Nick Bolton was one of the few bright spots on the defense, as he was consistently making plays. So good job Nick.
Digging deep here, but he had a nice interception, so he makes the list. So good job Willie.
The Run Defense
The big fear going into the game was the Chiefs terrible run defense against the best runningback in the NFL who had a bunch of 100 yard games in a row. They held him below 100, and his average wasn’t too bad either. So a win there I guess?
The Pass Rush
I know I could put the whole defense, but I think the pass rush is the biggest problem. Game after game the opposing quarterback has all day to throw the ball. In the modern NFL the pass rush (and the pass blocking) is the most critical part of the game outside of the quarterback himself, yet despite two expensive players in Chris Jones and Frank Clark on the field, against yet another offensive line missing starters, they couldn’t do anything.
The Offensive Line
The line has mostly been better than last year, but this game was a disaster. In previous games they were legitimately able to punish teams who were selling out against the pass by creating massive running lanes, and were also able to give Mahomes some moderate amount of time. But they did neither of those on Sunday.
I’m not an X’s and O’s guy, but the coaching staff made numerous terrible and inexcusable decisions throughout the game.
First, when down 27-0 going into halftime, decided to kneel to run out the clock. I know it would have taken a miracle, but why would you needlessly throw away that lottery ticket? The risk of a turnover? Clearly the reward is worth the risk.
Secondly, in the 2nd half, when the offense stalled on the fringes of field goal range, they initially sent out the punt team, then came to their senses and sent out the field goal team, but the confusion caused them to burn a timeout that would have likely been very valuable had they managed to put together a comeback.
Thirdly, they kept the starters (except for Mahomes) in the game for a final garbage time drive that was completely meaningless. Reid clearly understands the injury risk, as he always rests starters at the end of the season when playoff spots are locked up, so why risk injuries to valuable players in an equally pointless part of the game?