Dispelling the myths in the Chiefs’ loss to the Steelers

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 15: Running back Le'Veon Bell
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 15: Running back Le'Veon Bell /

The loss wasn’t about the defense or Andy Reid’s decision to forego a field goal. The Chiefs had much more serious problems on Sunday.

Please listen to the podcast. Every time one of these posts goes up, I get a handful of people on Twitter who respond in a fury after seeing the headline and a smaller handful of people who read a bit of the post. But before you Tasmanian Devil yourself into the comment section, hear me out: the Chiefs’ loss to the Steelers wasn’t about the defense. It wasn’t even about Andy Reid’s fourth-down decisions. It was about the offense going full-on 2016.

The perception of Bob Sutton’s defense largely hinges on the performance of the Chiefs’ offense. It’s silly, but it’s true. If the Chiefs had scored 20 points, we would be lauding the merits of the bend-but-don’t-break defense today. If Phillip Gaines had caught a pass that hit him in the face, we would be popping corks for 6-0. But because the offense didn’t hold up its end of the bargain, the defense gets the brunt of the criticism.

The offense looked exactly like it did one year ago. The gameplan was indiscernible. The Chiefs couldn’t run the ball against a defense that gave up 231 yards on the ground a week prior. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were both held under 40 yards receiving. Alex Smith ended the game with an overthrown pass to a painfully-wide-open Demarcus Robinson—for the second time. This doesn’t mean that the Chiefs offense has regressed to a 2016 level and that our expectations must be fully calibrated. I don’t think that’s true. But it gets much more difficult to repress the preseason fears about postseason challenges when the Chiefs fail to handle a worthy rival at home.

(Almost) Entirely Sports | iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | BlogTalkRadio | PlayerFM

Want to catch up on previous episodes or make sure not to miss one in the future? Make sure you check out the show on any number of these outlets and tune in for (Almost) Entirely Sports, weekdays from 4-6 p.m. on ESPN Kansas City: 1510 AM, 99.3 FM and 1510.com.


Have ideas or questions for next week’s episode? Tweet @jbbrisco or send a Facebook message to facebook.com/rtkshow.

Subscribe to RTK on iTunes, get the show early, and never miss an episode. Roughing the Kicker is a Kansas City Chiefs podcast on Arrowhead Addict RadioTo support the show on Patreon, click here for more information.