Red Zone

Game report: Bears 18, Chiefs 17

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid talked with side judge Keith Washington in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium. The Bears defeated the Chiefs, 18-17.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid talked with side judge Keith Washington in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium. The Bears defeated the Chiefs, 18-17. along@kcstar.com

First quarter

Key play: Jay Cutler was strip-sacked by Jaye Howard, and Ramik Wilson recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown that gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.

Key stat: The Bears dominated time of possession 12:32 to 2:28.

Second quarter

Key play: Alex Smith’s 19-yard touchdown pass to De’Anthony Thomas was the second of the year that Smith has thrown to a receiver.

Key stat: The Bears committed five penalties for 34 yards by halftime, compared with only one for 10 yards by the Chiefs.

Third quarter

Key play: Cairo Santos’ 27-yard field goal, which would have given the Chiefs a fairly commanding 20-3 lead, was blocked. It set the stage for the Bears’ stunning comeback.

Key stat: Before the blocked kick, Santos was a perfect 13 for 13 on field goals attempted between 20 and 29 yards.

Fourth quarter

Key play: Marcus Peters’ pass-interference penalty — only the third overall penalty of the game for the Chiefs — on third and 10 gave the Bears new life. They scored their go-ahead touchdown only two plays later.

Key stat: The Bears outgained the Chiefs 220-52 from the point of Jamaal Charles’ injury until the end of the game.

The grades

Rushing offense

D+

The Chiefs rushed 25 times for 117 yards, a respectable 4.7 yards-per-game average. Charcandrick West, Charles’ replacement, rushed seven times for 31 yards, a 4.4 average. But the Chiefs could not run it effectively enough late in the game, when it really mattered.

Passing offense

D+

Alex Smith’s stat line was OK, as he completed 16 of 30 passes for 181 yards, a touchdown and zero interceptions. But he and his cast of receivers, while close on a few occasions, could not get the big play in crunch time. Smith was also sacked three times and hit four times.

Rushing defense

B-

The Chiefs did a nice job containing star running back Matt Forte, who finished with 18 carries and 71 yards. The Bears, as a whole, rushed 26 times for 87 yards. The Chiefs will take that per-rush average of 3.3.

Passing defense

D+

The defense looked excellent in the first half, and even scored a touchdown in the first half on a sack. But quarterback Jay Cutler carved them up in the second half, throwing for two touchdowns, and he was only sacked twice and hit three times. Given the way the Bears mounted that comeback, it’s impossible to give them a passing grade.

Special teams

D+

Punter Dustin Colquitt was excellent, dropping four punts inside the 20, and Santos drilled four touchbacks on all of his kickoff attempts. But Santos’ makeable 27-yard field goal was blocked in the third quarter — a titanic turn of events — and missed an impossible 66-yarder that would have won the game, though he should hardly be blamed for that. The blocked field goal keeps this unit from getting a better grade.

Coaching

F

First things first: The Chiefs were well on their way to winning this game before Charles’ injury, which has to be a factor. The offensive game plan seemed fine, and the defense was throttling Cutler. But the offense went dead after Charles’ injury, and the defense — while perhaps hurt by a couple of referees’ calls — could not stop Cutler, and at the end of the day, this is a results-based business. Chiefs coach Andy Reid also will be criticized for attempting a 66-yard field goal into the wind and not challenging Marcus Peters’ potential game-changing interception late in the fourth quarter, which was ruled an incompletion. This is a devastating loss against a team the Chiefs were better than, so there should be no excuses — injuries or not.

Takeaways

Player of the game: Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler was outstanding, completing 26 of 45 passes for 252 yards and two second-half touchdowns.

Reason to hope: The offensive line fared a tad better this week, allowing only three sacks and four quarterback hits after allowing five sacks and 10 quarterback hits against the Bengals. But a loss is a loss.

Reason to mope: Aside from the obvious? Charles’ injury is absolutely devastating. The Chiefs’ offense revolves around his big-play ability. Plus, they are 1-4 in a league where it’s difficult to rally from a poor early start.

Looking ahead: The Chiefs have a tough road game coming up against the Minnesota Vikings, 2-2, before they get a home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will likely be without star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. But at this point, nothing is a given.

[ Solid day for Marcus Peters spoiled by late touchdown, pass-interference call ]

[ Chiefs Blitz: The good, the bad, the ugly from Sunday’s 18-17 loss to the Bears ]

[ Charcandrick West ready to step up for Chiefs ]

Terez A. Paylor, tpaylor@kcstar.com

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