The Kansas City Chiefs were lucky to complete a comeback against the Cleveland Browns during their 2021 season opener.
Otherwise, they would be staring at an 0-3 hole that has never happened during the Patrick Mahomes era.
Instead, they have a 1-2 slate, which puts them last in the AFC West.
In a season that brought several surprises, seeing the Chiefs at the cellar of their division might be the biggest shock of all.
All about how we bounce back. pic.twitter.com/6s8PllmdCu
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 27, 2021
It’s easy to suggest that the Chiefs lost because their opponents got better.
But that’s an inadequate explanation of what transpired over three games.
Here’s why the Chiefs have a losing record after the first month of NFL action.
3. Offensive Line Problems Persist
The Chiefs prioritized improvements to their offensive line when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense abused their linemen in Super Bowl LV.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif also returned after sitting out last season to practice his medical background and help Canada’s efforts against COVID-19.
On paper, the Chiefs gave up just four sacks.
However, the tapes show a different story.
Shades of the last Super Bowl still occur as Mahomes runs for his life once the pocket collapses.
Scrambling away from defenders gives him time to make throws and prevents more sacks.
2. Defense Is Not Stepping Up
The Chiefs have the fourth-best offense in the NFL, averaging 30.7 points per game.
However, their defense is not fulfilling their end of the deal.
They are giving up a league-worst 31.7 points per game and allow 160.3 rushing yards every outing.
Their 269.7 passing yards allowed per game puts them at the 24th spot.
— Win Big Sports (@WBSNsports) September 26, 2021
The Chiefs pass rush also needs improvement because they have just four sacks in three games.
That’s a far cry from the 14 by league-leading Carolina Panthers and 12 by the Browns.
Kansas City’s defense must help their offense by preventing opponents from gaining massive yards and running up the score.
1. Turnovers Led To Their Downfall
The Chiefs won over the Browns by forcing turnovers in the second half.
Jamie Gillan also fumbled the football on a punt attempt to give the Chiefs a short field to cover.
Mike Hughes gets the interception for the Chiefs to win the game pic.twitter.com/7PxpMAOJT2
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) September 12, 2021
However, turnovers also killed their hopes to keep Mahomes’ undefeated run in September intact.
Odafe Oweh’s first round projection was often criticized due to his lack of sacks at Penn State. In just 2 weeks, Oweh has:
— Neer Ray (@NeerRayNFL) September 22, 2021
Harrison Butker could have converted a game-winning field goal with no time left if the Chiefs retained possession.
The Chiefs had 30 seconds left to win the game via a touchdown.
However, the Los Angeles Chargers defense preserved a 30-24 win.
Justin Herbert connects with Mike Williams for the CLUTCH TD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 26, 2021
While Mahomes became the fastest player in NFL history to have at least 15,000 passing yards, that interception gave the Chiefs their second consecutive loss.
Kansas City last had a losing streak in Weeks 5 and 6 of the 2019 season.