The Kansas City Chiefs looked sluggish in the first half but were thrilling in the second half against Cleveland.
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Cleveland Browns 33-29 in thrilling fashion this past Sunday when the defense showed up in the final quarter and Patrick Mahomes and the offense exploded for 23 points in the second half.
It was an impressive win against a really talented team in the Browns. That’s a team that focused its offseason on building up the defense to slow down a team like the Chiefs with key additions such as defensive backs John Johnson and Troy Hill and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
The Browns are a team the Kansas City Chiefs could potentially see later in the postseason, so there’s no shame in beating them by four points. Especially considering the players who were out for the Chiefs and the depth of the Browns roster.
However, there was one issue in the game that really stood out that could possibly cause problems for Kansas City later on down the line. And even though the defense was bad, at least that group has the excuse of missing 3 key starters at each level of the defense.
The concern here is that no one in the receiving game besides Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill showed up at all.
The Kansas City Chiefs need a real 3rd option to step up in the receiving game
Kelce and Hill accounted for just short of 90% of the teams receiving yards in yesterday’s game. No other receiver had more than 30 yards for the Chiefs or even more than a few targets on manufactured touches.
While it’s no surprise as they are the two best players on offense besides Patrick Mahomes, that type of reliance on just Kelce and Hill is dangerous.
What happens in the incredibly unfortunate event that one of those guys gets hurt? What will Kansas City do? How is the offense going to look?
There has to be someone that makes you comfortable and can make sure that the offense doesn’t go stagnant if one of those players is to go down for any stretch of time. Chiefs fans went into the offseason clamoring for the team to address depth issues at wide receiver and Kansas City failed to do so.
There was the hope that Mecole Hardman would step up, but he didn’t do that during week one. Even though there’s plenty of time for him to improve considerably moving forward, yesterday was not a great start for him.
Just 3 receptions for 19 yards and he struggled to get open consistently. Not to mention he continues to struggle with awareness as he ran out of bounds short of the first down marker when he had the marker right in front of him.
From the outside looking in, there’s a lack of trust between Mahomes and anyone not named Hill or Kelce. Again, you can’t blame Mahomes for going to the two guys that are essentially always open and a threat to score, but you could easily see how getting too comfortable with relying so heavily on those two could become.
The Chiefs just don’t have someone that legitimately scares defenses and can consistently take advantage of single coverage. Hardman will have his big plays and Byron Pringle comes up clutch here and there but do we see either of them becoming alphas or moving the chains constantly?
A name out there that could take the load off of the dynamic duo of Kelce and Hill is Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks who is a perennial 1,000-yard receiver and seemingly available as the Texans are reportedly willing to part with “just about any veteran” according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.
Until something happens, we will have to hope that someone internally emerges into that guy.