For the second consecutive week, the Kansas City Chiefs came up on the short end of the stick. This time it was a combination of self-inflicted wounds, poor timing, and bad football that have left many scratching their heads.
- Turnovers killed Kansas City
For the second consecutive game, the turnovers hurt the Chiefs in critical points of the game. The first three offensive possessions of the game all ended in turnovers, a Mahomes interception off a Marcus Kemp drop, a fumble from Tyreek Hill, and a fumble from Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Those three plays lead to the Chargers going up 14 early on in the game. The Chiefs would fight back in the second half but another Mahomes interception late would set up Los Angeles to take the lead for good. The largest factor in the Cheifs loss this week was turnovers. All three of the early drives looked like they would result in points, yet the Chiefs despite having 400 yards off offense were held to only three in the first half. The Chiefs must hammer home ball security and fundamentals moving forward.
2. The Mahomes and Herbert rivalry is here
We all knew it was going to come sooner than later, but with Justin Herbert coming into Arrowhead and taking a victory against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs it has officially ignited what will be one of the league’s premier QB duels for years to come. Herbert went 26 of 38 for 281 yards and four touchdowns, with Mahomes finishing 27 for 44 with 260 passing yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Not the best game for Mahomes, but Herbert stepped up on a big stage and delivered a big win for the Chargers. Mahomes will have his chance to avenge the loss during a Thursday night week 15 matchup in Los Angeles.
3. Juan Thornhill still absent
The game’s box score did not have any official statistics recorded for Thornhill. The official snap count charts will be out tomorrow but it was easy to tell that once again Thornhill was not involved in the game plan at all. As we saw the Chiefs secondary crumble late in the game it will continue to raise questions that if Thornhill is healthy why is not being allowed to make contributions on the field. The Chiefs’ defense was picked apart late by Herbert and his weapons, and the Chargers even used Austin Ekeler on the ground late. It is hard to watch knowing that Thornhill has the skill set to help make a difference.
4. Kansas City’s pass rush was nearly non-existent once again.
The Chiefs were going to be thin at the defensive end this season, but through three games the team’s pass rush is not on par for what it should be, and where it has been in prior seasons. Frank Clark missed the game after tweaking his hamstring in practice. Chris Jones outside of only one play was nonexistent from the edge rushing the passer, and Steve Spagnuolo didn’t work to try to get him back inside on key downs. Mike Danna generated the only sack of the day but it was due to good coverage downfield. With just six quarterback hits the Chiefs didn’t see production from Jarran Reed, Alex Okafor, or Tershawn Wharton. Not even the Chiefs blitz could get home, especially late, and in the red zone.
5. Another last-second loss puts the Chiefs in uncharted water.
The loss puts the Chiefs at one and two on the season, the first time since 2015 that they have been below .500, and the first time of the Mahomes era. For many of the players on this team, this will be a new experience entirely. They have lost back-to-back games, both coming down to the wire, and both of which were more than win-able. Moving forward the team must get back to the fundamentals of the game. It’s been little things that have caused both losses. Ball security seems like a small issue to emphasize in practice until it rears its head in the game. The team will have to re-group once again, but this time it has to be with a purpose. The road isn’t getting any easier, but the talent this team has will always give them a shot in any game they are in. It will be a long hard climb but they have the ability to get it done. When the Chiefs decide to stop beating themselves and focus on beating other teams things will end up being ok.