The Chiefs came to the Bay and destroyed the San Francisco 49ers by 21 points in a Super Bowl rematch. But there were some problems and takeaways to look over as the Chiefs head to the Bye Week.
The Chiefs were coming into a tough matchup, the San Francisco 49ers had the number one defense in the league and a running game which is hard to coach for. When the Chiefs went down 10-0 after yet another first-quarter interception of Patrick Mahomes, it was going to be an uphill battle, to say the least. The Chiefs then outscored the Niners by a score of 44-13 the rest of the way.
Patrick Mahomes and Mecole Hardman were standouts on offense, both having three touchdowns, and JuJu Smith-Schuster had his best game as a Kansas City Chief. The Chiefs’ defense had some issues, but sacked Jimmy Garapallo five times, including a huge safety to start the fourth quarter. The Chiefs are back on track and finished the hardest part of their schedule at 5-2 with only four playoff teams to play in the second half of the schedule. Here are some takeaways from Sunday’s win.
The Edge Rush Needs Another Quality Starter
The Chiefs’ Defense hasn’t been spectacular or really bad, they are playing consistent football and have been playing better over the recent weeks. That being said, the Chiefs’ defense still needs a few things, a defensive tackle to pair with Chris Jones, and an Edge Rusher to get some constant pressure with only rushing four defensive linemen.
The Chiefs Pass Rush was effective in certain spots on Sunday, but it wasn’t able to generate consistent pressure throughout the game unless they sent exotic blitz packages. It was really noticeable when the Niners had 4-5 seconds of time to let a pass play develop and the edge rushers were not moving the pass blockers. It’s time for a move on the edge, preferably someone with a lot of experience.
The Chiefs probably should go after a veteran pass rusher like Robert Quinn or Marcus Davenport, someone who won’t cost a lot of money or draft picks, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see them go after a bigger name. Brian Burns and Cam Jordan come to mind, but it will be a long week until we find out if the Chiefs can finally make the move to get a quality edge rusher at the Trade Deadline.
It’s Time to take Skyy Moore off of Special Teams
Let’s get this over with, Skyy Moore has a lot of talent and seems to be finding a small role in the offensive rotation. He shouldn’t be returning punts when he hasn’t returned kicks or punts since he was in middle school.
The experiment is over and he’s not good at it, he has three muffed punts this season and is only averaging a little over 5 yards per return. The problem with this is the stubbornness of Dave Toub and Andy Reid to keep Skyy Moore in a position to fail. It’s not like Skyy is a bad player or needs to be benched, but there are other players on the roster who have caught punts and kicks.
And when you set up a young player to fail and you bench him, it’s not going to help the rookie gain confidence going forward. Skyy Moore gets benched after he makes a mistake on special teams and then doesn’t get on the field on offense when he makes those mistakes. It’s time to move Skyy Moore to only playing offense, he has had costly turnovers and has lost confidence instead of seeing what the rookie brings to the team.
Veach Needs to Pay JuJu Now
JuJu Smith-Schuster has been playing good football all season in Kansas City, and it’s time to lock him up for the future. JuJu started off slow for the Chiefs but recently has made a huge impact, getting two 40-plus yard touchdowns in the past two weeks and making hard-nosed catches.
JuJu has been playing good football lately and seems to be heading toward a big payday this offseason. Kansas City would have to be naive to not get a long-term deal on the table for JuJu, he is on pace to have the best season of his career and he’s only 25 years old. He’s also been able to be a positive steadying force in the locker room, the way he got his teammates to play a video game together to communicate more is kind of genius.
Brett Veach needs to find a way to get JuJu to be a Chief in the long term so they have their weapons locked up for another season after this one. It would make sense for the Chiefs to keep all of the weapons on contracts and not have to stress about re-signing and negotiating again. It would take a lot of the stress out of the upcoming offseason and the Chiefs could keep some continuity as they had towards the future.