After a heartbreaking loss to the Ravens on Sunday Night, how do the Chiefs bounce back?
With how the game vs the Ravens ended, most of Chiefs Kingdom was very disappointed. A one-point loss to a battered Baltimore squad was not what anyone expected. But a heartbreaking loss can bring a team back down to earth and make them want to make adjustments as they move forward. There are plenty of adjustments I would recommend, but here are four ways the Chiefs can get another in the win column next week.
Find an identity on defense!
The 2019 Chiefs Defense was one of the better all-around units in the league as they headed towards the playoffs and eventually a Super Bowl win. But early on in the season, they were just as bad as the 2018 unit which was ranked 30th in total defense, what happened?
They were able to find an identity. Coach Spagnuolo was able to build on the strengths of that defense and turn that into a defense that was able to bend but not break. But this season, they are breaking every run-heavy drive.
In the past two weeks, the Chiefs have allowed 27 rushing first downs and 404 rushing yards on 6.0 yards per carrying average. They just have not been able to stop the run at all this season and they had problems in coverage as well, they are currently the worst-ranked defense in the league. It’s time to find out what they are going to be on the defensive side of the ball. They are playing a high-flying offensive team in the Chargers and it’s going to be difficult for them to hold the Chargers from scoring.
But being able to find out how to use your talented players in the best spot is what Spags is going to have to do if they want to win against Los Angeles next week.
Be more aggressive on offense
The Chiefs were able to score 35 points in the first 38 minutes of the game vs the Ravens and then did not score another point the rest of the way. It’s been a staple of the Andy Reid tenure where the Chiefs have had a lead and then get complacent and then lose the game. This is what happened against Baltimore yet again. The Chiefs have got to start being aggressive when they aren’t down by double-digits, it seems like they get a sense of urgency when they are down and that is a recipe for disaster in the NFL.
Now this isn’t the “sky is falling” or anything but it has been a pattern with the Chiefs in their losses, it always seems like they play conservative when they have a lead instead of going for the jugular. It doesn’t mean you chuck it to Tyreek or Mecole Hardman every time you have the ball, but do something that can get you in scoring position when you have the lead. I do think the Chiefs rested on their laurels when the Ravens got back into the game and the Baltimore game was proof that it is not sustainable.
Playing against another high-powered offense, they will need to score on most drives and it shouldn’t be a problem early in Los Angeles, but I would love to see them just bury the Chargers by just pouring on the points early and often.
Figure out the defensive line
The defensive line has been atrocious so far this season, Chris Jones has been the only steady contributor this season and he didn’t have a tackle until the third quarter against the Ravens. I think the Chris Jones at Edge experiment is over for the Chiefs. It was a good idea in theory with the problems at the edge all offseason and preseason, but he was eaten alive on Zone Read Option plays against Baltimore.
With Frank Clark back in action and the middle of the defensive line struggling, I expect him to be back inside for most run sets this season. It’s not like I don’t like the idea of Chris Jones at edge, I just like it when he’s a better run-stopper in the middle of the defense. It’s not like Chris Jones can’t move to edge on pass rush sets, but I would like to see him more on the interior when they are in run-heavy sets.
When they play the Chargers who are really well balanced, it’s going to be another test to see what the defensive line can do to disrupt Justin Herbert. I think if they can shift Chris Jones back to the inside and have him be disruptive, it’s a big win for Kansas City. Also if they can generate pressure with their defensive line without blitzing, it would give more confidence in the defense as the season continues.
Let Clyde Edwards-Helaire run wild
I know this may be controversial with the recent fumble at the end of the loss to Baltimore but Clyde Edwards-Helaire needs to get more touches. He has been nothing but a positive player this season for Kansas City, averaging over 4.0 yards per carry, and has been able to do great things in the passing game whether it’s catching out of the backfield or getting a screen pass.
Edwards-Helaire has had some consistency issues with reading the blocks, but more rushes or receptions will be able to fix that as he will adjust to the blockers and the scheme. I do have a lot of faith in CEH, but it’s more about another weapon that makes the offense extremely dangerous, if the Chiefs can get the run game going, it opens up the offense more with play-action passes or draws. Edwards-Helaire is RB1 and is the most dynamic back on the Chiefs and I would love to see him have a great game against LA.
I would love to see him get more touches against the Chargers because if they can control the clock more vs the Chargers, it means less time the defense has to be on the field. Also, it should help free up Tyreek and Travis if he can be a threat in the passing game as well.