Nearly twelve hours after the Kansas City Chiefs gave another victory away, this time to the Philadelphia Eagles, 21-17, I’m not sure if their offensive woes and their reliance on below-average wide receivers can save them from a disastrous end to their 2023 season. For the first time in the Andy Reid era, perhaps he’s grown too dependent on Mahomes.
It’s clear to me what the Kansas City Chiefs need to do to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. They need a legit number-one receiver. However, that’s not going to happen. Nor is Head Coach, Andy Reid going to fix the fact that of 22% of the throws Patrick Mahomes has made this season have been dropped.
After the game, Mahomes blamed himself for the missed catch by Marquez Valdez-Scantling, stating he could have thrown the ball shorter because he was so wide open. However, there wasn’t a fan in Arrowhead who felt he would have caught that ball if Mahomes himself handed it to him. MVS is the new Lin Elliott.
The problem with the Chiefs offense is that Andy Reid uses a ridiculous number of rotations with his receivers – that’s due to an expansive playbook. Thus, none of his receivers really gets into the flow of the game. On the flip side, the Philadelphia Eagles stick with their core group on virtually every offensive snap. That’s why they are 9-1 this morning and the Chiefs are 7-3.
Reid has always been a complex head coach, who will be enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame at some point in the next decade. However, he’s also stubborn, and inflexible, and earned the right to do whatever he wants on the sidelines – those don’t necessarily mesh. However, this season he’s not taking advantage of his team’s greatest weapon, and his amazing defense.
In the first half alone, the Chiefs defense sacked Jalen Hurts five times. They forced multiple three-and-outs in the second half but eventually broke down giving up a pair of touchdowns to Hurts and company.
That’s what makes Reid’s inability to shorten the wide receiver rotation so unbelievable. After last night’s game, his rotation should be Kadarius Toney, Rashee Rice, Ritchie James, and Mecole Hardman. Skyy Moore, MVS, and Justin Watson have earned some bench time and should only get in the game if there’s an injury to one of the other four.
It’s clear that’s what must be done but Reid won’t do it. Mahomes won’t insist on a shorter rotation, so it’s clear the 2023 season is going to resemble much of what we’ve seen in three losses this year.
During the bye week, Reid, Mahomes, and Offensive Coordinator, Matt Nagy, who really is struggling with his personnel groupings, refuse to shake the roster and put some guys on the bench who keep messing up. Perhaps only then will he trust his youth at the wide receiver position.
The Chiefs have a solid running game, and their reliance on that in the first half was the primary reason they led 17-7 at halftime. Still, the Arrowhead faithful knew that lead wasn’t big enough. Yes, Mahomes threw an interception in the first half and Travis Kelce fumbled in the red zone, the MVS and Watson drops should have been the salvation for the offense.
As I stated in my rant last night, Reid is wasting a great defense and his once-in-a-lifetime quarterback, with his stubbornness for change. He admitted after the game that he didn’t make enough adjustments in the second half.
For a man who has won two Super Bowls and hosted the AFC Title game five years in a row, I ask why the hell not.
The worst part about all of this is Reid is killing the vibe in his locker room because his defense balled out last night. Against three of the top offenses in the NFL the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, and Philadelphia Eagles, his defense has given up 21, 14, and 21 points respectively in those games. The Chiefs lost two of those games because the offense stinks.
Again, we can be upset, and moan as fans that we are being cheated with another Super Bowl run, but in the end, the offense just has too many issues to fix with seven more games to play. Yes, the Chiefs will make the playoffs, but it could be a short stay in the postseason.
Listen, the Chiefs are a better football team than the Lions, Broncos, and Eagles. However, the common denominator in those losses was a direct result of turnovers, penalties, and a head coach who refused to bench players who kept dropping passes.
If Reid, wants to get his team out of its funk, some receivers need to go in timeout and sit on the bench for a game or two. While he’s at it, perhaps he should bench one of his tackles to send a deeper message to the offense.
Listen all the Chiefs’ errors are fixable. If this team was more disciplined and focused, we’d be talking about a 9-1 football team and printing Super Bowl tickets. Instead, we are left to wonder if this team will get out of its own way and show the fire needed to turn their season around.
For this diehard, I have my doubts.