The Chiefs keep pace with the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Playoff Race with a gutty and close win over the AFC’s worst team. With the help of a timely turnover, the Chiefs were able to walk it off in overtime against Houston, but a lot of the issues remain in what should have been an easy win.
The Kansas City Chiefs won their seventh-straight AFC West Title and it wasn’t pretty. The offense continues to have issues holding onto the football. Two fumbles by Isiah Pacheco and JuJu Smith-Schuster led to two touchdowns for the Texans. Houston’s defense was overly aggressive and caused mistakes by the offense on multiple possessions.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chiefs allowed another 24 points to an offense that only scores just under 17 points per game. A lot of missed assignments and poorly timed blitzes led to easy scores by the Texans, and the Chiefs’ defense had four pass interference penalties on third down.
But a win is a win, the Chiefs were able to find a way to win a sloppy trap game at a noon kickoff, Kansas City will take the win and the seventh straight division title. Here are the takeaways from the overtime win.
The Turnover Problem Needs to be Addressed
The Chiefs offense has a nine-game turnover streak, the longest for any Andy Reid team, and six turnovers in the past three games. Even though the Chiefs have won eight of those nine games, the turnovers have been very concerning. Kansas City’s turnovers in the past three weeks have led to 45 points by the opposing offense and cost them the game against the Bengals.
There might be no right way to handle this situation as it isn’t just one issue, they have had fumbles on runs and passes, interceptions, or special teams turnovers. But the casualness in which the Chiefs have had with turnovers is concerning because it’s the only issue the Chiefs’ offense has had all season. They need to hold onto the ball if they want to play deep into January or February.
Special Teams Nearly Cost the Game… Again
The Special teams for Kansas City have the most missed Field Goals, missed PATs, and the most special teams turnovers. This is the worst special teams unit in the NFL and it’s been frustrating to watch all season. Harrison Butker has missed the most PATs in the league and it’s something to watch for this offseason if it continues.
Butker is usually the best kicker in the league, casually making 50+ yard field goals and being one of the best clutch kickers in the history of the NFL. But that seems to all be gone after he rushed back from the ankle injury he suffered in week one against Arizona. Ever since then, the Chiefs have lost their three games by a combined 10 points, and in those losses the Chiefs have missed four field goals to go ahead or tie the game.
It is time to reassess the Special Teams Coordinator and Kicker after this season, the Chiefs might need to move on because it has been a catastrophe in the third phase of the game.
Patrick Mahomes Should be the Favorite for MVP
Lost in the shuffle of the meltdown against Houston is the brilliant performance by Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes missed five passes all day going 36 for 41 with 336 yards and three total touchdowns against Houston and finished the day completing 19 straight passes as the Chiefs won in overtime.
Mahomes has carried the Chiefs to 11 wins so far this season, throwing for 4,496 yards, 35 Touchdowns, and 11 interceptions while having the highest QB rating in the league. Jalen Hurts probably had the worst game of the season against the Bears, throwing three interceptions to a very bad Bears’ defense, maybe pushing him behind Mahomes for MVP.
Mahomes is on pace to break the single-season passing record set by Peyton Manning in 2014, and no one seems to care in the media because the Chiefs have struggled against some bad teams in the past two weeks. If Mahomes can get 500 yards over the next three weeks, he’d be in the rare category of quarterbacks to have 5,000 yards, joining Drew Brees and Peyton Manning to have multiple 5,000- yard seasons in NFL History. We are witnessing history and remember, DON’T TAKE PATRICK MAHOMES FOR GRANTED.