Just a week after the Chiefs struggled in Detroit with Matt Patricia’s game plan, the team dropped a shocking game at home to the Indianapolis Colts in which they only scored 13 points. Many of the looks Indianapolis threw at Kansas City seemed to have been based in Detroit’s scheme from a week ago, which included dropping plenty of players back in man to man coverage and forcing Patrick Mahomes to look around.
Afterward, ESPN writer Michael Rothstein gave Patricia some credit for helping to craft that game plan, and perhaps another blueprint toward slowing down a team with a dynamic offense.
That was only just the beginning of the praise, though.
Patrick Mahomes Credits Lions Specifically
After the game, Mahomes specifically mentioned Detroit in terms of having a game plan which forced the Chiefs to be uncomfortable. As ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington explained, the quarterback knows that Detroit’s plan, in addition to that of the New England Patriots, is to force Kansas City to look at man coverage. Until the Chiefs beat it, teams will continue to try to use it in order to slow them down.
“Detroit did it last week, New England did it in the playoffs. We’re going to have to beat man coverage at the end of the day. We’ve got the guys to do it, so now it’s just about going out there and executing whenever teams present it to us,” he told the media.
It’s a nice feather in the team’s cap to hear Mahomes mention the Lions as a defensive powerhouse in a game. It’a merely another positive the Lions can take away.
Not Patricia’s First Rodeo
Though he’s only coached with the Lions one full season, Patricia’s teams have a history of slowing down some powerful offenses in Detroit already. Last season, the Los Angeles Rams looked set to carve up the league until they ran into Patricia’s defense in December. Though the Rams won the game 30-16, they were frustrated most of the afternoon. Like the Chiefs, the Rams lost the next game they played after playing the Lions, and would struggle in the Super Bowl against Bill Belichick’s Patriots.
Detroit also shut down New England, the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers last season, teams that have been known to score the football. In Patricia, the team obviously has a defensive coach more than capable of rising to the occasion with the best possible game plan tailored to stopping the opposition, no matter how powerful they may be.
NFL Speaks on Critical Fumble
One of the more costly plays of the day involved a fumble in which Kerryon Johnson dropped the ball short of the goal line and the Chiefs returned the ball unimpeded 99 yards for a score. Many thought the referee Walt Coleman should have blown the whistle on the play, but late last week, the league and their officiating czar Al Riveron stood behind Coleman, saying the move to avoid blowing the play dead was a “great call” by the officials.
Though Detroit’s defense held the Chiefs in check, it was small mistakes like this which denied them a shot at their own upset of Kansas City. That’s something which the team will have to eliminate in future weeks in order to come out on top, regardless of how well their defense plays.