With disappointing end to the 2021 season, the Chiefs are now looking forward to the offseason
The confetti fell on the field of Arrowhead on the 31st of January and the Lamar Hunt Trophy was not raised by the Chiefs for the first time in three years. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Chiefs who had an epic meltdown in the second half. The Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC Championship Game 27-24 in overtime after trailing 21-3, the Bengals made a bunch of huge adjustments whereas the Chiefs seemed to rely on hero ball and grit.
The Chiefs were up 21-10 with five seconds left in the first half and instead of getting a quick play to try to reach the end zone, the Chiefs got cute and did a rocket pass with no blockers to Tyreek Hill, which led to the tackle with no time remaining. This came to bite the Chiefs in the butt, as they only scored three more points the rest of the game.
The Bengals’ defense seemed to cause a lot of problems for Patrick Mahomes, who seemed flustered and couldn’t get his rhythm going in the second half. He completed under 40% of his passes and was missing wide-open receivers throughout the second half. This was the worst we’ve seen Mahomes in the AFC Playoffs and it was mostly self-inflicted by targeting Robinson on three third downs and even getting one of those intercepted by a defensive lineman.
It was mainly an offensive meltdown, the worst loss in the Mahomes era, one where Mahomes could win the game for them. The Chiefs’ defense played really well throughout the game, honestly, they were the only part of the Chiefs that stayed consistent. The only reason they allowed scores is because the Chiefs’ offense kept putting them on the field and a defense designed to bend starts to break.
Also, I have to give the Bengals credit, they took advantage of all of the opportunities given to them, they got two turnovers after halftime and turned them into points, one the game-winning field goal in overtime.
So where do we go from here?
Well, the exit interviews with Head Coach Andy Reid and General Manager Brett Veech helped to show which direction the Chiefs will be heading. It seems like they want to bring back almost everyone and try to get back in the same spot, it all depends on how much money they can generate with contract restructuring and if they can get some players on better contracts for the Chiefs. It seems like they are going to get rid of a bunch of veteran contracts and try to keep the core of the team together as they move on.
I think they will try to keep key pieces and move on from contributors who didn’t have great seasons this year or last. I’m thinking Hitchens and Frank Clark will be cut and they will not bring back most of the veterans like Dan Sorenson, Ben Niemann, Jarran Reed, and probably won’t bring back Demarcus Robinson or Byron Pringle.
The Chiefs will have a long offseason to think over what they are going to do next, but this was an extremely successful season which didn’t end the way we wanted it to. Look ahead for more coverage on the offseason here on Arrowhead Live as we move towards draft possibilities and mock drafts