Yikes, Sunday night was a rough game. It’s wild to think about how, after a little more than a season of Patrick Mahomes, we as Kansas City Chiefs fans have forgotten about losses like this. This is the first game in Mahomes’ career that the offense has scored less than 23 points (they scored 13). However, that detail should be looked at within the context that the top two receiving options (Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins) were out with injuries, and the offensive line suffered injuries with left tackle Eric Fisher out and left guard Andrew Wylie getting knocked out of the game. If those two pairs of injuries weren’t bad enough, Mahomes reaggravated his heel injury, which killed the mobility that makes his game great. The Colts did a lot right, the offense did a lot wrong, but injuries were the main culprit of Sunday’s loss.
The recent signing of veteran left guard Stefen Wisniewski is already a sign that the Chiefs are being aggressive in their efforts to remediate the issues from Sunday night. Tyreek Hill is also back to practicing which is a good sign that the number one deep threat in the NFL will return soon. When healthy, the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs offense is the best in the NFL. When injured, as they were Sunday night, they look mortal.
2019 Kansas City Chiefs: No Need to Panic
At 4-1, the Chiefs have a one-game lead over the second-place Raiders in the division, and the tiebreaker if they match the Chiefs record. They’re still second in the AFC behind the 5-0 New England Patriots (who, not to be bitter, have only played one team that has themselves won games [the Buffalo Bills, who were 3-0 at the time]). The Chiefs are a better team than the Patriots when healthy, but when having to ask the lower levels of their roster to step up in prime time with a hobbled Mahomes, these are the results you’re probably going to get. The Chiefs will correct the ship, get healthy, and, come February, we’ll all be laughing about this weekend.
Here’s why the Chiefs are going to be okay: the defense stepped up in a big spot. I’ve been doing film reviews on the defense earlier this season and will be back soon with more film reviews, but they gave the offense opportunities. Mathieu had himself a game, forcing a red zone interception. The Chiefs gave up yards on the ground game to Marlon Mack, allowing 180 rushing yards. The Colts ran the ball 45 times, with an average of four yards per carry. Mack, with 29 carries, put the Colts offense on his back.
We’ve heard time and time again people say that the best way to beat the Chiefs is to keep Mahomes off the field and dominate time of possession. In the past, teams that tried to do that would come close, but like in the Ravens game last season, Mahomes did his magic and found his receivers. Remember the Pat to Tyreek fourth and nine? Yeah, well Hill wasn’t in this game and Mahomes got hurt. Watkins was out of the game, and Byron Pringle had to step up in the bright lights. Even Travis Kelce had a rough night.
It’ll All Be Fine
The offense just wasn’t clicking. We’ve already explained the injury side, but another aspect is how early it is in the season. This team is still finding its identity. The offense already knows its identity, but it struggled to fulfill that with misses on Pat’s part, drops on the receiver’s part, and a costly fumble on McCoy’s part. We’ve seen worse starts to seasons. Never forget the 2015 season, for example, where the Chiefs started 1-5 and then didn’t lose another game until the divisional round in Foxboro.
The Chiefs aren’t out of the woods yet, with a road game this week against the Houston Texans and a Thursday night game off the short week against the Denver Broncos. That said, expect the Chiefs to know their issues and be hard at work fixing them. It won’t be overnight, but don’t abandon Super Bowl hopes off one bad night.