The Kansas City Chiefs dropped their second game of the season, falling to the Oakland Raiders in a crazy and controversial manner, 31-30 on Thursday Night Football. The defeat is the Chiefs second in four days and they now drop to 5-2 overall. Here are the week seven Kansas City Chiefs takeaways.
Week Seven Kansas City Chiefs Takeaways
Something is Wrong With the Defense
Traditionally, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr struggles against the Chiefs. Coming into Thursday night’s game, Carr was 1-7 against Kansas City in his career with some of his worst games coming when these two teams meet. That was not the case tonight. Carr threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns against a defense that struggled to cover downfield and got very little pressure on Carr all night. Aside from the forced fumble that was negated by penalty, the Chiefs never took Carr to the ground.
Is it the scheme? Is it the players? It is hard to tell. But from a fans perspective, it is beyond frustrating to see only three defenders rushing the passer and a cornerback trailing a wide open receiver or tight end down field. 30 points, 342 passing yards and three touchdowns by Alex Smith should be enough to get Kansas City to victory. However, that was not the case tonight with this defense.
Maybe things will get better when Steven Nelson and Tamba Hali return in the coming weeks, but there is no telling what kind of playing shape they will be in when they get back on the field. It is hard to imagine that two players will do a turn to invigorate a defense that has given up 924 yards and 50 points over the past two weeks. Bob Sutton’s “bend but don’t break” defense is broken.
Offense Performs but Cannot Put It Away
While Smith had a great night, the offense could not put the game away when they needed to. Kansas City took over at their own 34 yard line, up six points with 4:15 remaining on the clock. Oakland only had two timeouts remaining, meaning Kansas City needed to just get a first down and leave little to no time on the clock in the event Oakland got the ball back.
The result? Zero-yard run. Six-yard run. 11-yard loss on a sack. Punt. Oakland took over from there and proceeded to rattle off 15 plays in the last 2:25 thanks to multiple penalties called on both teams.
This loss will fall on the defense for the most part, but it should not be overlooked that the offense could not ice the game like they had so many times this season already.
This game was marred with questionable calls throughout the game. Early on, Amari Cooper scored a 38-yard touchdown on a flea flicker where many fans, both Chiefs and non-Chiefs fans, believed Cooper got away with offensive pass interference. A couple of series later, the Chiefs forced and recovered a fumble deep in Oakland territory that was negated by a horrendous illegal contact penalty on Eric Murray.
At the end of the game, the Raiders had four opportunities to score the game-winning touchdown thanks to offensive pass interference, defensive holding, and defensive holding in the end zone. Kansas City had plenty of opportunities to win the game, but penalties gave the Raiders multiple chances to stay in the game and win at the end. While the penalties at the end of the game were legit, the officials undoubtedly had some questionable calls on both sides of the field.
Kansas City has now lost two games in four days after starting 5-0. They are still not completely healthy on either side of the ball, so reinforcements are on the way. The team is still in a very good position for the postseason, particularly since five of their final nine games are at Arrowhead Stadium.
There are absolutely some real issues with the team, but the season is not lost. The Chiefs are still 5-2, which is still at least tied for the best record in the AFC. Kansas City has 11 days to get healthy and get things right before playing their next game as they host the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs have to put these two heartbreaking losses behind them and get prepared for the home stretch.