You ever get a gut feeling? My gut told me this was going to be a long day for the Kansas City Chiefs when the opening touchdown to Tyreek Hill was called back. My gut was right. Always check your gut.
Last week a family emergency kept me from the winners/losers article after the Patriots game, much to my dismay, but I’m here for this one.
The Chiefs looked a little off on the offensive side of the ball for the second straight week, and our defense appears to have been figured out. Pay no attention to the knee-jerk reactions.
No winners today, so let’s start the ranting.
It’s nice being fans of the defending Super Bowl champs. It’s also nice being fans of one of the more popular acts in the NFL. What comes along with these? New fans. You can tell the difference between a lifelong fan and a new fan in the last few years. The difference? Old fans are humble. New fans are not.
New fans don’t have a reason to be humble. The Chiefs have been the favorites in almost every contest since 2018. They don’t remember the Greg Hill years, or the Tyler Palko years. There’s a whole bunch of Chiefs fans eating crow today. I waited until I slept on it, but some of my thoughts remain. Chiefs Kingdom needed to check their heads as much as the team did.
The rest of Chiefs receivers
The rest, meaning not Tyreek Hill, and not Travis Kelce, although he took the blame for this loss. Last I checked he didn’t play defense, but we will get to that later. It sure looks as though Patrick Mahomes doesn’t trust the rest of the receiving group. Almost every offensive snap shows Mecole Hardman or Demarcus Robinson running routes without being targeted. Week after week.
Through five weeks Hardman has 13 catches for 194 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ok, that isn’t so bad. It does seem like we have to watch 90% of the game before we see Mecole do much with the ball. Robinson, on the other hand, has been a waste of roster space. Sorry. I love him, but he isn’t worth his contract. Not unless things change. Out of 15 targets, Robinson has 8 receptions for 50 yards. That is not what you would call production. Byron Pringle had almost half the yardage on one catch. Deon Yelder has one catch so far, as well.
These stats leave us asking why. Why is Robinson on the field half the time when he doesn’t get targeted, or get open, and can’t block a cardboard cutout? I know as well as you do that he has the talent to do and be much more. We are also carrying four tight ends on the 53. Yelder has that one catch, and Nick Keizer hasn’t had a catch yet.
Hard to spread the field with this type of production. Is there anyone on the practice squad we can bring up? Can they do better than one catch in five games?
It’s just one game. It’s just one game…
Since it’s just one game, I’ll take it easy on the defense as a whole. However, two individuals make my eyes cringe. Watching this game for a second time revealed what I thought during live action. Generally, there was always one player 5-10 yards behind a Raider receiver after a big completion. Dan Sorenson, you are on notice.
Dan, thank you for snuffing out that fake punt in the playoffs. I’m done pretending nobody else would have made that same play. I know Sorenson is a favorite, but one good play out of ten is not worth a roster spot, either. Remove Dan from the roster and tell me how much worse we are. Anyone can cover bad and miss tackles.
Ben Neimann, you are on notice, as well. Watching Neimann play is like that meme where the character is poking something with a stick, saying “do something”. He earns high praise over and over and I’m having a hard time figuring out why.
Patrick Mahomes said it best after the game:
” We have to be able to get to 3rd down and manageable. We have to stop relying on crazy plays just to get down field.”
He’s talking to you, O-line. Not only does Patrick have to run for his life every snap, but he is forced to make the impossible, possible. Even Mahomes can only do that 50% of the time.
The Chiefs had two touchdowns taken away due to penalties, a holding call in the 1st that negated the best play of the game, and the illegal block by Kelce. That’s 14 points. The Chiefs lost by 8. Simple math. This season has similar shades of last year. Start off hot, lose to mediocrity, and well, last year turned out pretty good.
You weren’t the reason we lost, but that doesn’t change the fact that the referees missed so many blatant calls, and called many penalties on both sides that didn’t warrant any merit. How does Tyreek get two Raiders playing piggyback seconds before the ball arrives and not receive a flag in his favor?
Do better, stripes. Do better.
They sure seemed to want this one more than Kansas City did. It was obvious that they were tired of getting whooped up on. Derek Carr had one of the best games of his career. The defense stepped up big in the 2nd half, and Josh Jacobs ran all over the Chiefs.
It was bound to happen. Despite what has been written above, this loss doesn’t hurt me as much as I thought it would. It is still a loss that the Chiefs can’t afford to be losing. Especially with only one bye in the playoffs. The Chiefs don’t like doing things the easy way, though.