The Kansas City Chiefs took the impressive effort they put together last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers and tossed it out the window with another no-show on Sunday. This time, their miserable performance was in the form of a 28-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium.
To no one’s surprise, there were more empty seats than fans to see Sunday’s action and a good amount of those that did make the trip to the stadium were wearing black in protest of the franchise’s ineptitude.
Early on, it looked like the Chiefs might actually challenge the scrappy Bengals. After the two teams traded short series to open the game, Kansas City took a 3-0 lead after a seven-play drive resulted in a Ryan Succop field goal. The second straight week with the lead has the Chiefs feeling good.
Then the Kansas City defense forced a three-and-out, except their season-long special teams disaster continued when they were completely caught off guard by a fake punt. Cincinnati’s personal protector scampered 32 yards and all of a sudden the Bengals had taken all of the air out of the Chiefs sails.
Six plays later (including another fourth down conversion) and the Bengals had taken a 7-3 lead, one they would never give up.
Matt Cassel and the Chiefs offense followed up that first Cincinnati touchdown by fumbling twice on their next drive. The first was recovered, but the second — by backup RB Peyton Hillis — was lost and it was clear any confidence the Chiefs offense had was gone.
For the day, the Bengals offense finished with over 400 total yards and no turnovers as the Chiefs fans dressed in black had plenty to boo.
Don’t worry, if you missed out on your chance to see this train wreck in person, the Chiefs are home the next two weeks against the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. But before we start banging our head on the desk during those games, here are the best three players from Sunday’s latest loss.
Offense: Jamaal Charles
On the Chiefs first scoring drive, Charles carried the ball six times for 41 yards. After that kind of efficiency, obviously offensive coordinator Brian Daboll kept giving him the ball, right?
Not so much.
The next two Kansas City drives, there were only two touches for Charles, compared to two for Hillis, including his drive-killing fumble.
After such a fast start, Charles carried the ball just 11 times for 46 yards the rest of the game. If there’s a positive to that sort of treatment for Chiefs running back, it’s that he should be well rested for next week against the Broncos.
Defense: Derrick Johnson
Crennel and defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs have completely neutralized LB Justin Houston by refusing to allow him to focus on rushing the passer, but they have yet to find a way to slow down Johnson.
The veteran linebacker turned in another double digit tackle effort, helping him to move into fifth place all-time in franchise history. As the few fans that showed up to Arrowhead for the game flowed out the gates, Johnson was still making stops on his way to what should be a landslide for the team’s MVP award.
Special Teams: Ryan Succop
The Chiefs kicker missed a key field goal last week against the Steelers and saw some competition brought in to work out for the team. He quickly got back on track, scoring the only points Kansas City would see Sunday with two field goals.
Considering that the offense isn’t likely to suddenly become a touchdown machine over the final six weeks of the season, look for Succop to keep battling punter Dustin Colquitt for the honor of being the Chiefs best special teamer of the year.