From the Armchair: Kansas City Chiefs, Week 16
I think it is safe to say that that was the first (and hopefully last) egg the Kansas City Chiefs have laid this season. After forcing a quick punt on the Colts first drive and parading down the field for a TD on their first drive, Kansas City decided to take the rest of the game off, much to the chagrin of those of us watching from home (or the stadium, I bet).
The scariest part of this game is that the Chiefs got thumped 23-7 at home against a team that they will likely play again in two weeks in the playoffs. That doesn't bode well for ending their 20-season playoff-win drought.
The good news is that the Chiefs are locked into the No. 5 seed and can take it easy in Week 17 against the San Diego Chargers (though it would be really nice to beat them and keep them out of the playoffs).
Can the Chiefs beat the Colts (or the Bengals or Patriots) in two weeks? Sure, but not with that kind of effort.
Here are some takeaways from the game:
Unacceptable penalties and turnovers. I am trying to think of this with a positive spin. It is unlikely the Chiefs will turn the ball over four times again. Alex Smith through one unlucky interception. Knile Davis, on the other hand, likely will fumble the ball if he touches it too many times. Will Andy Reid give him the ball in the playoffs? Hard to say. Hard to trust him when you put the ball on the turf twice in four touches.
It is also unlikely that a soft-spoken guy like Dontari Poe will get called for a crippling unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Seven penalties for 65 yards is bad, but not so, so terrible. What was so, so terrible is that those seven penalties gave the Colts four first downs. You can't give away free first downs in the NFL and win.
Jamaal Charles needs more carries. Andy Reid took the blame for this in his Monday press conference, but 13 carries for Jamaal Charles is far too few to win. He is arguably the best player in the NFL. He is more explosive than the Chiefs' passing game. He can't be abandoned, even when KC falls behind. Charles was a ghost in the second half, and not surprisingly, so was Kansas City's offense.
Will the pass rush return? The Chiefs only had one sack, even though Andrew Luck dropped back to pass 43 times. Sure, Luck is big, strong and elusive, but the pass rush has been stagnant for the better part of two months now. It sounds like Justin Houston should be back in the lineup this week or next, which should help as teams won't be able to focus all of their attention on Tamba Hali. That said, Hali is now banged up too, so hoping that this KC defense will be what it was the first nine weeks of the season anytime soon is probably wishful thinking.