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#pounditWednesday, September 23, 2020

Chiefs’ mistakes doom them early in playoff game against Texans

The Kansas City Chiefs had the most disastrous first quarter they could have probably imagined in Sunday’s AFC Divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans.

A series of mistakes cost the Chiefs dearly in the first quarter, leading them to fall behind 21-0 before they could even settle into the game. The first was a major blown coverage after the entire defense bit on a very effective fake, opening things up for Kenny Stills to catch a wide open 54-yard touchdown to get the scoring started.

Then there was the Kansas City special teams, which was nothing short of a disaster. Down 7-0, Houston’s Barkevious Mingo blasted through to block a Dustin Colquitt punt, allowing Lonnie Johnson to scoop it up for a 10-yard touchdown return. That put Kansas City down 14-0 within five minutes.

The Chiefs couldn’t catch a break even when they did what they had to do. After their defense forced a stop with just over two minutes left in the quarter, Tyreek Hill muffed the ensuing punt. The Texans recovered at the Kansas City six-yard line, setting them up for an easy touchdown and a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.

The problems were not limited to defense and special teams for the Chiefs. The offense had a deer-in-headlights look about it, with two key drops opening the door for the Texans. The first big one came from normally sure-handed tight end Travis Kelce, who dropped a pretty easy first down catch. This play took place directly before the blocked punt, and had Kelce made the grab, the Chiefs would not have had to send the punt team on.

The Chiefs’ issues with drops did not end there. Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson dropped another first down pass on third down during Kansas City’s second offensive drive. The ball was thrown slightly behind him, but it was still catchable and should have been turned into a first down.

The Chiefs ultimately just looked shell-shocked by their awful start, and they have been second-best in all three phases of the game. Barring a miracle comeback, expect new questions about the Chiefs’ home playoff record, plus coach Andy Reid’s ability to win when it matters most. Their special teams will also be scrutinized, as this is not the first major problem that unit has had this season.

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