For the second consecutive week, the Kansas City Chiefs fell short on the home turf. It wasn’t pretty either. Besides some big plays early on, there was deficiencies on both sides of the ball in the final two and a half quarters. Now, let’s get things going with our recap of Chiefs versus Texans.
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Tyreek Hill returned to action for the first time in a month. Early in the game, his return seemed to help facilitate the offense a bit. Also, Patrick Mahomes was able to connect with him for some crucial plays early. The biggest result, came on a 3rd and 21 where the Chiefs caught the Texans offsides. Mahomes took a shot and Hill stole the ball from Justin Reid for the touchdown. Overall, Hill still had to be eased back in. But, his impact was felt early and he finished the day with two touchdowns.
Hit or Miss
Quite simply, the Chiefs defense missed more tackles than many could imagine against the Texans. A running back Kansas City traded away, Carlos Hyde, rumbled for 116 yards on the ground. That is his first game with over 100 rushing yards as a member of the Texans.
Whether it was Hyde or other Houston skill players, the missed tackles kept piling up. The ones that stood out the most came from the linebackers. It is very evident that the Chiefs don’t really have a linebacker that can consistently make plays going sideline to sideline. Darron Lee and Damien Wilson each had their worst games of the season. On one drive, they both missed tackles high or were caught not filling gaps. It’s extremely unnerving for the Chiefs defense when their best tackles against the Texans came from the defensive backs.
After some mostly positive results for the first quarter and a half, the offense sputtered and could not get out of their own way. Mahomes again re-aggravated his bum ankle. However, the play calling was the most re-aggravating down the stretch, similar to other losses. The Chiefs were aware to call more quick passes and have Mahomes move the pocket around. Once he was less mobile, there was hardly throws he made that he stepped into.
Meanwhile, here are just a few play calls that are questionable from Andy Reid. Following a Juan Thornhill interception, the Chiefs could have just taken a knee to end the first half. Instead, Kansas City elected to go play action pass. Charles Omenihu blew through the offensive line and his hit on Mahomes caused a fumble. Houston then punched in a touchdown for the first lead of the day going into halftime. Down in the second half, the Chiefs struggled to fool the Texans and hardly moved the ball. On the final drive, a holding call on first down didn’t help whatsoever. I was shocked to see a rush attempt on 2nd and long, which gained one yard. The final nail in the coffin, was when Mahomes was pressured and scrambled, only to have his pass fall to the ground.
Once again, the time of possession was largely in the Chiefs opponent’s favor. When the defense makes tackles, it is too often second or third down is a short yardage situation. For example, turn your eyes to the drive where Houston scored the game winning touchdown. On a 12 play, 93 yard drive, the Chiefs defense did not force the Texans to have to convert on one third down. All 12 plays were either a first or second down play. Additionally, having a combination of the defense not being able to get off the field, while the offense can’t stay on the field is not going to amount to much. To put that time of possession difference into perspective, the Chiefs only had the ball for five minutes and fifty-four seconds in the second half. Of that 5:54, the Chiefs only possessed it for just under one and a half minutes in the fourth quarter.
After their second straight loss, here is some last few thoughts on the Chiefs after Week Six. The front seven, and most importantly the linebackers, have been the biggest disappointment defensively. Deshaun Watson had a fine outing, but the pass defense was actually a lone bright spot. They held DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller in check for the most part.
Offensively, Mahomes ankle could be a problem. Though the biggest issue seems to be the undisciplined penalties or pressing and trying to do too much. Sometime soon, the Chiefs need to get back to the basics on both sides of the ball. The way they are playing right now, there is too much pressure to be perfect on every play. There is still some injured players that will return. Furthermore, there is still time to correct the issues. But, how much of those issues are actually fixable?
After the Chiefs lost to the Texans, they now have a quick turnaround. Kansas City will head to the Mile High City for a Thursday night contest with the Denver Broncos. Will the Chiefs get back into the win column against their division rival?
That will conclude this week’s game recap of Chiefs versus Texans. 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.