Photo: John Rieger USA TODAY Sports
After the Indianapolis Colts manhandled the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday 23-7 at Arrowhead Stadium, it’s probably a good thing this football team is headed back on the road for the remainder of the regular and post season.
In losing their third straight game at Arrowhead on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs continue to show their flaws on both sides of the ball. In losing to the Indianapolis Colts, KC’s first round opponent in the NFL’s post-season tournament beginning next month, this football team sadly took two steps backwards heading into the playoffs.
This game boiled down to the fact Head Coach, Andy Reid, threw out the game plan that worked so well the last two weeks in back-to-back blowout wins. His reluctance to use running back, Jamaal Charles, when his team needed to move the chains and give his defense rest, was the key element that led to their three game losing streak in November. Granted he can’t be responsible for the rash of turnovers his team coughed up on Sunday but again he was far too aggressive in the passing game and didn’t take what the Colts defense was conceding.
Secondly, defensive coordinator, Bob Sutton, failed to change up his defensive looks and was counting on personnel that could not make plays. For instance, he kept throwing out safety, Kendrick Lewis, who was beaten like a drum all game long. Lewis, who must be put on the bench in the post season, along with the iritic play of cornerback, Sean Smith, didn’t make a single contribution on Sunday. They hurt their defense with poor tackling and horrific pass coverage. Sutton didn’t do anything to get them off the field.
On the flip side, Quarterback Alex Smith, was equally woeful on Sunday by dishing out a trio of turnovers. He wasn’t sharp at any point in this game. Granted for the first time in over a month, his offensive line didn’t show up to play smash mouth football, he still made some ill advised throws and held onto the ball too long.
Those errors occurred because the Colts defense kept collapsing the pocket; something the Chiefs defense has forgotten how to do over the last two months.
Add those items with the fact Smith had to endure another game of dropped balls by Wide Receiver, Dwayne Bowe, this lose came down to poor execution by the offense and a lethargic effort by the defense.
That means with a single game left in the regular season, we have no idea what Chiefs team is going to show up in January.
With their playoffs slot firmed up as the fifth seed, there’s no reason to play any starters next week at San Diego. The Chargers may not have anything to play for either with the playoffs likely out of reach. Instead, the loss to the Colts and the Broncos win over the Texans, the Chiefs handed the AFC West, home field advantage and a cushy three-week window to get healthy and primed for the playoffs to the Broncos.
It’s going to be a long two weeks until the post season begins in Kansas City. Fans have to be scratching their collective noggins as to why this team can’t seize any momentum by winning games in November and December at home.
By going a disappointing 5-3 at Arrowhead and entering the final AFC West game with a sub .500 record, there’s much cause for alarm heading into next season if this coaching staff doesn’t place more emphasis on doing better at both in 2014 when the schedule will be twice as hard for Kansas City.
For now , Reid and Sutton are going to have to pull a rabbit out of their collective hats to fix their secondary woes, their sudden lack of pass rushing inabilities and that gut feeling wrestling in the stomach of Chiefs fans right now offensively that suggests this team could be one and done in the playoffs again.
After scoring over 100 points against the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders the last two weeks on the road, it’s mind-boggling they managed to score a season low seven points against the Colts average defense.
Again, I’m trying to see the silver lining in this loss but I can’t find any. I’m not buying into the fact the Chiefs were affected by the cold weather. The Colts didn’t seem to have a problem with the near zero wind chills.
Instead the key difference in this contest simply boiled down to the fact Indy wanted to win this game far greater than the Chiefs.
In two weeks, that better be the opposite for Kansas City. If not, the Chiefs wonderful 9-0 start, their flirtation with the AFC West title and their remarkable season that Reid orchestrated, will all go for naught.
Reid and company have to understand this town is tired of moral victories and promises in words that the coaching staff will get fixed in the future. If you’ve not achieved that as a coaching staff by Week 17, it can’t be fixed now. Either way Chiefs fans want to win now not next season.
So if this franchise is going to take that monumental leap from perennial playoff loser to one that can win in the playoffs at some point this decade, they better bring their A+ game effort to the table in two weeks against Indianapolis.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
With this loss are the Chiefs a one and done playoff particpant?
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