Munich – Andy Reid is one of the most successful and experienced coaches in the NFL. Nevertheless, the Chiefs-Head-Coach seemed at a loss after the clear 20:38 home defeat against the Buffalo Bills. Yes, almost perplexed.
“I didn’t see it coming,” the coach admitted. With a record of 2-3, the reigning AFC champion has already suffered as many defeats as in the entire past season – including the Super Bowl. In the AFC West, the Chiefs are currently in last place.
The reasons for the false start of the highly traded title contender are numerous.
Superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes also showed weaknesses in the first five games that we have not yet seen from him in this form. With 16 touchdown passes, the 26-year-old delivered the usual spectacle, but with six interceptions he has already thrown as many as in the 2020 season.
Mahomes are undermining too many turnover
Some NFL quarterbacks have already attracted attention with their risky, sometimes daring style of play. The difference with Mahomes: These actions work for him or they usually do not lead to turnovers. Passes where every fan thinks “oh, no” first often end with a long touchdown.
The ease with which the MVP of 2018 conjured up positive plays out of chaos has been lost this season.
Turnovers are costly, especially against a top team like the Bills. An interception in the third quarter was carried back by Micah Hyde for the touchdown. Mahomes’ fumble in the final quarter was emblematic of the playmaker’s current mini-crisis.
During a routine snap, Mahomes dropped the ball, possibly because he was looking for a deep pass station. The Bills secured the fumble, the last chance to win was gone.
His uncertainty was palpable against the Bills. The simplest passes were sometimes too imprecise or were thrown too short.
Mahomes: “Need to rethink my game”
Has the shooting star of the past few years been deciphered by the league’s defense coaches after his rocket launch? Mahomes is self-critical: “It starts with me. The difference in turnover decides games in this league. I have to rethink my game and my decisions.”
The superstar could well assert mitigating circumstances. After losing the Super Bowl against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chiefs invested a lot of money and draft capital in their offensive line, but the completely new row has to be found first.
Even top linemen like Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown need some time for the coordination in this position group to work. To make matters worse, Thuney injured himself against the Bills.
Kansas City Chiefs: Injuries make Bills’ game difficult
The rushing statistics against Buffalo seem solid at first glance: 23 runs, 120 yards, makes an average of 5.3 yards per run. However, Mahomes contributed more than half of the rushing yards with 61 yards – also because running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire retired early with a knee injury.
But it also underlines that Mahomes often had to escape the opposing pass rush. On the other hand, it was noticed that he no longer fully trusts his passport recipient to complete catches in tight situations.
The pick-six also went to Tyreek Hill, who couldn’t hold the ball. Hill and Travis Kelce also struggled with injuries during the game, Reid said.
Chiefs Defense shockingly weak
The Chiefs wouldn’t have to ask Mahomes to do miracles that often if the defense didn’t show up so frighteningly holey. No turnover forced. Not even a sack. The otherwise strong defensive line around Frank Clark and Chris Jones has been strangely toothless for weeks.
There are also several secondary lapses. At the 61-yard touchdown from Stefon Diggs, Safety Daniel Sorensen was let down by his colleague. The lightning-fast Bills star can hardly be stopped in single coverage. That should be well known.
In addition, there were missed tackles and unnecessary penalties – mistakes that a top team like the Bills punishes mercilessly. Overall, the Chiefs allow an average of 32.6 points per game – last place in the NFL.
Chiefs: Reid vows to get well soon
“I think most of their explosive plays were only possible because a receiver ran completely free across the field,” said Tyrann Mathieu, Star Safety of the Chiefs: “So we will of course train that. Our coaches will teach us.”
Ultimately, the popular head coach Reid also had to chalk up the false start. Neither offense nor defense can currently reach their full potential and make life difficult for each other.
“We didn’t present ourselves well today. It’s my responsibility to fix that. I look forward to when offense and defense play well together, because then we could be a really strong football team,” said the 63-year-old.
The duo Reid-Mahomes can be trusted to achieve this positive change. At the moment, the Chiefs are only really strong on paper.
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