The Kansas City Chiefs lost for the fourth time in five games Sunday, falling to the previously 1-8 Giants, 12-9, on the road in overtime. It was an ugly performance for Kansas City, which was held out of the end zone for the first time all season.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, things have been trending this way for the last month and beyond. Kansas City, which averaged 32.8 points through its first five games, has averaged just 19.6 points over its last five games.
“They’re quite flawed on offense,” NFL on CBS analyst Ian Eagle said on The DA Show. “All of those big plays that we saw, it’s not something that’s coming easily to them. So when we talked to Alex Smith about it, his feeling was, ‘Hey, look, I know there’s going to be comparisons to what we were first five weeks to what we are now.’ His feeling was, ‘It’s not fair because things change. The defenses you play change. Adjustments are made.’ The problem is they’re not making the adjustments. Kansas City hasn’t had the answers. It’s not as if it was just this game. It’s going to be glaring because it was against the New York Giants, but their offense has sputtered now for an extended period of time.”
Rookie Kareem Hunt was a force during the Chiefs’ 5-0 start, averaging 121.8 rushing yards per game. Over his last five games? A paltry 52.8.
“I think their running game is really where you have to look,” Eagle said. “The offensive line, which dealt with injuries, they were able to stay whole, but they weren’t standing out like they were in the first month of the season. I think that affects their play-action. Alex Smith, up until yesterday, had been having the best year of his career – and that’s saying something. He’s put up some solid seasons in his San Francisco tenure and his Kansas City tenure.”
Smith entered Sunday with 18 touchdowns and one interception on the season. He had two interceptions against the Giants.
“The wind may have played a role, but Eli Manning was dealing with the same thing,” Eagle said. “Smith just didn’t look like the dynamic leader he had been through the first five weeks of this season. To me, it is the running game. Everything fed off of that. You had to respect it, and now the Giants, who did a good job defensively, laid out another blueprint on how to stop Kansas City.”
Even more troubling, the Chiefs were coming off their bye week. When you give Andy Reid two weeks to prepare for an opponent, he’s almost unbeatable.
“The assumption, just looking at the numbers for Andy Reid, (was), ‘Well, he always figures out a way. Give him an extra week of preparation. The off week, he’s going to win,’” Eagle said. “(He was) 16-2 prior to this game coming off the bye. Well, that’s a loss, and a desperate Giants team needed to feel good about themselves. Now it’s Kansas City in this wacky, weird NFL season where nothing seems to compute. It’s Kansas City scratching their heads trying to figure out exactly how to get back on track.”
This game wasn’t in Jacksonville, either. The Chiefs weren’t facing an elite defense. They were facing a team that had allowed 106 points in its previous three games, including 82 over its last two.
“This is not a big-name Giants group right now, as we know with all of their injuries,” Eagle said. “So to do it in the way that they did it with the unsung heroes stepping forward, it just shows you that in this league it doesn’t matter what the name says on the back of your jersey sometimes. You make it to the NFL because you have ability, and as we know, on any given day, these things happen. For Kansas City, it’s happening more often now – and that’s what’s troubling.”
Kansas City will attempt to right the ship at home this Sunday against Buffalo (5-5), which has lost its previous two games by a combined 101-34. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.