The Kansas City Chiefs are no longer undefeated following a disappointing loss to the Colts. It’s time for a deeper look into this humbling contest. The results are in. Who’s stock is either rising or falling entering Week Six? Let’s take a look with this week’s version of three up and three down.
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Tyrann Mathieu is an inspiration and it comes as no surprise how much other players look up to him. He has played fired up with his hair on fire in the last few weeks. That showed immensely on Sunday night. Mathieu’s instincts led to many positive moments for the defense. First off, he read one of Jacoby Brissett‘s passes perfectly. This resulted in his first interception of the season. Mathieu also came up with a tackle for a loss of eight yards when Indianapolis was close to scoring in the red zone. The pitch outside had no chance once Mathieu burst into the backfield. That stop forced the Colts to eventually settle for a field goal. Mathieu finished the night with four tackles, an interception and one pass defensed.
With injuries to the Kansas City receivers, Byron Pringle needed to come through. He did just that, the former Kansas State wide out had a career game. On the Chiefs only touchdown score, Pringle was able to work his way into the soft spot between the defenders. Patrick Mahomes did the rest and found him for a 27 yard touchdown. Despite it being a night where the offensive struggled, Pringle was the go to man for Mahomes. He finished the game with six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown.
While the defense struggled up front, Tanoh Kpassagnon has noticeably been winning battles. Kpassagnon finished the night with five tackles and a quarterback hit. Right now, he is doing a considerable job containing his edge. This is a player who has benefitted greatly from the scheme change. It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but seeing Kpassagnon finally make impact is encouraging.
The Running Game
While fans would like to see Mahomes win games by himself, the running game needs to find consistent footing. It worked against Detroit, however Andy Reid went strongly against it on Sunday. Reid is someone who loves to throw the ball a ton though. However, the usage was vastly nonexistent. In the first half, Damien Williams, LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams combined for just four carries. All four went to Damien Williams. In fact, McCoy finished with zero carries. He only had two receptions, and one of them resulted in a fumble.
Furthermore, the Chiefs finished the evening with 14 carries for 36 yards. It’s interesting to see how the running back’s splits change week to week. There needs to be a clearer identity of the running backs sooner rather than later.
The Pass Rush
After five games, the Chiefs are tied for 20th in the NFL with 11 sacks. This team finished last season with 52 sacks which was tied with Pittsburgh for the league lead. Kansas City is currently on pace to finish with roughly 28 percent less sacks than last season. The defensive front has not just struggled to constantly create pressure, however they have needed help from cornerback or safety blitzes in crucial moments as well. For example, revert back to the game the week before. Mathieu came through with an important third down sack on Matthew Stafford to get the defense off the field. To boot, the Chiefs have the fifth worst pressure percentage (20%) in the NFL without blitzing.
The Offensive Line
I don’t remember a game since Mahomes has been the quarterback where he was under more pressure. As a result, he looks to have reaggravated that bum ankle. Overall, Mahomes was sacked four times and suffered many hits on the night. That’s unsettling, given the Colts were largely rushing just four throughout the game. Eric Fisher may not be a popular player among fans, but Kansas City has missed him dearly. We’ve already talked enough about Cam Erving‘s struggles. One crucial play he whiffed on this week, was the 4th and 1 run that Justin Houston made the stop on. Then, Andrew Wylie got hurt and Ryan Hunter had to sub in. Hunter was overcome easily and he is just simply not ready yet. Injuries to the offensive line and the entire team may be the biggest thing to overcome at the moment.
That will conclude this week’s version of three up and three down. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– 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.