Takeaways from Bills at Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have too much talent to be this bad. There has been this anticipation for weeks that any moment during a game the “real” Chiefs were about to emerge. Cris Collinsworth said several times during Sunday’s broadcast how the Chiefs can score quickly and “We know the KC chiefs are too good to keep going like this”, yet they did keep going like “that.”

They were overrated coming into the season due to the last two seasons, they remained overrated through 5 weeks, which ends today. They are the classic example of the Super Bowl hangover.

This sleeping dragon was expected to awake and tear through the Ravens, Chargers, and last night against the Buffalo Bills. Instead, all of those teams exercised the demon of the supposed class of the AFC, the dynasty in the making lead by the best player in the NFL.

Yep, any minute now the Super Bowl favorite will return to the top of their game and be the best team in AFC. However, that moment has yet to arrive and now K.C. boasts a 2-3 record and remain in last place in the AFC West. Although flush with talent, this team looks lost. Dropped passes, turnovers, penalties, missed assignments on both sides of the ball, throws in the dirt, horrible play-calling, and a complete inability to adjust.  

During a nationally televised game, the Chiefs melted down and the road to mediocrity is now a reality. This team has given the league every reason to think they are not to be feared. The blueprint is real and has effectively reduced the Chiefs to the likes of a team that is not better than their record and the Chiefs are no better than 2-3.

There isn’t a magical moment when the Chiefs of the last two seasons will suddenly return. What if this team is exactly what their record says? For reference, the Chiefs are tied with teams like the Patriots, Eagles, and Washington. No longer is this team running with the big dogs.

The defense again is an obvious culprit, surrendering 31 of the 38 points scored. In the first half, Josh Allen had 7 completed passes, 7 COMPLETIONS……FOR 219 YARDS! Dan Sorensen should never wear a Chiefs uniform again. Either he is completely clueless or was playing for the Bills. It is hard not to have some appreciation for his efforts during the Super Bowl run, but the new lasting indelible image is now Honey Badger standing on the field with his hands up looking at the Bills TE running into the end zone. Sorensen gave up two plays for 114 yards. Undoubtedly the chats for “Fire Spags” start any minute now and those voices might have a point.

In looking at the rest of the night for the defense, no real pressure, no sacks, wide-open receivers: It was just a continuation of every other week this season. QBs can’t wait to play this defense and why not? Spags has made no notable progress in five weeks with his scheme. 29, 36, 30, 30, 38. That is how many points the Chiefs have given up each week this season. 163 points in five weeks. So, yes, those “Fire Spags” voices might be right.

Of equal blame for last night’s embarrassment is the offensive. They were off and out of sync during what should have been a statement game, but they aren’t that team anymore. They are a mid-level team and there is little argument against that fact. Especially when they failed so miserably against the Bills. Tyreek was handcuffed by the Bills and by his inability to catch several passes that hit his hands, Kelce was solved and Josh Gordon wasn’t a savior in freeing those two up.

The big off-season acquisition Orlando Brown Jr. had a rough outing, particularly a series of miscues in the 3rd quarter where he had a holding call, missed a block on a sweep, and then another holding call. Ugh. The attempt to establish a run game, again, seemed to prove a liability, then CEH got injured. The infallible Patrick Mahomes turned in one of his worst games outside of the Super Bowl.

Overthrows, scrambling unnecessarily, baffling throws in the dirt are a few of the issues that plagued PM 15 on an off night. His supporting cast didn’t offer a lot of help, but his frustrations of dink and dunk are starting to show. Teams have shut down the big plays the Chief are used to and they have yet to find a way to adjust.

Teams have figured the Chiefs out and they will continue to face the same blueprint until they can somehow find a new scheme to challenge the lack of big plays. Andy Reid must bear the blame for this team’s inability to compete this season. The offensive mastermind has not been able to modify his play-calling and re-calibrate this one-time explosive offense to Cover 2.

Can Reid right this ship after his team had yet another lackluster performance on national television? Not only that, the defense hasn’t been able to adjust the teams like Buffalo who have adopted the Chiefs’ former big-play abilities. In a few short weeks, the Chiefs have given the Ravens confidence, justified the Chargers as the favorite to win the AFC West, and now (if they even make the playoffs) have certainly surrendered a bunch of tie-breakers for a home playoff game. But, at this point, are we talking playoffs?

Sure, there will be the continued anticipation of the dragon will awaken and show the non-believers, but after watching the Sunday night against Buffalo, is that feasible? Did that team look confident? Or even energetic? They looked defeated and lackluster. There was a shot of Travis Kelce on the sideline as the Bills drove to finish the game, it was a combination of anger and disbelief. He summoned up the way the entire Chiefs Kingdom is feeling, where is the 17-0, this dynasty of multiple Super Bowls?  

Perhaps the Chiefs have a run in them and Andy will figure it out, but right now, it doesn’t seem promising. In looking at their wins, they squeaked out a win against Cleveland and they let the lowly Eagles put up 461 yards of offense after getting destroyed by Dallas six days earlier. No, this team isn’t running with the top teams and won’t be viewed that way until they can find a way to return to form. Is Washington next week a get-right game? OR will they push the Chiefs to a last possession win?

This team is not getting right next week or the week after that. No, the Kingdom is in a wait-and-see holding pattern as to what the Chiefs will be this season. Right now, this team is stacked with talent, but regrettably is a middle-of-the-pack disappointment. A game against another underachieving team next Sunday won’t shed much light on where this team sits in January. There are some games to circle in the coming weeks that will really let us know if this team can truly compete for a post-season spot. Until then the Kingdom will wait and hope that “We know the KC chiefs are too good to keep going like this.”