The Kansas City Chiefs fell victim to their first loss of the season on Sunday. Here is our MVP, LVP, and unsung hero from the Colts game.
The Kansas City Chifes entered Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts as heavy favorites and exited the game with heavy concerns. More than anything else, the Chiefs are beat up. Starting players on both sides of the ball are injured and unable to contribute. Chris Jones and Sammy Watkins both exited the game as arguably some of the most important pieces on each side of the ball.
While Mathieu shined, the run defense did not, allowing Marlon Mack to run all over them on 29 carries for 132 yards. Arguably more disappointing was the Chiefs offensive line which had no push in the running game and allowed 4 sacks after only allowing 3 all season. The most notable struggle was Cam Erving, as he was tossed around like a rag doll and stepped on Patrick Mahomes’s ankle, hobbling the MVP quarterback for the rest of the game.
In light of some of the injuries during the game, there were some players who stepped up. Perhaps most interestingly of all, Tanoh Kpassagnon provided a spark up front, where no one else did. Kpassagnon was able to get in the backfield and even make a run stop.
All in all, it was ugly. The Chiefs were out of sync. The offense couldn’t keep Mahomes clean and move the ball against a zone scheme that is typically shredded by Andy Reid. The defense could not make a stop when it needed to the most.
Let;’s break it all down in our weekly awards.
MVP: S Tyrann Mathieu
Tyrann Mathieu not only made some key plays down the stretch, but he was also the life of the defense. Even though that may mean very little, it is not his fault that the Chiefs lost that game. In fact, I would argue that he made it possible for the Chiefs to have any kind of chance of winning the game. For this, and more, Mathieu wins our MVP honors.
Of course many will remember this play, as it was Tyrann Mathiu’s first interception as a Kansas City Chief. This is not a good play from Jacoby Brissett and Mathieu makes him pay. The Chiefs made a huge stop and got the ball back after this one, giving hope to the Chiefs’ chances of winning. It was not the only time Mathieu came in clutch.
Here, we see Brissett take the snap from an empty shotgun set. If you watch closely, Brissett gives a quick glance to his right and comes back to his left. After that, he never looks anywhere else. Staring down Eric Ebron, he makes the throw and Mathieu swoops in undetected for the interception. Perhaps teams could do that last season against Daniel Sorensen and Ron Parker, but not this season.
While the interception was pretty, Mathieu made several other plays. None were more significant than his tackle for a 6-yard loss on Marlon Mack, resulting in a field goal to put the Chiefs down by six, instead of down by two possessions. Mathieu single-handedly kept the Chiefs alive for part of this game.
Here, we see Tyrann Mathieu line up at the line of scrimmage. It is clear that he is going to be coming off the edge or playing in press-man coverage. Here Brissett takes the snap and uses misdirection to flip the ball out to Marlon Mack. Mathieu reads the tackle and sees that he is setting up a block to the outside. On a marvelous heads up play, Mathieu takes a wider angle and runs by the tackle not only to set the edge but to also make the biggest defensive play of the night.
LVP: OL Cam Erving
While a serious case could be made for last week’s MVP Bashaud Breeland, the answer to me is clear who deserves this award. Cam Erving was beyond horrendous. If you watch the tape, he looks like he just got picked out of a high school game and placed to protect Patrick Mahomes. He does not show any kind of quickness and whiffed on multiple occasions.
Erving does not show any kind of power as he got pushed and pulled all over the field. He reminded us on Sunday night why the Browns were willing to move on from him in the first place and why Eric Fisher is an important piece of this offense.
Even worse, Erving managed to also step on Patrick Mahomes. It was a terrible night for him and because of it, he has won our LVP award.
I will only show you one bad example of Cam Erving in this article. That being said, I can say with confidence that Erving was more deserving of his LVP award this week than any other player that has earned the award this year. If you want to watch Cam Erving block air and whiff on slow players, just watch the tape. It’s what you see over and over again.
Here, Patrick Mahomes takes the snap. As he looks up, he is already in trouble. Why? Cam Erving can’t deal with Justin Houston‘s speed. Houston is lined up a little further outside on this play and Erving can’t turn his body to make the block. Instead, he puts his fingertips on Houston and the Colts pass rusher blows right by him. This is, unfortunately, what Erving’s night looked like.
Unsung Hero: Tanoh Kpassagnon
Tanoh Kpassagnon has been given few opportunities in Kansas City. Despite this, in limited action, he has shown playmaking ability. On Sunday against the Colts, he popped off of the screen at times and not because he is 6’7 and built like an iron tank. He made some nice plays and got a legitimate push on one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Kpassagnon won our Unsung Hero award despite the terribleness that took place on defense.
For all the talk of bad run defense, there were some good moments from several defenders. Not only did Mathieu have his best game as a Chief, Kpassagnon also had his best career performance.
Kpassagnon is making a case for why he deserves to play more. If Spagnuolo watches the tape, he might just grant that wish. On this play, both Darron Lee and Tyrann Mathieu are in good position, but what truly makes the play in Kpassagnon’s ability to slide with the tackle. As he does so, he is patient and when the moment comes, he disengages with the blocker to make the tackle. That is textbook defensive end run defense.
While no one wants to talk about Frank Clark, he really sets up Kpassagnon here. In this play, Brissett takes the snap and Clark takes a sharp cut inside and gets by the tackle. Forcing Brissett to roll out, Tanoh Kpassagnon reads it and disengages in the correct direction to make him misfire as he takes him to the ground. Tanoh Kpassagnon walked away as the Unsung Hero this week.
MVP: Bashaud Breeland
LVP: Sammy Watkins
Unsung Hero: LeSean McCoy