The silver lining? They lost by one point without two of their best three players in Travis Kelce and Chris Jones, as well as a third key contributor in Charles Omenihu. For most fans, it’s probably no consolation but it does confirm what most believed to be true, the Chiefs are still a Super Bowl contender when healthy and accounted for.
“Listen, no excuse,” Reid immediately replied. “I thought the defense did some good things. That’s a whole separate deal and that will work itself out in whatever direction it goes. I thought our guys — I don’t want to take anything away from the guys up front there, they busted their tail tonight.”
“Didn’t come up the way we wanted it,” the Chiefs HC added, “but they did some good things there.” Earlier, Reid also opened up the Q&A by noting that he “liked what [he] saw on the defensive side for the most part.”
Chiefs Defense Was Surprisingly Strong Without Chris Jones on Opening Night
It’s fair to argue that the Chiefs win the game if Jones is on the field — but the defense was not the issue on Thursday night. Kelce was missed much more in the passing game with drops all over the field and a lack of separation from receivers.
In fact, the defense’s strong play without their linchpin veteran might have been the biggest positive takeaway from the Week 1 opener.
Not only did the defense hold a promising Lions offense to just two scores, but they forced five punts and three turnovers (one fumble, two turnovers on downs). And that doesn’t even include a sixth punt that was converted by a trick play.
When you consider Jones’ importance and talent level as a game wrecker, that’d be akin to the Chiefs offense putting up 30-plus points without Patrick Mahomes II.
Among the top performers were cornerback Trent McDuffie (forced fumble, eight tackles, 76.6 coverage grade on Pro Football Focus), linebacker Nick Bolton (seven tackles, two key defensive stops), D-end George Karlaftis (seven tackles, one TFL, one pass deflection, three QB pressures, two key defensive stops) and D-end Mike Danna (six tackles, one TFL, one sack, one pass deflection, two QB pressures, two key defensive stops).
Chiefs HC Andy Reid Takes Responsibility for Issues on Third & Short
While the wide receivers will take the brunt of the blame in this one, the coaching wasn’t as crisp as it typically is either — and Reid took full responsibility after the loss.
“We got to do a better job there,” the coach stated regarding the third (or fourth) and short situations. “I got to take care of that. I mean, we work like crazy on our short yardage and for it to happen like that is not… not good.”
“Well, we’ve worked hard on that,” Reid added later after a follow-up on third and short situations. “We’ve got to do — we’ve got to get better. We weren’t very good last year at it, and we’ve spent a lot of time working on that, so we’ve got to keep going here and make sure we take care of it.”
“I’ll take that [blame],” he voiced to end his response. “That’s my responsibility to get that taken care of.”