In arguably the ugliest win of the season for the defending AFC Champions, the quest for a third straight Super Bowl appearance looks bleak.
Especially since the Chiefs have the toughest remaining schedule of all 32 NFL teams.
Although the defense stood firm against an injury-riddled New York Giants squad, the 20-17 win came late in the fourth quarter and was mired with disappointment from start to finish.
Offensively, they looked unsure and vulnerable.
Although they ran 19 more plays and had 11 more first downs than the Giants, the Chiefs managed only 68 yards more in the offense.
The lack of discipline on both sides of the ball haunted the Chiefs and can be attributed to the lack of cohesion on offense.
Kansas City racked up 12 penalties for 103 yards, which is the highest total in any game thus far.
Patrick Mahomes continued to look average against a defense that is mediocre at best.
He completed only 29 of 48 passing attempts for 275 yards with a single touchdown, one interception and a fumble.
Luckily, a second interception that would have sealed the win for the visiting Giants was called back on an offsides penalty by New York linebacker Oshane Ximines.
This marks Mahomes’ seventh straight game with an interception and the longest turnover streak of his career so far, an alarming trend moving forward. He looked shaky in the pocket behind an offensive line that is clearly out of sync in pass protection.
Being under pressure all night fueled Mahomes recent inaccuracies, and he gave up a costly sack in the red zone on the Chiefs’ final drive. For the night, they finished with an abysmal 2-6 in red zone opportunities.
Thankfully, kicker Harrison Butker bailed them out again with a 34-yard field goal to put them up by three with a minute and 12 seconds remaining in regulation.
The only bright spots on offense for the night were receiver Tyreek Hill and rookie running back Derrick Gore.
Hill was targeted 18 times and hauled in 12 catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. Fresh off the practice squad, Gore looked equally electric.
On 11 carries he rushed for 48 yards, averaging 4.4 yards per carry, and scored his first touchdown in the NFL. This newfound balance definitely took some pressure off Mahomes in the first half.
Looking forward, this has to continue for the Chiefs offense to be successful in the last half of the season. Hopefully the trade deadline additions of defensive end Melvin Ingram and tight end Dan Brown will provide a much-needed spark for both the offense and the defense.
Kansas City is heading into a tough matchup on Sunday against the best team in the NFC, though the Packers will be without Aaron Rodgers who tested positive for COVID-19.