Welcome to the second edition of Let’s Overreact! The idea behind this weekly piece is to take a component of the Chiefs game and hit the panic and overanalyze to the point of chatroom/Twitter-like overreaction.
When this idea was formulated it seemed like a fun way to look at different aspects in an absurd way. I guess I didn’t think it through, because this week the Chiefs opened the book for potential topics for this week’s installment.
Which angle would I go? The defense’s utter meltdown under the lights of Sunday Night? Mahomes first INT in September? The CEH fumble seemed like it was near the top of the list. The O-line? Nah, that was last week, but they had another less than stellar performance.
How about Andy Reid trying out playing power football? Fire Steve Spagnuolo? Sure, that’s a good overreaction to one bad game. So many options, I couldn’t decide in the end, so this week’s Let’s Overreact! will feature the entire Chiefs vs Ravens game. So, without further ado…. Let’s Overreact!
Unmitigated disaster. In their last three games, two this season and the Super Bowl, the Chiefs are 1-2 and the defense has given up 96 points. Let me repeat that one more time, 96 POINTS! That is basically four touchdowns and a field goal per game, add a two-point conversion to make 32 points per game. What is the defense doing? What is Spags doing?
Nothing, they are doing nothing. Well, they are doing one thing I guess, waiting for Patrick Mahomes to conjure up some Mahomes Magic and win the game while they make that task as difficult as possible for PM 15 and the offense. Through two games this season, the Chiefs have 21 missed tackles, just over 10 tackles per game. During the Ravens game, it looked like they feared tackling, at one point Lamar Jackson was so tired of not being tackled he decided to hit a Chiefs defender. This defense is failing on so many levels that where do you even start overreacting?
How about Chris Jones? This seems like a good place, all of the press around Jones moving to the outside and what the result would be. Sack record, breaking around the corner in Beast Mode and just wreaking havoc on opposing offenses. Well, how about we seriously overreact for a moment over Jones not being credited with a single tackle on Sunday Night against the Ravens.
That’s right, ZERO tackles, he was credited with an assist, so I guess he earned that game check. The Chiefs have an excessive sum of money wrapped up in Frank Clark and Chris Jones and they combined for 2 tackles and 2 assists, give Clark one of those tackles for a loss.
Remember when it seemed like the Chiefs were going to lose Jones over money? Well, they didn’t and he got paid, and now the Chiefs are shelling out $189 million to Jones and Clark (Jones 4 yrs. $85 million and Clark 5 yrs. $104 million) and for what? So far in this season and in Super Bowl LV, not enough.
What happens when players get that big contract and they stop playing hard? The Chiefs spend more on their defensive line than any other team in the NFL, they accounted for 8 tackles against the Ravens who ran 68 plays. Brett Veach blew up the O-line in the off-season, is this the route the D-line is heading? Did the Chiefs sign Jarran Reed this off-season? Has anyone heard from him?
Twice on Sunday the Ravens had 1st or 2nd down and more than 20 yards to go, both times they moved the chains. There is no chance this team is returning to the Super Bowl, AFC Championship, or a #1 seed with the present incarnation of this defense. Spags needs to get this ship righted and quick or else we will all be seeing the ghosts of defenses past from ’18 and ‘01.
Patrick Mahomes should be forever excused from being included in a Let’s Overreact! article, but the man himself said, “It’s probably one of the worst interceptions I’ve had.” That terrible INT is also his first in the month of September along with his first loss in the opening month of the season.
In re-watching that play, it is impossible to see why he threw that, although convention would suggest that PM 15 suffers from some type of PTSD (Patrick’s Teams have Shotty Defenses.) Going back to his days at Texas Tech, Mahomes was forced to play mistake-free and produce points on every drive for his team to have a chance to win. In that environment, PM 15 evolved his, at times, reckless persona.
Although Mahomes has matured in his years as the Chiefs starter and savior, that INT was a throwback to his produce or lose days at Texas Tech. The blueprint provided by Tampa Bay on that fateful day back in February forces Mahomes to be more patient and has taken away a lot of deep throws.
Without the fear of a run game, Mahomes may show moments of frustration, and combined with his PTSD, errors are inevitable. Mahomes needs help, how can a player be content when they are forced week after week to perform at such a level to make up for the deficiencies around him? Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill can’t win enough games to make the playoffs, a few playoff games, and the AFC Championship by themselves. After two weeks, that looks like the only route back to the Super Bowl.
One way to help Mahomes would be a run game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has not been worth a 1st round pick, not even close. His performance leading up to the fumble was mediocre at best. Through two games he has 89 yards rushing, something that he should be producing that per game. The inability for CEH and Chiefs to produce on the ground allows teams to drop seven and only dedicate four down linemen to the trenches. This has to change or the fate of this team is an early playoff exit at best. Worst case; the Chiefs miss the playoffs, don’t think it can happen? Do a search for the Dick Vermeil years if you weren’t around.
Many people will look back and think that the Edwards-Helaire fumble cost the Chiefs this game, what are the odds CEH has his first fumble and Mahomes throws his first September interception in the same game? But this game wasn’t lost on that last turnover, it certainly could have been won on that last drive, however, this entire team desires credit for this loss.
The defense, the offense, Reid’s play-calling, the Ravens wide-open receivers, the weak run game, a bad snap, a bad INT, a bad fumble, a bad game. The Chargers are coming to Arrowhead this week off their own bad loss and are watching the film and scheming their own run game. If the Chiefs were to lose this week, they would be in last place in the AFC West. They are currently tied for third and the Raiders are in 1st.