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Chiefs Lose to Raiders – The Good, The Bad and the Real Ugly

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Going into the game, Patrick was 30-4 against the AFC West.  That’s the best division record for any player in history.  Against the Raiders, he’s 10-1, and we all know how that one loss came about.  He’s thrown for 29 touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Good

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Chris Jones had some early dominance, but his decision-making in the run game, especially on the final Raiders drive, left me curious. When I’m tempted to think we don’t need to pay him what he wants, he takes a series over, but then, in critical moments, he’s nowhere to be found.  The defense was terrific today.  Yet, the defense only allowed 3 points when considering that the offense and special teams gave the Raiders the ball at the 42 on their second field goal.

Special teams had two early excellent returns.  Tommy Townsend had several nice punts and made the play of the game for the Chiefs with his fake punt throw.  The throw was pinpoint, and Watson’s catch was even better.

Rashee Rice had another solid game.  He should start drawing more and more attention from teams. 

The Pacheco fake to Mahomes on his way to a touchdown run was new.  It worked well – one of the few on the day.

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Travis Kelce started to step up as the game went on. 

CEH gave us another spark.  He had some nice runs, none bigger than his tackle-breaking screen run down to the 10-yard line.

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The Bad

The first punt we had, the Raiders fumbled, but we could not recover.  I’d love to see our stats on recovering 50/50 balls.  I’m betting we are getting them maybe 20-80.  The ball is usually on the ground, and we don’t have it go our way. 

After the CBS graphic of the Chiefs receivers dropping presents, it was ironic that Kelce dropped the next play.  Kelce and Rice jumped early on the following play, setting us back 5 yards.  Two plays later, MVS was offside as the line got destroyed, and Patrick got hit again.  

Kelce throwing his helmet on the sideline could be a better look.  Someone could get hurt with that sort of thing.  Andy didn’t seem to be a fan of the antics.

Butker missing the field goal at the end of the half was deflating.  It’s only his 2nd miss of the season, but both have been recent.

Sneed’s pass interference on Adams on a Raiders 3rd down pass was unnecessary.  He had tight coverage all day, and Adams wasn’t catching the ball anyway.

On our last drive, it seemed we needed more urgency.  We kept huddling up, and even if you scored, you were forced to do an onside kick.

Noah Gray’s drop in the end zone was simply another reminder of how we lead the league in drops.  We added several more to that league-leading total today.

The Ugly

The first series play calling was suspect.  The 2nd and ten draw fooled no one.  The Chiefs had negative yardage in the first two series and the 1st quarter.  Having 12 men on the field on defense seems inexcusable, and we are fortunate it didn’t end in the Raiders getting a touchdown. 

I’d like to know who called a timeout in the first half with 9 seconds left.  Was someone unaware of what down it was?  If we had made the field goal, we give the Raiders a shot to run the ball out, and you never know what can happen.  The coaching doesn’t seem fully locked in right now. 

This was the worst our offensive line has played in a long time.  Morris needed more help on Crosby. Having Smith out hurts us more than we realize, though it went much deeper than that.  Patrick was looking at the pass rush a lot today.  Quarterbacks are taught to look downfield, and you could see him not able to do that a lot today. The lovely gift of quads Patrick gave his line was a mistake. 

MVS had another drop today.  It appeared he didn’t even attempt to adjust to a ball in the air for a long time. 

Trying to do another trick play sure backfired, ending in the first Raider defensive touchdown.  It could have looked better from the start.  Do it occasionally, but when you start thinking you must do it a lot, you admit you are getting dominated on that side of the ball.  Then, on the very next play, Mahomes threw a pick-six. 

Those two plays in seven seconds led to 14 points for the Raiders and ultimately decided the game.  The Chiefs are likely in control of that game if those moments don’t happen, and much of that blame must fall on Patrick, even if that pains me to say it.  On the Chief’s last drive of the 1st half, Pat passed up the chance to run for the 1st down and threw into triple coverage.  The word broken is thrown around a lot, and I’ve been reluctant to say it, but the offense is messed up right now. 

The Raiders coach talking about squeezing them by the throat seemed a bit off.  There was also a lot of talk about violence from him.  I don’t see myself as a sensitive guy with things like that, but I recall the throat-slashing being a point of emphasis for the league several years ago.  That sort of language seems unnecessary.  

In summary, this game may mean little in the grand scheme.  We needed help to get the one seed or the two seed.  The likely worst-case scenario is we are playing several games on the road if, and that’s a big if, we can figure out what ails our offense; otherwise, an early playoff exit is probable.  We have been hoping to fix it but are quickly running out of time.

On a personal note, Merry Christmas to everyone in the Kingdom.  I’ve gotten the opportunity to hear from many of you regarding how you became Chiefs fans and how long you have been.  I wanted to highlight one particularly excellent story. 

My new friend, Rudy Calderon’s father, was in the army.  The family’s plane landed at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in 1962 so Rudy could be born on their way to Vermont.  It was the only time he had been in the KC area, but that moment made him a fan for life.  He remembers the days of Blackledge, DeBerg, and Montana, and we are glad he’s a part of the Kingdom.    

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