The Second Half Offense
While 31 points should be enough to win, I still don’t think we can completely let the offense off the hook for this loss. My main argument for this is because they only scored 3 second-half points while the Bengals were heating up and putting up big numbers with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase (more on them in a minute).
If you consider yourself a Super Bowl-caliber elite offense you can’t put up just three points while the other team is coming storming back from an early deficit. You have to answer. Period. It’s not enough to say “well we scored 28 in the first half so we did our part”. You have to read the situation and rise to the challenge. As good as the Chiefs’ offense was in the first half, they didn’t respond to the challenge the Bengals’ offense had for them in the second half.
Should the defense have adjusted and not allowed 34 points? Sure. Did the Bengals get some help with their comeback from some questionable calls? Absolutely. Could the offense have made all of that moot if they answered the call and put up one more score in the second half? Without a doubt.
I also want to point out another pivotal play where things went wrong for KC. On the Chiefs’ final drive where they had to settle for a field goal, their third-down play call was a total failure. There were no quick-out options and Cincinnati was showing blitz. When the blitz came Patrick Mahomes had no options and had to throw the ball away. That’s a bad play call by Reid and a bad job by Mahomes not to audible out of it when they were showing blitz.
If K.C. puts up 7 points there instead of just tying the game up with a field goal it completely changes the dynamic of the Bengals’ final drive. A field goal not only wouldn’t win the game, but it also wouldn’t even tie it up. The Bengals would be in touchdown or bust mode and the offensive and defensive play calls would have been completely different.
Finally, before I wrap this thing up, I need to give credit where credit is due.