Chiefs vs Lions: Four vital takeaways from a gut-wrenching loss

A brutal loss was filled with mistakes and miscues on the part of the Chiefs. Let's explore the team's loss to the Lions in Week 1.
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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Travis Kelce sat out due to injury. Chris Jones sat out due to money. Kadarius Toney should have sat out another week. On an opening night in which there's a lot of blame to pass around for why the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the visiting Detroit Lions, the truth is that they still only lost by a single point. Yes, despite the many miscues, penalties, drops, and weird play calls, the Chiefs still had the Lions right where they wanted them.

You can take that as good news or bad news (we're taking the optimistic path), but that doesn't mean we're closing our eyes to the issues at hand. Instead it just means that we don't believe the Chiefs can play this poorly again—or that's our hope at least.

The Lions are celebrating now and that's okay. They deserve it. More importantly, the Chiefs do not deserve anything after the way they played in primetime to open the season. For all that went wrong, we've distilled things down to a few vital takeaways from a gut-wrenching (and even confusing) loss in Week 1. Let's check them out.

Short Yardage Garbage

Of all of the things to be upset about (on a night filled with things to be upset about), the most upsetting things of all can be found in the Chiefs' short-yardage game. Wait, let's rephrase that: the complete lack of a short-yardage game.

In a confusing and mind-numbing decision to continue the odd decision-making of previous seasons, the Chiefs somehow have decided that running the most complex plays possible when the offense only needs a single yard or two is the best use of their time and resources. It's as if the team's coaching staff is bored by the idea of only gaining a single yard, and so they invent some new difficulty factor to make it more impressive when they convert it.

On Thursday, it was the absolute difference between winning and losing. You can blame it on dropped passes or special teams gaffes or the lack of Travis Kelce or Chris Jones. Any of those would be true as well, but in a one-point game, if the Chiefs would have just went with any sort of normal short-yardage play on the appropriate plays, they would have likely walked away the victors. Instead, they chose to run this ridiculousness:

When you have a ground game that can get the job done, especially one anchored by the presence of Pro Bowl players like Joe Thuney and Creed Humphrey, there's no reason to fail at gaining a single yard in the NFL these days. This is just egregious play calling.