The zombie apocalypse is upon us and the first beings to be affected with the strain of the walking mostly dead is everyone associated with the Kansas City Chiefs organization.
No collective of athletes has ever slept-walked their way through the first half of a season quite like this group. Dejected eye rolls followed by fumbles, bonehead mental penalties followed by the equally boneheaded “my bad” chest tap, and indefensible coaching decisions like putting Ben BLEEPING Niemann on the field at any time are plaguing this team more than a Chinese laboratory.
Miracle Max is the only thing that can save this season, but even he would be reluctant to help if that means more snaps with Dan Sorensen and Niemann on the field together blowing coverages and finding the nearest blocker to get swallowed up by.
In what was supposed to be a Get Right game Monday night, the Chiefs welcomed the Joe Judge led Try Hards to Arrowhead and almost fiddle-fucked their way to a home loss that would have almost certainly caused another pseudo-celebrity melee in Section 121.
The Giants entered the contest 2-5 and without their top two skill players on offense and managed to take the lead into the fourth quarter by throwing prayer-balls towards Sorensen, and the simplest of crossers in front of Niemann.
But the defense, however inept it looked when two certain players were on the field, last night was nowhere near as bad as the other side of the ball that forgot how to offense.
The Chiefs finished with 368 of the most unimpressive yards gained in the Patrick Mahomes’ era. But what’s most frustrating isn’t that the big plays are simply not there for the Chiefs right now, it’s that they’re still trying to make them happen every time they call a passing play.
The Giants called much the same game plan as the Titans in week 7. Deploying two high safeties and soft zone linebackers with at least one spy on Mahomes, the Giants forced six completions to running backs and allowed only 27 yards to an obviously frustrated Travis Kelce.
The opening drive sequence was exactly the antidote fans had been clamoring for to combat defenses that are not allowing anything to get behind them, by getting the ball out quick to soft-covered receivers, and wide-open targets in the middle of the field.
Then, everything grinded to a halt. Like a 15-year-old playing Madden online, the Chiefs were insistent on trying to hit big plays while ignoring the underneath open areas. Instead of running more shallow crossers and quick game like the opening drive, the Chiefs kept calling their Madden-esque play-action game getting as impatient and ticked off as we all do when the CPU doesn’t bite on it even though we’ve called it four plays in a row.
The Chiefs are lost in the weeds. Two more turnovers last night, 12 penalties, and this inexplicable sequence that’s enough to make you wonder just where exactly everyone’s focus is:
With 9:47 remaining in the game and the clock running, down 17-14 and the ball on the Giants 12 yard-line, Mahomes was forced to semi-scramble and found a wide open Mecole Hardman. A bad throw that short-hopped Hardman was enough to cause momentary celebration of a lead-taking touchdown.
In the confusion of the call on the field, everyone on the Chiefs spent the next 25 seconds staring at the replay on the video board instead of getting a play called for the next down, forcing them to take a timeout. No one bothered to call a play. No one bothered to get in the huddle. Where is the focus of this team right now?
The Chiefs are lucky there are no teams in the AFC truly running away with the conference. The Buffalo Bills have the most obvious route to the #1 seed, but their two losses have been to the Steelers and Titans. Every team ahead of the Chiefs has obvious flaws the Chiefs talent should be able to overcome. The window is very much still open.
Problem is the way this team is playing and with the lack of focus, it will take a miracle.