The Kansas City Chiefs offense produced 32 points on Sunday afternoon on a day when several things still weren’t clicking.
Thirty-two points is just two points shy of last year’s average score for the Kansas City Chiefs. A year ago, the Kansas City Chiefs enjoyed arguably the best quarterbacked season in the history of football from Patrick Mahomes, at the time, a second-year pro and soon to be 2018-19 NFL MVP. Of course, we all know the numbers by now: 50 touchdowns, 5,097 yards, and more highlight plays than Chief media outlets know what to do with.
This season has not gone as smooth. Thankfully for Chiefs Kingdom, Mahomes is not seeing a Baker Mayfield like regression, but rather just suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for a couple of weeks. Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans was set to be the reigning NFL MVP’s glorious return exciting even non-Chiefs fans. I mean, who does not get absolutely giddy when watching the best quarterback in the league work his magic?
It was magic we saw (though like his cereal, it was a bit of a knocked off version of a better product). While Mahomes still dazzled us with Houdini rollouts and Tim Tebow jump passes (that went for 63 yards and a score instead of two yards), he also looked off at times.
Take the first play of the game. Andy Reid called a play-action rollout for Mahomes to show the NFL world and Tony Romo in the broadcast booth that there are no limits on Mahomes’ mobility. He nearly threw an interception. A few plays later, the same thing happened again. On this week’s Arrowhead Addict Podcast, it was discussed that the first two drives might be a little shaky for the MVP as he would understandably be wrapped up in the moment. Those two throws were just the start of Mahomes 14-incompletion day.
As he returned from a dislocated knee, Patrick Mahomes, while not quite looking like himself, still was the best quarterback in football on Sunday. Mahomes was noticeably slower than normal and had a few head-scratching miscues that no one in Kansas City is used to. However, he was not the only Chiefs offense weapon to look out of sync.
Tyreek Hill was targeted 19 times and was only able to haul in 11 receptions. Some of them were on Mahomes, including a frustrating overthrow on a deep ball for an easy touchdown in the first quarter. Still, though, Hill had two huge drops on the second-to-last offensive series of the game that could’ve iced the win for Kansas City. While the speedy number one receiver was able to bust loose for 157 yards and a touchdown, this was not even close to his sharpest game.
Throw-in four more drops for Sammy Watkins, a fumble by Damien Williams that was returned for a touchdown, and a Dustin Colquitt intentional grounding thanks to a botched snap by James Winchester to eliminate what would’ve been three more points for the Chiefs, and you have the summary of how today’s game got away from Big Red. This offense simply looked like a unit that had not played together since the first quarter of week one against the Jaguars—and still, they put up 32 points.
Speaking of Big Red, Andy Reid stepped in it once again. Like a dog that you can not seem to get house trained, he goes just so long without an accident. Then you walk in the door one day after a long day at work and—boom. Suddenly ,you are on the phone with the carpet cleaners before the door shuts behind you.
It was the timeout before the final two-point conversion try. It was the choice to kick a field goal on fourth and short in the first quarter with the best offense in football at his disposal. It was the perpetual decision to take his foot off the gas. Reid seemingly can not find a way to top the Titans. In fact, every time the two teams meet, it seems like a wacky equivalent to the Music City Miracle—from a quarterback-self-pass-touchdown that sparked an 18 point blown lead in the playoffs to a 15-year veteran holder getting called for intentional grounding.
The Kansas City Chiefs were once up 10-0 in this game and at that point, they stopped being aggressive on both sides of the ball. A trend that prompted Eagles fans to make this song about Andy.
Do not forget, this offense going into the game was without two starting offensive linemen in Eric Fisher and Larry Duvernay-Tardif. In the contest, the Kansas City Chiefs lost Martinas Rankin, saw Cam Erving get banged up, and Mitch Schwartz was forced to end his consecutive snaps-played streak.
This offense, despite scoring 32 points on Sunday, was not perfect. That is what is so scary about this team. While no team is going to play the perfect game, the Kansas City Chiefs have not even gotten close to their ceiling on offense.
Will Mahomes miss all the throws he did against the Titans again this season? I wouldn’t bet on it. Will the Chiefs skill players drop as many passes as they did against the Titans again this season? Don’t count on it. Mix those two things with the fact that the only place the pass protection has to go is up, and right there you can account for an uptick in offensive production. As the Chiefs defense turns back into pumpkins, they will need all the points they can get.