Sports

Reasons Why The Kansas City Chiefs Are Having A Complete Meltdown

Darren - January 2, 2024
Sports

Reasons Why The Kansas City Chiefs Are Having A Complete Meltdown

Darren - January 2, 2024

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Deadspin

Offensive Line Penalties

The offensive line has been one of Kansas City’s biggest strengths over the past few seasons. However, it suffered a serious dropoff in 2023 and this impacted its success. Yes, the Chiefs made the playoffs with relative ease but they no longer seemed to be the same force as before (via SBNation).

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Sports Illustrated

The o-line had a complete meltdown in November 2023 as they surrendered multiple sacks and pressures. Analysts noted that the Chiefs brought a pair of tight ends into the game to help their tackles because of a lack of trust. This is alarming ahead of the playoffs because it will certainly impact their results – or lack thereof.

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WDA4

Game-Changing Mistakes

High-profile mistakes haven’t helped the Chiefs in their Super Bowl defense. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had a shocking deep ball drop against the Eagles. Furthermore, Kadarius Toney had a critical offside penalty on a go-ahead touchdown in their clash against Buffalo. These cheap moments combined to create a complete meltdown.

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Kansas City Star

The problem is that this also places more pressure on the Kansas City roster and they’re starting to feel it. That’s why they’re more prone to errors than in recent years. Sports psychologists can play a key role when teams experience these types of problems. Perhaps trading away former star receiver Tyreek Hill wasn’t actually best for their long-term success. It will be fascinating to see how they turn things around (via AP News).

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Fox News

Lack of Faith

It seems that Mahomes doesn’t have faith in his receivers. This won’t come as a shock because we’ve seen them endure a complete meltdown this year. Passes sail through their hands like water through a sieve. Mahomes openly said that they don’t have enough experience yet (via The Ringer).

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New York Post

In November 2023, he said: “I think you see in spurts that we can be the offense we’ve been in the past. That should come with more and more of our younger receivers getting game experience. The biggest thing is you see how guys respond under the lights. That’s what gets you ready for the playoffs and Super Bowl games.”

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CBS Sports

Nick Bolton

The Chiefs suffered a hammer blow in October 2023 when Bolton suffered a dislocated wrist. The linebacker was one of their most important defensive players so this was a huge loss. They didn’t allow any team to score more than 21 points while he was active. Meanwhile, he recorded 15 tackles and an interception as he played a key role.

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Chiefs.com

Linebackers don’t always receive the credit that they deserve but fans miss them when they’re unavailable. Bolton was a classic example of this coming to fruition. The defense suffered a complete meltdown against the Packers and played erratically without him. Luckily, he’s back for the postseason so they’ll be relieved (via Sportskeeda).

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Bleacher Report

Pressure on Mahomes

Mahomes is one of the NFL’s least problematic figures. He rarely fusses or has any controversies. However, we’ve seen him lose his cool several times this season in games against the Bills and the Chiefs. He doesn’t have any patience for his garbage wideouts and it’s affecting him.

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Sky Sports

There’s also more pressure on Mahomes to be at his best because they’re underperforming. But even when he throws laser-guided passes toward them, they’re dropping them. This is affecting his completion rate and that’s annoying him. It’s unfair because he deserves better (via Athlon Sports).

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The Spun

Post-Hill Era

Many people didn’t give Tyreek Hill the credit that he deserved as an elite wide receiver. Yes, he burnt bridges to a degree when he claimed that Miami quarterback Tua Tagavailoa was better than Mahomes. But he was outstanding in Kansas City and now he’s the most explosive wideout in the NFL.

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Sky Sports

Hill is setting career-high numbers in Miami and bulldozing his way through the league. He’s the main reason why the Dolphins have the best offense in the NFL in 2023. They’ve enjoyed good luck because they kept him fit. Meanwhile, the Chiefs look enviably at their conference rivals (via Sports Illustrated).

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Sports Illustrated

Less Rest

This isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card but it makes for interesting reading. The Chiefs played six straight games with less rest than their opponents from Weeks 12 to 17. This is the business end of the regular season when the stakes are higher and the injuries are piling up. It’s also fair to say that this is outside of their control.

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Marca

However, they played the Raiders twice and the Patriots once in this set of fixtures so they weren’t the toughest. Perhaps it’s not the best excuse for having a complete meltdown but it may be a reason. Elite NFL players require rest and recovery before they reenter the fray and the Chiefs don’t get the same amount (via Fansided).

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NBC News

Super Bowl Hangover

Kansas City fans won’t like this but the reality is that it’s incredibly difficult to maintain high standards for so long. The Chiefs have won two Super Bowls since 2020 and maintained incredible standards. Mahomes has played to an MVP level since his second season while other players have been brilliant all over the field.

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CNN

We rarely see teams challenging every year for so long. Usually, they suffer a complete meltdown a couple of seasons after winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It’s so difficult to sustain success in the NFL so maybe they’re entering a transitional period. They’re not favorites to win in 2023 but they may rebound in style (via Outkick).

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CNN

A Weird Season

The 2023 season has been one of the strangest NFL seasons in recent memory. The Chiefs aren’t the only team battling demons because there’s chaos across the league. In the AFC we can see the Bills and the Bengals battling their demons. Injuries and coaching issues took their toll on these former contenders.

