KC Chiefs find winning blueprint in win over Washington Football Team
The Kansas City Chiefs got a much needed win on Sunday when they defeated the Washington Football Team by a final score of 31-13. If you were off the grid yesterday and just looked at the final score, it would be easy to assume that this game was a walk in the park and that both the team and their fans came away with nothing but positives from an 18 point road victory. While the overall takeaway is certainly a positive one, the reality is that the Chiefs showed some of the same serious flaws on offense in the first half that have plagued them early in this season.
Last week I used my Monday column to vent all my frustration following K.C.’s beatdown at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. At halftime of the Washington game, I was brainstorming ideas on how to write about the issues the offense was having without writing an angry rant in back-to-back weeks. It’s a good thing that K.C. turned things around because I wasn’t coming up with anything good. Thankfully for all of us there is no need for a rant this week as the Chiefs turned in a perfect second half of football and came away with an easy win.
This game perfectly encapsulated the huge effect that the Chiefs offense has on this team. When they are repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot, this team can lose to anyone in the NFL, even if the defense is playing well. The horrific play of the defense this season had distracted many from the truth which is the Chiefs turnovers are as much to blame for their early struggles as the defense. Yes, the defense needed to play much better, but if it weren’t for their turnover issues the Chiefs still beat the Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Chargers and would now be sitting at 5-1. Just look at that first half. The defense had one horrible play where they allowed a touchdown, but otherwise played a fantastic half and they still went into the locker room down 3 points because the offense kept turning the ball over.
In the second half when the offense got their act together the Chiefs finally looked like a Super Bowl contender. They outscored Washington 21-0. Granted, Washington isn’t a powerhouse team, but they did come in averaging 24.6 points per game. The 13 points that the Chiefs held them to was a season low and you have to go back a full year to Week 5 of last season to find a game where Washington was held to less points than that. For weeks, we fans have been saying that the defense just needs to not be a dumpster fire and the Chiefs would be fine. Well in this game they were way better than a dumpster fire, but the Chiefs showed that even with a good defensive effort they still have to stop turning the ball over before the team excels.
All three of K.C.’s turnovers were completely avoidable. Tyreek Hill had another ball go right through his hands and into the arms of a defender. In fact, he should have probably gifted Washington two interceptions, but the first ball that went right off his hands bounced right off the chest of a defender. Hill is an amazing player and the Chiefs probably aren’t a Super Bowl contender without him, but he has to get these through-the-hands drops under control.
The Patrick Mahomes interception was even more egregious. He was clearly frustrated by how things were going and tried to do too much on a third down and ended up just lobbing a ball up right towards a defender. It’s inexcusable and Mahomes knows it. Then there was the Mecole Hardman fumble where all he has to do is get both hands on the ball before the contact comes and he’d be fine.
The offense’s frustrations with these issues causes them to press and want to make a play to make up for it which just leads to more mistakes. They just need to calm down and be themselves. Just don’t make stupid mistakes and the points will come. They’ve proven that all season. Whenever they don’t turn the ball over they are scoring at a near record clip. It’s okay to eat a play every now and then and try again the next play. It’s okay to punt every now and then. It’s okay to settle for a field goal every now and then. Those are all better options than a turnover.
If the Chiefs can use the second half of this game as a blueprint going forward the rest of the NFL should be worried because this team still has an incredibly high ceiling. So let’s take a second and look at what that blueprint should be on both sides of the ball, starting with the defense.