiefs only had eight third down situations, which could be looked at as a good thing, I guess. With that said, completing only one of those attempts is unacceptable; especially with the playoffs looming. Third down is the most important down on the football field, and good teams generally have good third down efficiency. On Sunday, Kansas City was not a good team.
53 Total Offensive Plays
This stat doesn’t mean much until you look at what Indy was able to do. The Colts ran 72 plays to the Chiefs 53. Indianapolis’ offense obviously controlled this game, and when you give a quarterback like Luck that many opportunities; he will capitalize. Luck was 26-of-37 for 241 yards and a touchdown.
Passing: 132 Total Yards
We’ve all known that the Chiefs offense isn’t as high-powered as let’s say, Denver’s is, but 132 passing yards? Most teams can rush for that much if not more, and case in point; the Chiefs were able to rush for 155. We’ve seen just how dangerous Kansas City can be when the offense is clicking, and usually when they’re on; the Chiefs are setting up Jamaal Charles and the run with the pass.
Alex Smith: 2 Interceptions
For a quarterback who is known more as a game manager than a gun-slinger, Alex Smith just can’t afford to throw the ball away two times. Kansas City is best when Smith is controlling the football and the offense is playing within its means. Looking for a reason why the Chiefs lost this past Sunday? Those two interceptions were a huge reason why.
Sacks Allowed: 4
No quarterback, even the Mannings or Aaron Rodgers of the world, can be expected to be productive when they’re getting sacked four times in one game. Not only do sacks put an offense in “and long” situations, but they completely throw a quarterback off his game. A good pass-rush can speed up a quarterback’s internal clock, which forces him out of a rhythm and into mistakes.
Defensive Sacks: 1
If you’ve watched this team at all in 2013, you’d know that the defense is best—in fact, it’s dominant—when it’s getting after the quarterback. One sack just won’t cut it for a defense that finds its success by creating a pass-rush.
Fumbles: 5, 2 Lost
Winning football teams don’t put the football on the ground. That’s a simple truth about the game we all know and love. Unfortunately, Kansas City fumbled the ball five times against Indianapolis. The Chiefs were able to recover three of those fumbles, but they still lost two. Even two fumbles can doom a team in the NFL, and against the Colts, the proof was in the pudding. Smith and Knile Davis were the ones who coughed up the fumbles to Indy.
Field Goals: 0-for-1
Great special teams has been a staple of the Chiefs in 2013, especially when they win. Unfortunately, Ryan Succop and the field goal team couldn’t capitalize this past Sunday, trying one field goal and missing it. On the other side of the ball, Kansas City gave up nine points on field goals.
Penalties: 7 for -65 yards
Seven penalties is seven too many. The Chiefs undoubtedly hurt themselves as far as the yellow flags were concerned.
Time of Possession: 21:40
The Chiefs controlled the football for just over 20 minutes of the game, which means Indy had it for well over half. Officially, the Colts held the football for 38:20.
Conclusion: Not Good
The Chiefs failed in all of the major statistical categories that normally determine a game. Whether it be penalties, turnovers, or third-down efficiency; Kansas City just didn’t get it done against the Colts. Statistically that was a very poor showing from the Chiefs, and that was reflected in the final score.