The Kansas City Chiefs suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday night. The Indianapolis Colts put together a game plan that slowed down Patrick Mahomes and the explosive Kansas City offense. They executed it perfectly and picked up a 19-13 win over one of the favorites in the AFC.
The Chiefs left the game with bigger problems than just a loss. They had many players leave the game with an injury. Kansas City was already short-handed coming into the game and the list just got longer.
The entire city of Kansas City held their collective breath early in the game when Mahomes was seen walking around with a serious limp after taking a hit. He was able to stay in the game but he seemed to re-aggravate his ankle.
Tyreek Hill and Eric Fisher were inactive once again for the Chiefs. Their depth at receiver was made ever thinner when Sammy Watkins left the game with a hamstring injury. He had been dealing with it throughout the week and was forced to leave the game. Andrew Wylie also left the game with an ankle injury.
What did all of this mean? With Hill and Watkins unavailable, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle received increased roles. Pringle entered concussion protocol but passed. Wylie leaving the game meant that Kansas City was without two of their offensive lineman. This proved to be big as the Colts were in the backfield all game long forcing Mahomes to move around on that bad ankle.
The injuries on the defensive side of the ball are more significant. The defensive unit for the Chiefs is already weak and they cannot afford to lose anymore players, especially Chris Jones.
Jones is the best player on the Chiefs defense and one of the premiere defensive lineman in football. The Chiefs had a weight lifted off their shoulders when Jones decided to end his holdout and report to camp on time but they have just lost their stud for a different reason. According to NFL’s Ian Rapoport, the severity of Jones’ injury is unknown after his MRI. He is considered week-to-week moving forward which means he will miss at least one game.
Xavier Williams left the game with an ankle injury and it is believed to be a bad sprain. The Chiefs were already without Dorian O’Daniel who was inactive Sunday night.
What does all of this mean? Nothing good for the Chiefs. Their defense needed to be improved significantly from 2018 if they wanted to make a deep playoff run. They have not been playing like a better unit. Losing Jones is the last thing a team allowing 155.8 rush yards per game needed. Marlon Mack ran for 132 yards for the Colts.
The Chiefs next four games are against the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. All four of these teams have strong run games and quarterbacks who can move with the exception of Joe Flacco. Kansas City is able to score with anyone in the league but they will need to improve up front on defense.