The Chiefs’ will need to make key adjustments in order to make the playoffs after a sluggish start to the season.
The Chiefs are currently 2-3 after playing one of the hardest schedules to start the season. The defense has taken a larger portion of the blame, giving up a league-worst 32.6 points per game.
However, both sides of the ball have shown sloppy play relative to what fans are used to with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The team is last in the AFC West going into Week 6 and they need to adjust accordingly.
Win the turnover battle
The Chiefs have lost the turnover battle in most games this season. Overall, the Chiefs have a -7 turnover ratio on the season.
The two notable games where turnovers were an issue were against the Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs turned it over four times in each contest. Against the Chargers, their first three positions finished with turnovers in the Chargers’ territory.
Against the Bills, the Chiefs gave up a pick-six and then had a costly red-zone interception in the third quarter last Sunday. Overall, the offense has still shown to put up yards and even points, but turnovers have also put the defensive unit in bad positions at times.
In order to make a run and go on a winning streak, the turnovers have to be limited and the offense has to be better about finishing its drives.
More defensive stops and forced mistakes
The Chiefs’ defense has struggled this year. They are near the bottom or at the bottom for yards given up and points allowed.
Thankfully, the Chiefs have an incredible offense that can keep them in games. But the defense has to start forcing more turnovers and creating chances for the offense. The high-level quarterback play they’ve gone against to start the year may help later on.
This defense has gone against really solid quarterbacks this season: Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen. Everyone except for Hurts is on an up-and-coming AFC team that is hungry to dethrone the back-to-back AFC champions.
An easier stretch against Washington, Tennessee Titans, and the New York Giants should be an easier test. Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s easier games are ahead to get his unit back on track.
Though the defense has been alarming, they have had a few difficult calls against them that limited turnovers. Chiefs linebacker Ben Niemann forced and recovered a fumble against the Eagles that was ruled down.
Then the Bills got a pretty fortunate roughing the passer call against Frank Clark on a thrown interception. Easier opponents may help this struggling defense to get back to being more reliable.
Beat inferior opponents
Realistically, few teams have the talent to stack up with Kansas City. On both sides, high-level talent is there and capable to perform at a high level.
Over the next three games, the Chiefs should be able to win handily if they play the right way. The beginning of their schedule had to possibility of a slow start, and it has.
The Chiefs have already played three playoff teams from last season. The Chargers appear to also be a playoff team so far with their 4-1 start to the season as well.
Now that the harder part of the schedule comes to a close, the Chiefs must refocus and start getting on the winning track again.