After a comeback victory in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs hit the road to take on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Despite a strong offensive effort, the defense fell apart, leading to a 36-35 loss.
The defense did start out strong. After missing the Browns game due to COVID-19, star safety Tyrann Mathieu returned with a bang. He picked off Jackson’s second pass attempt and took it to the house for a pick-six, giving Kansas City a quick 7-0 lead.
The Ravens responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive, capped off with a touchdown from Devin Duvernay off a fumble from Ty’Son Williams. On that drive, Baltimore ran for 64 of the 75 yards.
Following the tying touchdown, Patrick Mahomes took the field for the first time. He drove the Chiefs down the field and they regained the lead on a 33-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson as Mahomes threw it on the move. Chiefs took a 14-7 lead.
On the next drive, Mathieu picked off Jackson for the second time. this one coming deep in Chiefs territory. However, Kansas City did not score following the turnover.
Later in the half, Latavius Murray tied the game with a five-yard touchdown run. Before the end of the half, KC regained the lead with a two-yard touchdown run from Darrel Williams. A last-second field goal from Justin Tucker put the score at 21-17 in favor of the Chiefs at the half.
To open the second half, Mahomes connected with Byron Pringle for a 40-yard touchdown. The long touchdown to Pringle moved Mahomes into second place for the most passing touchdowns in Chiefs history, surpassing Trent Green.
Jackson responded with a jump throw 42-yard TD to Hollywood Brown on the next drive to cut the KC lead to one possession.
Then, Travis Kelce happened. The star tight end went beast mode and bullied his way into the endzone for a 46-yard touchdown. The Chiefs led 35-24 after three quarters.
Travis Kelce’s 109 receiving yards on the night tied him with Tony Gonzalez for the most 100-yard receiving games in Chiefs history with 26. He also became the fastest tight end to 8,000 career receiving yards in NFL history.
However, the fourth quarter proved to be disastrous for the Chiefs. Following a Mahomes interception, the Ravens stormed down the field and Jackson ran it in to cut the lead to 35-30.
The Chiefs were forced to punt on the next drive and the Ravens dominated the time of possession going on an eight-minute drive. Jackson capped it off with his second rushing touchdown of the game to take a 36-35 lead.
The Chiefs had three minutes to get into field goal range and it only took three plays to get into field goal range before the two-minute warning. Following the break, the Chiefs handed the ball off to Clyde Edwards-Helaire and he fumbled it and turned it over.
Jackson sealed the victory with a first down run on fourth and short.
On the night, the Chiefs allowed 251 rushing yards. Jackson led the way with 107 yards on the ground.
The Ravens also shut down Tyreek Hill, holding him to 3 receptions for 14 yards.
There are a few things that stick out more than anything else after this game. The first thing is the defense. The Chiefs defense looked horrible. Even with forcing two turnovers, they surrendered 36 points. The inability to stop the run torched them last week and crushed them this week. Changes need to be made on the defensive side of the ball, and quick. The defense is starting to give off vibes of the 2018 unit led by Bob Sutton.
When your offense puts up 35 points, you should not lose.
Second, why did the Chiefs not try to get Hill more involved? Kansas City could’ve used screen passes or quick routes to get him the ball in space and let him use his speed and athleticism to make plays. The team wanted to get more receivers involved and they succeeded, with nine different guys recording a reception, but at what cost?
The offense needs to find a way to get Hill the ball, but also share the wealth amongst other receivers. The offense was still able to put up 35 points without Hill, imagine what happens when they get him more touches.
Let’s look at the fumble. Kansas City is paying the best quarterback in the league half a billion dollars. Why are you taking the ball out of his hands? They should have gone with a quick pass, whether it is a screen, slant, or crossing route to get some yardage. You don’t take the ball out of Mahomes’ hands in that situation.
Lastly, Andy Reid needs to stop becoming conservative once the team gets a two possession lead. when you have an offense led by the league’s best quarterback and two top weapons, keep the foot on the gas pedal and attack.
Next week, the Chiefs head back home for their first divisional matchup of the year against the Los Angeles Chargers. Kickoff is set for noon CST.