What’s wrong with the Kansas City Chiefs?


Joe Glorioso | All-Pro Reels

All Pro Reels | Wikimedia Commons

Kyle McKee, Sports Editor

If the National Football League season were to end today, then the Kansas City Chiefs would miss the playoffs. That’s right, the team with Patrick Mahomes II, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Andy Reid would not be playing in the postseason.

A lot has been made over the Chiefs’ unusually poor start to the season. Sports talk shows and podcasts on all networks and platforms are talking at length about the Chiefs’ struggles — and this is for good reason.

Since Mahomes took over as Kansas City’s starting quarterback three seasons ago, the Chiefs have made it to the AFC Championship game in 2019, won Super Bowl LIV in 2020 and lost last year’s Super Bowl.

In other words, they have been to the Super Bowl twice, and if it weren’t for an offsides call in the AFC championship game against the New England Patriots, they could have made three straight trips to the Super Bowl.

Over the past three seasons, the Chiefs seemed unstoppable. No matter the challenge, no matter the deficit, they were never out of a game as long as Mahomes was center. In Mahomes’ fourth season though, that hasn’t been the case.

There are two main areas where Kansas City is struggling this season: defense and turnovers. According to ESPN, the Chiefs’ defense allows the fourth most yards per game and ranks in the bottom of the league in about every major defensive metric.

Additionally, the Chiefs defense ranks 31st in defense-adjusted value over average and expected points added per play. They rank dead last in drive success rate allowed and 31st in both rush and pass DVOA.

From every angle, the Chiefs’ defense is really bad.

As for the turnovers, well, Kansas City has the most turnovers in the league at 19.

Patrick Mahomes has also thrown ten interceptions, the most in the NFL. That’s more than rookie quarterbacks Zach Wilson, Trevor Lawrence, Davis Mills, Mac Jones and Justin Fields.

Watching the Chiefs feels different this season because they seem to be pressing, especially Mahomes, which is evident from his ten interceptions.

However, it’s more than that. Mahomes is throwing more accurate passes than usual. Tyreek Hill and other Chief receivers are dropping more passes than usual.

Despite leading all tight ends in receiving yards, Travis Kelce doesn’t seem to be getting as many looks as usual. Everything about this Chiefs team just feels off.

Having a terrible defense and losing the turnover battle most weeks make it difficult to win in the NFL no matter how good a team is. That’s been the story for the Chiefs this season. It remains to be seen if they can turn it around, but if anyone can, it’s Patrick Mahomes and that offense.