In this week’s Blitz, The Star’s Terez Paylor answered five postgame Twitter questions from Chiefs fans.
[ Listen to our Chiefs-Chargers postgame podcast with Terez Paylor and subscribe to SportsBeat KC on iTunes ]
1. Why was the defense getting gashed up the middle by the run early? Seems like that should be a strength. — @kbrynsvold
A lack of gap discipline and missed tackles will get you beat in the running game, and the Chiefs were having some issues in both areas. The Chargers also tortured them on draw plays, taking advantage of the interior defensive line’s upfield penetration. The Chiefs ultimately got all these areas squared away, but the run defense is something that needs to be monitored going forward; this was an issue in the preseason, too.
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2. What changes were there in the way KC played defense in the second half? First half was completely flat. — @chromatic85
When the Chiefs finally stopped allowing chunks of yardage on the ground, it put the Chargers in longer situations on second and third downs, which are obviously easier to defend. This allowed them to get after quarterback Philip Rivers enough to force some punts, but the one sack and three pressures they accumulated Sunday won’t be good enough going forward.
3. What were your thoughts on the play of Dee Ford? — @justinmayhugh
Give Dee credit — he’s been criticized plenty amid mounting pressure, but to the naked eye, at least, the dude seemed to play pretty well Sunday. He flashed more than a few times in the run game, as he racked up five tackles, played hard and set the edge. And he recorded the Chiefs’ only sack, a crucial takedown of Rivers late in the fourth quarter that helped send the game to overtime.
4. Why did it take until the Chiefs to be down 21 to speed up the offense? It seemed as if Andy was being too fancy. — @The JazzCaptain
It’s true the offense looked awful in the first half, as the Chargers seemed to have a bead on all their sideline-to-sideline stuff in the running and passing game. But like you said, the offense quickened the pace in the second half, started attacking downfield and found some success. Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention, my friend. The Chiefs’ second-half offense resembled what they showed observers during training camp and the preseason.
5. How good was Spencer Ware today? Not only as a back but as a receiver! Dude can run routes! — @Arrowhead737
Ware certainly took advantage of the first-team reps Sunday, with 11 carries for 70 yards — a sterling 6.4-yard average — and a touchdown. That wasn’t terribly surprising; Ware’s hard-charging style inspires awe in his teammates. But where he shined the most was as a receiver, as he was targeted eight times Sunday — the most of any Chief — and caught a team-high seven passes for 129 yards. This was the continuation of something I noticed in organized team activities, which I wrote about for you fantasy football nerds.
5: The number of consecutive victories the Chiefs have racked up against the Chargers under Andy Reid.