The Kansas City Chiefs suffered their second straight loss against the Texans last week. While there were mostly negatives, there was also some early positives to take away from this game. Who’s stock is either rising or falling entering Week Seven? Let’s find out with this week’s version of three up and three down.
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Tyreek Hill was amped up to return to the Chiefs lineup. Kansas City made a strong effort early, to feed him the ball. Hill’s vertical ability and strong hands were important for the Chiefs first score of the game. Even though his effort was not enough for the win, it was encouraging to see him finish with two touchdowns and 80 yards.
LeSean McCoy may not have received a ton of chances. But when he ran the ball on Sunday, he was able to rack up over five yards per carry. Once again, his vision and burst is enough to lean on. I also believe it still rings true, that McCoy is likely the most effective running back to hand the ball off to out of the Kansas City bunch.
The Defensive Backs
Remember when the cornerbacks were thought to be the biggest deficiency on defense? For the Chiefs, the defensive backs have been the lone bright spot defensively during these two losses. Deshaun Watson did have a good game on Sunday. However, most of the passes were completed underneath and over the middle between linebackers. Watson actually finished with an average of just 6.7 yards per attempt. Overall, the defensive backs made the most tackles, as well as the best formed tackles. Finally, the Chiefs finished the day with two interceptions from Charvarius Ward and Juan Thornhill.
The Run Defense
Once again, the run defense struggled. It’s not just the missed tackles, the 180+ rushing yards allowed or the 4.7 yards per carry allowed, the confidence is not there. There is a noticeable difference between the front seven’s body language and the defensive back’s body language. We mentioned getting back to the basics. With this on going problem, the Chiefs are struggling to fill gaps and be assignment proof.
This doesn’t just entail the run defense. As a whole, there is too many negative results from the linebackers. Darron Lee and Damien Wilson seemed to be overexposed in this game. Meanwhile, Ben Niemann still has a long way to go in becoming a complete player. To see where this team is at with this position, makes fans long for the days of prime Derrick Johnson and others.
The takes of Andy Reid needing to be fired on Twitter are too much. However, the play calling went from smart in the beginning, to a screeching halt down the stretch. Hardly any of the run plays on 2nd and long have been successful over the last two years. There was also more problems with the offensive line’s mix when matching up against the Texans front. Understandably, Stefen Wisniewski may not have had enough time to get the play book down. But repetitively leaving Patrick Mahomes‘ blindside in the hands of young, unproven blockers is not the best decision.
That will wrap up 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.