Following the wild game against the Detroit Lions, the Kansas City Chiefs are now turning their attention to Week Five. However, we are going to take a deeper look into the contest against the Lions. The results are in, who’s stock is either rising or falling entering Week Five? Let’s take a look with this week’s version of three up and three down.
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Chris Jones was once again a game wrecker up front. He tends to come up big the most, when the Chiefs defense is in need of a big play. One example came on the Lions first drive of the game. The initial pressure created on the interior by Jones, forced Matthew Stafford to step up. As a result, Stafford ran right into Alex Okafor. It was Okafor’s first sack of the year.
On another quick penetration, Jones was in the backfield right when the Lions were handing the ball off. The back was forced to miss the tackle attempt by Jones, and bounce outside. Darron Lee was there to gobble up the tackle for loss. Jones ended the day with a fumble recovery, as well. Finally, he continues to prove he is the best player on the Chiefs defense.
Patrick Mahomes was struggling to make completions with his receivers. Many receivers were also off on their timing with the QB. But, it was Travis Kelce who provided the most issues for the Lions defense. In a game where Kansas City wasn’t connecting on deep shots, Kelce was the consistent receiver to make catches over the middle and move the chains. For instance on the game winning drive, Kelce was able to find a soft spot in Detroit’s coverage. He ended up being wide open.
Also, his awareness was on display in the second half. As Kelce was going up to high point the ball and make the catch, he saw LeSean McCoy and lateralled it to him. That lateral picked up roughly 15 additional yards. That big play set the Chiefs up for a Darrel Williams touchdown.
McCoy has thrived in his reunion with Andy Reid. His professionalism is one thing. But, McCoy’s burst and vision are still elite. There have been very few negative runs for the Pitt product. That continued again on Sunday. McCoy and Darrel Williams have worked together nicely the last two weeks to provide a nice pace for the Chiefs running game. Additionally, McCoy did a nice job in helping out Mahomes with his pass blocking. On a day where Kansas City struggled against pressure, McCoy was important in helping against blitzers.
Charvarius Ward hasn’t had the best start to the 2019 season. It may have just got worse on Sunday. The Lions seemed to be going after Ward plenty of times. Whether it’s plays where he struggles to click and close, or staying with receivers down the field, Ward generally gets beat more than not. Even on the final drive where the Lions scored, Ward was getting beat with tight coverage. Kenny Golladay was close to the sideline on that touchdown catch, yet Ward didn’t have the where with all to push him out. With Morris Claiborne coming off of a four game suspension, Ward’s role could significantly decrease.
The Run Defense
Once again, we need to put the run defense here this week. It was the third consecutive week in which Kansas City allowed 125 rushing yards or more. The missed tackles and ability to not get off of blocks led to too many tackles having to be made by the defensive backs. Besides Damien Wilson working downhill and flying around, the linebackers struggled mightily.
Not sure if this minor or not, but Sammy Watkins looked a little less quicker on Sunday. For example, he struggled to get his footing or going up to high point the ball. Furthermore, Watkins numbers have dropped significantly since his career day in Week One. For example, he finished with just three catches for 54 yards on Sunday. Both were season lows, and Watkins had a fumble lost too. To boot, Watkins has just two catches for 11 yards on eight targets in the 4th quarter over the last three weeks.
That will conclude this week’s version of three up and three down. For now, be sure to stay tuned to Full Press Coverage for more great sports and NFL content.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.