The KC Chiefs have a huge turnover problem
By Josh Fann
The Kansas City Chiefs are having a rare problem with turnovers in 2022—a problem that rarely plagues Andy Reid’s teams.
Turnovers typically haven’t been an issue for the Kansas City Chiefs since Andy Reid took over as head coach back in 2013. In fact, the team has only finished with a negative turnover differential once in that span.
However, this year, the Chiefs currently rank 27th in the NFL with a -4 turnover differential following the Cincinnati Bengals loss. An issue that has been plaguing the team all year, turnovers have become a disturbing trend that could hold this team back from achieving their season goals.
Travis Kelce’s fumble against the Bengals essentially gave Cincinnati the victory last Sunday marking the 7th straight game in which the Chiefs have a giveaway. Fortunately, the Chiefs are 5-2 in that seven-game span but the discouraging part is that the two games they lost were to both the Bengals and the Buffalo Bills. these are two teams also competing for the AFC and the Chiefs have a good chance of facing either in the postseason.
The Chiefs can typically get away with turning the ball over against lesser opponents and earlier on in the Mahomes era they could even get away with it against really good teams. Now, other teams are catching up to the Chiefs if they haven’t already caught up and teams like the Bills and Bengals are good enough to make you pay for those turnovers when they happen.
We know that the Chiefs’ biggest enemy is themselves when it comes down to it. Each of their past several notable losses turnovers and self-inflicted wounds was the reasoning. The Turnover issue is one that has evolved a little bit over the past couple of years for Kansas City. Again, Andy Reid teams historically have taken care of the ball, and despite finishing with a positive turnover differential in 2021, that’s when the problem really started.
Through the first 8 games in 2021, the Chiefs had 19 turnovers and for reference, the Chiefs hadn’t eclipsed 19 turnovers for the entire season the three years prior. In addition, the team finished the season with 25 turnovers which were the most in a season since 2012. Despite that, the Chiefs were able to clean up the turnover problems and make a deep playoff run but the turnover issues popped up yet again in the 2021 AFC Championship game versus none other than the Bengals in which Mahomes threw two interceptions with one being in overtime. Furthermore, the Chiefs have lost the turnover battler against the Bengals in the last three contests and lost each one despite having a fourth-quarter lead in every game. It’s not a fluke anymore.
Now, the turnovers are catching up to the Chiefs again in mid-2022. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed rather quickly if the Chiefs want to compete for a Super Bowl. Bad situational football and turnovers have come back to bite the Chiefs multiple times in recent memory and if they think they will be able to get away with it in the postseason they’re sadly mistaken because these other teams are just too good.
The most concerning part about the turnovers are that they’re happening consistently in both the offense and special teams phases of the game for Kansas City. Special teams coach Dave Toub’s unit has been among the worst this year in turning the ball over and the offense has its fair share of mistakes. On top of it all, the Chiefs’ defense isn’t creating enough turnovers to make up for it which explains the negative turnover differential.
The turnovers aren’t any one person’s fault. It’s a team effort and turnovers are a little more complex than simply pointing out how many interceptions Mahomes has. Either way, it’s a pressing issue and it could end up costing the Chiefs another game down the stretch no matter how easy their schedule looks. Turnovers are how you let bad teams stay in games and upset you. Usually, the Chiefs have shown the ability to fix their issues and should be given the benefit of the doubt, but this is a problem that just won’t go away.