It’s odd to think that the Kansas City Chiefs were nearly 0-3 to start the 2021 NFL season.
That’s the reality if not for their comeback against the Cleveland Browns on opening day.
The Browns controlled the game early, but Patrick Mahomes led a resurgence in the second half.
The Chiefs hoped that they could keep the momentum going, and it looked like they were winning against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2.
But Baltimore’s Odafe Jayson Oweh recovered Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s fumble at their 34-yard line to regain possession for the Ravens.
— NFL (@NFL) September 20, 2021
Four plays later, Lamar Jackson converted a two-yard run on fourth-and-one to seal a 36-35 victory over Kansas City.
That result was Jackson’s first NFL win against Mahomes and the latter’s first loss in September since his pro career started in 2017.
In some ways, the Super Bowl LIV MVP takes part of the blame for that defeat.
He gave the Ravens new life by throwing an interception to Tavon Young with two minutes left in the third quarter.
If they scored at least a field goal on that drive, the score would be 38-24, making it more challenging for Baltimore to catch up.
Instead, Jackson scored on a two-yard touchdown run to trim the deficit to five, 35-30, barely a minute into the fourth quarter.
Lamar Jackson reaches over the pylon for the touchdown 💪pic.twitter.com/lyFSUz4dOz
— TWSN (@TWSN___) September 20, 2021
The Baltimore defense rose to the occasion by forcing a punt during the Chiefs’ succeeding drive.
The Ravens did not waste the opportunity on offense as Jackson scored another rushing touchdown to take the lead.
On that game-winning possession, Tyrann Mathieu‘s illegal contact penalty erased a potential second-and-16 situation for Baltimore.
The officials nullified the sack by Charvarius Ward and gave the Ravens a fresh set of downs.
In the end, the Chiefs owned a 1-1 record coming into Week 3.
Chargers Delivered The Shock
The Chiefs shot themselves in the foot.
That one-liner is the best summary regarding the outcome of Kansas City’s divisional showdown with the Los Angeles Raiders.
Their first three drives ended in one interception and two lost fumbles.
Then, it was Edwards-Helaire’s turn to give the ball away to Davis.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire said he appreciated the support he's received from teammates after last week's fumble. Said the timing was awful but "at some point, you're going to have a fumble.''
— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) September 24, 2021
Justin Herbert led two touchdown drives after those fumbles to give Los Angeles a 14-0 advantage.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, their turnovers occurred deep into Chargers territory.
Harrison Butker‘s lights-out kicking would deliver nine points if they didn’t punch the ball into the end zone.
Despite those blunders, the Chiefs were still in the game with about two minutes left in the final quarter.
The Chiefs dropped their second straight game courtesy of a touchdown pass from Herbert to Mike Williams.
Aside from the turnovers, Kansas City would not be in that situation if they prevented the Chargers from converting two critical fourth-down conversions.
A little adversity never hurts #ChiefsKingdom We will be back soon!💪🏽💪🏽
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) September 26, 2021
Instead, Herbert willed his team through those rough patches to claim their second road victory in the season.
Likewise, the Chiefs offensive line is still a concern after Joey Bosa and the Chargers defense consistently delivered pressure on Mahomes.
The Chiefs’ greatest enemy is themselves, and they can’t expect to make a postseason return without polishing their game.
Until then, they will have to settle for the last place in the AFC West and fight their way up.