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CNN

Meanwhile, the two best teams, Philadelphia and San Francisco, are in the NFC. But they’ve proved that they’re capable of having a complete meltdown too. They’ve beaten each other and lost against other rivals as they’ve struggled to separate themselves from the pack. It’s been a wacky year but a fun one (via Fansided).

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KSHB

Weak Receiver Corps

Arguably the Chiefs’ biggest issue in 2023 is their shoddy receiver corps. They don’t have an elite talent amongst their weapons to catch Mahomes’ passes. That’s one of the reasons why he’s throwing interceptions at a higher rate than usual. The front office didn’t try to replace Tyreek Hill directly.

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Fox News

Instead, they went for youth in the form of second-round draft pick Mecole Hardman. Then they desperately backtracked and signed free agents Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Kadarius Toney. There are plenty of pieces in the wideout room but none of them are brilliant. Mahomes has thrown the most passes this season but experienced the most drops in the league (via Sports Illustrated).

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Sports Illustrated

Defensive Pressure

Analysts celebrated the Chiefs’ defense for most of the 2023. But cracks began to emerge as we saw in their defeat against Green Bay. The offense wasn’t the problem in this game as Mahomes put up decent yardage. However, the defense began to creak under pressure because they’ve been compensating for the offense.

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DraftKings Network

Everybody knows that defense wins championships. It’s the wrong time of the year for them to have a complete meltdown so this is something the Chiefs must fix quickly. If they keep their defense ship-shape they may be able to bluff their way to Las Vegas. But they’ve got no chance without it (via SBNation).

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Marca

Lack of Consistency

The craziest aspect of all of this is that the Chiefs remain Super Bowl contenders. It wouldn’t shock anybody if they were headed to Las Vegas in February but they have so much work to do. Their lack of consistency and capacity for a complete meltdown remains a serious issue.

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L.A. Times

On their day they’re capable of beating anybody. But they’re also able to lose to everybody when they’re not playing at their best. The Raiders humiliated them but there were other big defeats this year. Denver and Green Bay also stunned them this year when they should have rolled past them (via KCTV).

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WNEP

Front Office Decisions

Kansas City General Manager Brett Veach has earned his fair share of the blame for their complete meltdown. He is directly responsible for their direction because he makes roster decisions. Tyreek Hill’s departure was a major turning point for the franchise and a huge moment for Veach’s credibility.

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Chiefs.com

However, it seems that he failed this big test. The Chiefs could have opted for experience and tried to find a direct replacement for Hill. NFL experts linked them to the likes of DK Metcalf, Jerry Jeudy, and DeAndre Hopkins. Instead, they tried to go the draft route and it didn’t work (via Sportsnaut).

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CBS Sports

The Nagy Downgrade

It’s a bittersweet reality in the NFL that the best assistants will leave their franchises. The Chiefs discovered this to their cost in 2023 when offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy departed for the Washington Commanders. Andy Reid replaced him with former Bears head coach Mark Nagy but he’s not the same caliber.

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Chiefs.com

Nagy worked with the Chiefs before but it hasn’t been a great return. The former Chicago coach has overseen a decline in production across the board. They’ve fewer yards and points per game than in 2022. Nagy is leading a complete meltdown compared to his predecessor (via Sporting News).

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CNN

League’s Worst Turnover Rate

There’s no excuse for the Chiefs having the worst turnover rate in the entire NFL. Yes, even worse than teams that have the likes of Zach Wilson and Desmond Ridder under center. It’s almost miraculous that they’ve achieved this because it’s such a garbage statistic (via AP News).

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San Diego Union-Tribune

Their turnover differential in 2023 after the humiliating Raiders defeat was a tragic -10. In 2022, they had a very respectable -2 so this proves that they had a complete meltdown. Nobody saw this stark decline coming and it proves they’re not the same force as they were before.

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People

The Kelce Decline

Let’s be fair and say that it hasn’t all been bad news for Kelce this season. He had 90 catches before the Chiefs game against the Bengals in Week 17. This placed him firmly in the elite of his position while he also had the second-most forced missed tackles. However, most agree that Kelce isn’t the same player he was.

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The Spun

This is natural because Father Time comes for everybody. The real problem for Kelce isn’t his form or Taylor Swift. It’s the reality that injuries are gradually taking their toll on the 34-year-old. He hasn’t suffered a complete meltdown yet but the Chiefs can’t depend on him the same way (via DraftKings Network).

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NBC Sports

The Mahomes Contract

Some people think that Mahomes’ contract will cause a complete meltdown in Kansas City. This was a Catch-22 for the franchise because they had the best player in the NFL on their hands. They knew that it was crucial to pay him a record contract to keep him at Arrowhead Stadium (via NFL.com).

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WDAF

But this also affects their salary cap in a big way and it may prevent them from rebuilding shortly. Expect to see them restructure his deal several times as they attempt to manipulate the cap. But it’s not going to be easy and it may hurt them. Mahomes is a hero now but he may live long enough to become a villain.

Andy Reid
ESPN

Andy Reid’s Playcalling

Reid is a Kansas City icon now but he hasn’t been brilliant in 2023. The head coach is quick to shoulder the blame when his players make mistakes because he wants to ease their burden. We saw this after the Lions defeated the Chiefs in Week One. He’s repeated this multiple times during this season.

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AP

It’s a good coaching tactic because it takes the pressure off the players but there’s also no denying that Reid has made mistakes. The head coach has plenty of credit in the bank but 2024 will be a big year for him. Some fans expect him to retire shortly but only time will tell (via KCTV 5).

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