"The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. "- James A. Garfield
For Chiefs Kingdom, there's nowhere else to hide. The mastodon in the locker room of Arrowhead Stadium has grown. The truth is inescapable; the sooner we come to grips with it, the better. Hear me carefully: there is absolutely no way to fix the Kansas City Chiefs offense in-season. The Achilles' heel of this football team is an utterly inept wide receiver corps. There are no viable solutions with the trade deadline behind us. This limited set of offensive skill position players is unreliable and the unfortunate reality of this team's future.
The veteran of the receiver room, who doubles as the highest-paid player at his position, dropped a pass that would've put the Chiefs within four or five feet of the end zone. Kansas City would've been in a goal-to-go situation, for a potential go-head score, from the 2-yard line. The two receivers the Chiefs placed the heaviest bets on in the offseason, combined for three catches and 16 yards in their Monday night loss to the Eagles. Justin Watson deserves a fair bit of criticism for critical drops in the game, but if we're honest, he shouldn't even be in a position to be a significant part of the offensive equation. Watson was targeted 11 times in the game because there was a scarcity of other dependable options.
I've said this before but it bears repeating: banking on the evolution of Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney was a massive blunder on the part of general manager Brett Veach. Expecting Patrick Mahomes to elevate this middling, fringe receiver talent is unfair to him. Even in light of an absurd set of accomplishments early in his career, that's simply asking too much. We've seen this movie. Aaron Rodgers was felled by substandard receivers for years in Green Bay. Having a competent supporting cast is important for every quarterback in the National Football League; including the quarterback widely regarded as the "best in the business."
With seven games to play in the regular season, it's time to have a difficult conversation about the Kansas City Chiefs' offense.
Everyone has a hypothesis on how to cure what's ailing this offense. It mostly revolves around first-year receiver Rashee Rice. He's shown himself to be the lone member of the receiver room with any real juice. Though, there's something troublesome about the subtext there. The fact that all of our hopes are pinned on a rookie wide receiver, in an Andy Reid offense, should tell you everything you need to know. This goes so far beyond play on the field. This is a failure of personnel.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has been a maverick with extra time to prepare. Coming off of the team's bye week, the hope was that the self-scouting would help get this offense in gear. Following the Monday night game, it appears little has changed. Here are the Chiefs' second-half offensive drives:
- turnover on downs
That won't cut it against any legitimate contender in the NFL, especially not in the NFL postseason. I won't make any predictions about the future for this team, but the current state of affairs makes it tough to imagine a deep run in the playoffs. Even with such a special defense, this version of the Chiefs won't defend its title.
We've heard the platitudes throughout the season: "The Chiefs will figure it out." That's a useful delusion to keep us all from admitting a harsh truth. There's no puzzle for Reid and company to solve. The problem is a dearth of receiving talent and you fix that between March and August of the NFL offseason. I've been beating this drum since the spring and now the music's too loud to ignore. The root of the issue goes back to the team's offseason plan coming off of a Super Bowl LVII victory.
The sky's fallen for the offense, but not the team. The Chiefs have few quality opponents remaining on their regular season schedule. Subpar offensive outings are easier to overcome against inferior opponents. The No. 1 seed in the conference is still within arm's reach and it would not surprise me if the path to Las Vegas again runs through Arrowhead Stadium. There are real reasons to wonder if the offense will be Kansas City's pitfall when January rolls around. Hope for a successful Super Bowl title defense took a hit on Monday night. It'll be interesting to see how this team responds heading into a two-game road stretch.
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