Red Zone

Halftime observations: Chiefs 12, Chargers 3

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith looked for a receiver during Sunday’s game.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith looked for a receiver during Sunday’s game. The Associated Press

Here are five quick halftime thoughts from Qualcomm Stadium, where the Chiefs lead 12-3.

1. Loved the call by Andy Reid to go for it on fourth-and-1 at the Chargers’ 1-yard line in the first quarter. Loved the decision to give the ball to Dontari Poe in that situation even more. Took some guts, and the big fella rewarded him.

2. The loss of De’Anthony Thomas to a concussion could lead to some interesting scenarios on special teams in the second half. Jeremy Maclin returned punts in his absence, while Chris Conley returned kicks. Maclin is a reliable handler of the football, but it will be interesting to see how Conley fares as a returner in a regular-season game. Also, Maclin is so valuable as a receiver, it would be devastating to lose him to an injury (which he is exposed to on special teams). By the way, speaking of Maclin...

3. If teams are going to give Maclin single coverage with no help over the top (like San Diego did a few times in the first half), you have to make them pay. One of Maclin’s best assets is his speed, and far too often, the Chiefs fail to get him the ball in those situations. Often times, that’s on the quarterback.

4. Charcandrick West’s 47-yard reception in the first quarter set up the Chiefs’ first touchdown, but it’s crazy that teams can still get burned on the angle route out of the backfield against the Chiefs. It’s one of their favorite route concepts, and one defenses should be prepared for at all times.

5. The Chiefs have had their struggles in the red zone, and those have continued Sunday. After punching it in on their first red-zone opportunity, they were forced to kick field goals on their next two chances. Not good enough.

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