KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs coach Andy Reid spent a few moments Monday during his weekly conference call detailing areas that went wrong during Sunday’s 36-21 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The missed opportunities on offense in Cincinnati territory? Check. Settling for seven field goals instead of touchdowns? Check. Penalties and sacks? Check and check.
But one area Reid mentioned clearly stood out, especially when considering it was supposed to be a strength of this Chiefs team entering the season.
“Defensively, again, big plays,” Reid said. “There were seven big plays for 240-plus yards. Again, you can’t have that. Time of possession was probably in our favor, so even more so, you can’t have the big plays there.”
What Reid alludes to are the plays of 20 yards or more, all coming from Cincinnati’s passing game.
Quarterback Andy Dalton connected on a 55-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Tate; passes of 52 and 20 yards to wide receiver Mohamed Sanu; a 36-yard pass to wide receiver A.J. Green; passes of 30 and 23 yards to tight end Tyler Eifert; and a 27-yard pass to halfback Rex Burkhead.
The grand total of yards from those seven plays equaled 243 yards.
“You can’t have the big plays there,” Reid said. “So, as coaches, it’s our responsibility to get that done. As the head coach, it’s my responsibility to get that done, so you go back and make sure you’re putting the guys in good positions to do these things.”
Kansas City’s defense has experienced a nose dive from 2014, allowing 30-plus points in three straight games and two straight games with a 300-yard passer.
The most points the Chiefs allowed in 2014 occurred in Week 13 when the Denver Broncos scored 29, and the defense didn’t allow a 300-yard passer the entire 2014 campaign.
With the defense reeling, the Chiefs (1-3) have dropped three straight games and that total represents the number of games the Chiefs sit behind the AFC West-leading Broncos (4-0).
To stop the losing streak, the Chiefs must eliminate the big plays that have plagued the defense throughout the losses.
And Reid believes the Chiefs can turn it around entering Week 5 based on the team’s foundation.
“We’ve got a responsible bunch of guys and I had a chance to talk to them on the plane ride back and they take accountability for things, too,” Reid said. “That’s one reason I like this team.
“We’ve got a bunch of young guys. I like this team, we’ve just got to eliminate some of this stuff, and when we do, we can be a pretty good football team. I know we are going to do that because of their work ethic and the coaches’ work ethic.”
Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.