It was arguably Kansas City’s worst – and certainly most embarrassing – loss of the season, which is saying a lot just two weeks after the demolition at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. It was a humiliating, mortifying performance, with almost nothing positive to take away from the game.
The performance was bad enough, but here are eight numbers to make the 24-point loss sting even more.
The Chiefs only managed to score three points on offense against the Titans, their lowest score since Week 17 of the 2012 season when they lost to Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos 38-3. That season Kansas City went 2-14 and finished in last place in the AFC West.
Kansas City’s lone score came on a 42-yard field goal from Harrison Butker on the opening drive of the second half. The Chiefs’ other drives ended in two punts, two fumbles, an interception, a missed field goal, and a turnover on downs. It was time Kansas City had failed to score a touchdown with Patrick Mahomes as their quarterback, and the first time the team has failed to score a touchdown in a regular-season game since Week 11 in 2017 against the New York Giants.
Patrick Mahomes has now thrown an interception in six consecutive games, the longest streak of his career. His nine interceptions in his last six games are more than he had in the entire 2020 season, and he had only thrown nine picks in his previous 20 games prior to Week 2. While some of those picks have been unlucky – passes bouncing off receivers’ hands or desperate throws to try and force a comeback – Mahomes is not blameless on all of them. Mahomes has been guilty multiple times of making poor decisions and questionable throws, including a bad throw into tight coverage against Tennessee.
That is the difference in time of possession between the Chiefs and Titans in the first half on Sunday. Tennessee had the ball for a colossal 23:16 in the first half as they scored 27 points on three touchdowns and two field goals, compared Kansas City’s 6:44 of possession for zero points. The Titans also ran a whopping 30 plays more than the Chiefs in the first half, with Kansas City failing to even take a single snap in Tennessee territory in the first two quarters. The overall time of possession differential did lower in the second half – just – to 12:42. Overall, the Titans had the ball for 36:21 compared to the Chiefs’ 23:39.
According to NFL Network’s James Palmer, no team since 1970 has made the playoffs in a season that they allowed both more than 28 points per game and over 400 yards per game, which is bad news for Chiefs fans. Kansas City is currently allowing 29.0 points and 404.6 yards per game, both above those crucial benchmarks.
Palmer added that only one team since 1970—the 2000 Rams—have been able to reach the playoffs despite allowing over 28 points per game. The Chiefs have been no strangers to making history recently, but at the current rate, their defense is performing they face a monumental challenge in doing it again this season.
At one point on Sunday that’s where Kansas City’s defense ranked in the league in turnovers, points allowed, yards allowed, yards per play allowed, and first downs allowed, according to Stat Muse.
Things did improve ever so slightly in the second half, but after seven weeks the Chiefs are last in yards per play allowed (6.6), 31st in penalties (52), 30th in yards allowed (2,832), yards per game allowed (404.6) and points allowed (203), and 29th in first downs allowed, according to Pro Football Reference. Kansas City’s defense has looked diabolical this season, and unfortunately for Chiefs Kingdom, the numbers are just as ugly.
The Chiefs have committed a ludicrous 17 turnovers through seven games this season, the most by far in the league. Their turnover differential of -10 is also the worst in the NFL, tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chiefs committed another three turnovers on Sunday against the Titans – two fumbles and one interception – their fourth game this season with three or more turnovers.
The Chiefs have one lone game so far this season in which they have not committed a turnover, the opening game of the season against the Cleveland Browns. That Week 1 matchup is also the only game this season in which the Chiefs have won the turnover battle, with the Browns turning the ball over twice and muffing a punt. Since then, Kansas City has only managed five takeaways: three interceptions and two fumbles. The Chiefs have failed to force a turnover in three games this season, against Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles
Sunday was just the fifth time in Mahomes’ career that he has failed to score a touchdown.
The most recent occasion came in Super Bowl LV, when Mahomes and Kansas City were held to three field goals. Prior to that, Mahomes had scored a touchdown in 31 consecutive games, dating back to Week 4 against the Detroit Lions in 2019. Fortunately for both Mahomes and Chiefs fans everywhere, he has never had back-to-back games without scoring a touchdown. In fact, he has never had multiple games in the same season in which he has failed to score a touchdown.