Another nauseating, nationally-televised Chiefs outing


There are no moral victories in the NFL. Sure, the Kansas City Chiefs scored 21 second half points, but the final score was misleading. Their 28-38 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football wasn’t as close as the boxscore suggests. Green Bay was in firm control of their primetime matchup with the Chiefs for 45 minutes.

On some level, it’s heartening the Chiefs found some offensive rhythm in the fourth quarter, but it’s tough to say if it was a by-product of Reid’s ingenuity or just soft coverage by the Packers. Either way, the Chiefs are now 1-2 and headed for another road game, in a shortened week, against a third-straight undefeated team, in Cincinnati. It’s possible that the worst isn’t quite over yet for this football team.

After wilting down the stretch in their home season opener with the Denver Broncos, the Chiefs “rebounded” by being shoved around Lambeau Field for three quarters. Andy Reid and company looked uninspired, undisciplined, and completely unmotivated to start the game. Green Bay attacked the right side of Kansas City’s defense on the ground, gashing them in the process. From there, Aaron Rodgers put on an absolute clinic at how an NFL quarterback should handle intense pressure. In the face of a fearsome pass rush, he calmly slid around the pocket. He kept his feet moving and extended plays all night long.

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

If it weren’t enough that the Chiefs’ cornerback stand-ins were bullied time and again by Rodgers, the defense also had a tough time getting ball carriers to the ground. Josh Mauga contributed a number of missed tackles. Other defenders took bad angles and allowed big run plays where they appeared to have them bottled up. The Chiefs ultimately shut the door on the Packers’ ground game, but they had no answers for Rodgers’ top two targets. Randall Cobb and James Jones combined for 230 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Remember when everyone thought the loss of Jordy Nelson would cripple the Packers? Those were good times.

The Chiefs are facing serious questions with just six days until they play a second-consecutive away game. Has Andy Reid become a woefully predictable playcaller? Is Kansas City’s offense limited without a second viable wide receiver? Will offensive coordinators continue to pick on Kansas City’s weakest corners with Phillip Gaines potentially injured? Is there any configuration of this offensive line that will afford Alex Smith time to throw the football? The organization has to find answers to those questions in season, with few personnel alternatives.

It’s time for accountability in Kansas City. Mike McCarthy surrendered his playcalling post in Green Bay and it might be time for Andy Reid to do the same. Albert Wilson hasn’t quite progressed as the coaching staff had hoped. If Gaines is out for an extended period of time, the Chiefs don’t have good options for replacing him. Steven Nelson’s an option, but he’s been inactive for three straight games. I think the Chiefs may already have the best five offensive linemen on the field. Sans a trade, I’m not sure there’s much more they can do beyond gelling as a unit and hoping for a lift from offensive line chemistry.

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t envy Andy Reid or general manager John Dorsey. This team is in year three of a new regime and they looked lost for the better part of Monday’s game. This game looked like one of the least winnable weeks on the 2015 Chiefs’ schedule, but that doesn’t excuse Kansas City’s lethargic effort. Something has to give here soon or this administration might find itself in hot water come season’s end.

If any quantifiable change is to come, it has to start in house. The Chiefs can’t continue to ignore their best offensive playmakers for an entire half of football. Maclin was only targeted twice in the first half. Compare that with 10-plus targets the rest of the game and you can understand the stark difference in his productivity.

Andy Reid has to draw up quick-hitting offensive plays that don’t require a dozen passes behind the line of scrimmage. Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton has to find ways to cover up the weakest links in his secondary. It’s time for adjustments and they’d better come quickly before the Chiefs’ plane lands in the Buckeye State.

How would you stop the bleeding if you were in Andy Reid’s place? From your vantage point, what went wrong in Monday’s game in Green Bay? Is the offense suffering at the hands of porous offensive line play or Alex Smith’s limitations as a quarterback? Use the comment section below to weigh in. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.

Until next time, Addicts!