Chiefs don’t need to panic, but some things must change

Sep 11, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass under pressure from San Diego Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram (54) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass under pressure from San Diego Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram (54) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Kansas City Chiefs are a talented football team. Not a good one, at the moment, but talented.

At 1-1, Kansas City is sitting second in the AFC West, although standings in September are an exercise is futility. The Chiefs have played two games, and in those eight quarters, only two have been played well. Luckily for Andy Reid and Co., that spurt of decency was enough to earn a win.

After losing to the Houston Texans on Sunday, panic began bubbling to the surface on social media. My phone was blowing up with people wondering whether they should be concerned about the lackluster start to the season.

The reality? It’s two games into the season, and the Chiefs are 1-1. That same reality also says Kansas City needs to play much better offensively, or that record won’t be pretty after the next three games. In those contests, the Chiefs host the New York jets before visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders.

Against Houston, there were plenty of bright spots overshadowed by the worst offensive performance one could imagine. The defense, after a shaky start, was tremendous. The pass rush remains questionable at best, but allowing 19 points when 10 came directly from turnovers? Phenomenal. If the defense can keep playing like that, the Chiefs will be fine.

The special teams also looked great. Cairo Santos was perfect on his four attempts. Tyreek Hill had a 105-yard kickoff return called back on a questionable penalty. The recipe was all there for a nice road win, except the offense laid a massive egg in the Space City.

The loss can be looked at through a pair of prisms. One is that Kansas City has a bad offense and Alex Smith is inconsistent, far too flighty to believe he can win week after week. The other prism says the Chiefs simply had uncharacteristic turnovers, and that an offense with this much skill will figure it out.

I’m in the latter category. Sometimes, the simple analysis is the best. Shit happens. On Sunday, shit happened. Mitch Morse is a terrific center who snapped the ball over Smith’s head. Spencer Ware has literally never fumbled in his life. He fumbled on Sunday. Jeremy Maclin statistically has the best drop rate over the last two years. He dropped two passes on Sunday. Mitch Schwartz is a top-3 offensive tackle. He was torched on Sunday.

Kansas City might prove to be a huge disappointment. The Chiefs might end up missing the playoffs and force us to question why so many believed they were a Super Bowl contender.

Or, they could go out and beat the Jets. Coupled with a loss by the Denver Broncos in Cincinnati, they would own first place in the AFC West.