After Tyrod Taylor was his predictably solid self during Buffalo’s 16-10 defeat of Kansas City on Sunday, I was tempted to give this week’s Incompetence Trophy to Bills coach Sean McDermott for the second consecutive week because, again, what the hell was he doing starting Nathan Peterman in an NFL game? But McDermott at least didn’t make the same mistake twice and kept the overmatched Peterman on the bench in Week 12. Things were not so simple on the opposite sideline.
After absolutely shredding the Patriots in the season’s Thursday night opener, the Chiefs rattled off four more wins, looking like a league superpower as they cruised to a 5-0 record. Since then they’ve only managed to win one game and that came against a Broncos team that’s currently quarterbacked by a revolving crew of what appear to be three sentient mannequins. (This throw sums up what if feels like to have Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch as your team’s quarterbacks.)
The Chiefs have gone from a Super Bowl favorite to a team that seems poised to fall out of the playoff race altogether. What’s especially confounding about this seven-week decline is that Andy Reid’s offense, which was so creative and explosive at the season’s outset, has become stale and predictable. It’s not like injuries – which, to be fair, have hamstrung the Kansas City defense – have deprived the offense of its weapons, either. Travis Kelce is still one of the best receiving tight ends in the league, Tyreek Hill remains a threat to score every time he touches the ball and Kareem Hunt is a versatile back with a ton of talent, even as he has fallen from being the best keeper-league find in fantasy football history to a barely playable Flex option.
Should the Chiefs bench quarterback Alex Smith and give rookie Patrick Mahomes II a chance to use the cannon attached to his shoulder? Should they move to a power run offense to try to jumpstart the talented Hunt? Should they force feed their entire team avocado ice cream? I don’t have the answers1 but I’m just a hack internet writer. Andy Reid has a little more riding on this and considering how talented his team is, how hot they started and how high their fans’ expectations are, he’d better start figuring it out.