Teams are no longer afraid of the Chiefs.
For the last couple of seasons, there was no denying that the Chiefs were the bully on the block in the AFC. Kansas City just seemed to have everyone’s number. They vanquished the Bills, Browns, Titans, and Ravens on their way to two-straight Super Bowl appearances. They dominated their rivals in the AFC West. The Chiefs were the Boogeyman.
Now there is blood in the water. The Chiefs’ opponents sense weakness and they are going in for the kill. It used to be that teams feared trying to keep pace with the Chiefs. Past philosophies to beating Kansas City included “running the ball to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field.” None of those old blueprints really worked for long. However, this season, something has changed.
While teams undoubtedly still respect the Chiefs offense, but because the Chiefs defense is so bad, teams feel like slowing down the Chiefs offense is all they need to do to have a chance to win. And they have been right. By refusing to blitz or give up the big play, teams are forcing the Chiefs to go slow on offense and all those extra plays and long drives are leading to just enough mistakes to keep opponents in the game.
The Chiefs have lost their mystique and until they can start playing like a balanced football team again, teams are going to keep clowning them.