1. Are the Chiefs done?
Yes, pretty much. For the Chiefs to go 9-7, they’d have to finish 8-2 the rest of the way. Anything can happen in this league, but given the new and inventive ways they’ve created to lose games this year, you just can’t give them the benefit of the doubt.
2. Is this what the offense will look like with Jamaal Charles?
Pretty much. Jamaal was the eraser back there. He was so gifted, he could turn nothing into something and cover for the mistakes of his teammates. Without him, the play-calling will need to be on point. Charcandrick West got most of the work on Sunday, but it will be interesting to see if they start working Knile Davis in more. He’s been productive in the past when Charles has gotten hurt, so it will be a mystery if they don’t start incorporating more of the downhill running he does well into the game plan.
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3. How will the Chiefs move the ball without Jeremy Maclin, too?
Maclin has been a significant portion of the offense this season, and losing him Sunday because of a concussion is brutal. He and Charles were the only consistent big-play speed guys that teams had to account for. Travis Kelce is a strong receiving tight end, but teams should focus on taking him away going forward, thus making the Chiefs’ young receivers (Albert Wilson and Chris Conley) beat them. Running the ball more consistently than they did Sunday (18 carries, 57 yards) would help.
4. What can Andy Reid do to right this ship?
The Chiefs answered whatever questions may have existed about their effort during the second half, when multiple players started showing displays of emotion after big plays. So while it’s tempting (and easy) to say the 1-5 team is quitting or will quit on their coach, it’s probably too early for that. But this is worth keeping an eye on going forward because in professional football, there’s only one proven way to get players’ attention when things are going poorly: Start taking away jobs. Reid is a loyal guy, though, so it’s difficult to say when, or if, that will happen.
5. Was there a bright spot?
Well, rookie cornerback Marcus Peters continues to shine. His fourth-quarter interception of Teddy Bridgewater was big-time stuff. He took an educated gamble by abandoning his man and making a play on the ball, and it paid off. He could end up in the running for defensive rookie of the year.
2 Times in Adrian Peterson’s career, including Sunday’s game, where he has rushed for 60 or fewer yards while logging at least 25 carries.