The Kansas City Chiefs have lost four of their last five games and welcome the Buffalo Bills, themselves losers of three straight, to Arrowhead Stadium today. Joel Thorman, the Editor-in-Chief of our Chiefs blog, Arrowhead Pride, answered some questions for us this week. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday we’re publishing them late but the info is still great.
1. What has happened to the Chiefs during their 1-4 run to derail their solid play that got them to 5-0?
They're not as dynamic as they once were. The big plays on offense just aren't there anymore. It feels like the Chiefs are going back in their shell offensively. Some of that is Alex Smith, some of that is injuries, some is play calling ... there's never just one reason but if I had to pick just one it would be the lack of explosion on offense. The Chiefs are missing that right now. Defensively, the Chiefs are getting worse and worse it seems. It feels like they got old overnight and you can tell they're missing Eric Berry.
2. What have other teams done to slow down the Chiefs offense?
The Chiefs haven't been running the ball well lately so they've been one dimensional which is easier to stop. The plan is to get to Alex Smith early. Get him rattled so he's seeing ghosts and getting those happy feet going. Shut down the Chiefs screen game and tackle well. Don't give them anything easy because guys like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will take it and beat you with it. Keep the pressure on and wait for a mistake.
3. What has worked on offense for the Chiefs opponents?
Running the ball. LeSean McCoy could have a big day. The Chiefs run defense hasn't been good for a couple of years but this year it seems especially bad. The other thing is the Chiefs give up a lot of big plays. You can stretch the field on them, keep running the ball and McCoy will eventually bust one. They can be had on defense.
4. Bills fans thought they had a monopoly on misery (outside of Cleveland). Why are Chiefs fans so strongly negative in their willingness to fire Andy Reid and/or bench Alex Smith at this point in the season?
We remember what life was like before Andy Reid. Wouldn't Bills fans like winning 10 games every year even if it meant losing in the first round of the playoffs? I like getting to the dance every year and Andy Reid does that well. It'd be hard to find a better coach than Andy Reid. As for Alex Smith, there is Patrick Mahomes talk out there. I don't think the Chiefs will bench Alex because they are invested in him and this is their final shot with him. He played so well at the beginning of the year and even this year has 18 touchdowns to three interceptions. Overall, those are pretty good numbers so I can see the Alex argument.
5. Put your name on it. What's the final score?
23-20, Chiefs. I'm not sure how they score more than that with some of their recent offensive struggles but they can limit the Bills.
You can read our answers for their five questions over at Arrowhead Pride.