Thursday, December 2, 2021
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Takeaways and reactions from Chiefs rollercoaster win over Washington

While a distressing first half spelled doom for the team, a miraculous second-half performance by the Kansas City Chiefs equated to a crucial win against the Washington Football Team. Here are some key takeaways from Sunday’s rollercoaster matchup.

A tale of two teams

As I paced myself for another Chiefs Sunday, the expectation was that things would be different. And for the first couple of drives, it was. 

The Chiefs’ defense, while not outstanding, silenced Washington on the opening drive. Suddenly, the offense entered the field and looked destined to score. After some huge plays from tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, former wideout-turned-tight end Jody Fortson jumped and floated in mid-air to get the team within scoring distance. 

After a quick rush by running back Darrel Williams, the score was 7-0. It seemed like the Chiefs were back on track. However, things changed within a matter of minutes. 

After some ungodly interceptions (one clearly on quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the other on Hill) and a fumble, the Chiefs reverted to their old ways. 

However, the game changed after halftime. 

While the defense continued to play their classic bend-don’t-break style, Mahomes cleaned up his messes and commanded the offense to a shocking 21-point half. This entire game showed fans what went wrong and what went right with the team. Now the Chiefs have to figure out how to play the right way all the time. 

The defense made a giant leap

For weeks, Chiefs fans continued to criticize the defense for its lackluster play and inability to execute the playbook. Many even wanted Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on the cutting board. 

Finally, the defense stepped up and shut the haters up. 

Even though this offense doesn’t compare to others, the Washington Football Team has its fair share of offensive threats, including Terry McLaurin, Taylor Heinicke, Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, to name a few. However, the Chiefs’ defense allowed only one touchdown and 13 total points, all scored before halftime. With blitzes galore, the team ended up with multiple takeaways.

This performance is exactly the type of game this team needs. While this unit isn’t superb, the Chiefs’ defense can still get the job done. This team is looking for its identity. 

Mahomes is still a mixed bag

Oh, Mahomes. 

While the offense exploded in the third and fourth quarter with Mahomes’ wizardly plays, there’s still a part of me that wants to see more out of the superstar. 

After watching Sunday’s game, it seems like there’s one big issue with Mahomes: He’s still playing like it’s 2019. 

Mahomes trademark playmaking abilities are extraordinary and all, but he needs to learn the ways of the pocket passer. It seems like every time he steps out of the pocket, it’s either going to be a bonkers or a disappointing play. Meanwhile, the revamped offensive line tries its best to keep a clean and open pocket. But Mahomes keeps running out and tries way too hard to make something out of nothing. The best example is when he threw that risky interception that he could have prevented with a sack. 

The solution to his issue is simple, and I will keep saying it. He should stay in the pocket and make intelligent plays. Quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady continue to be great because they know when to throw the ball and when not to. If Mahomes cannot clean up his mistakes, it’s going to be a long season for this offense. 

Final words

It’s great to see this team get a blowout win. It’s something the Chiefs needed since losing to the Buffalo Bills. Once again, as fans, we will have to stay patient and let this team grow with time. However, the clock is ticking to clean up their mistakes as they face the Tennessee Titans next Sunday

camtkb@umsystem.edu

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