Are the Kansas City Chiefs starting to come apart?

After a 5-0 start, Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs have slumped as of late. Is this team losing the edge they had earlier this season?

Once upon a time in a galaxy known as the National Football League, the Kansas City Chiefs owned a 5-0 record and were the lone team among the 32 without a loss. It’s safe to say things have changed dramatically since that impressive start.

Andy Reid’s club has dropped three of its last four contests. Despite the slump, they remain the only team in the AFC West with a winning record (6-3) and seemingly have a comfortable lead over the Oakland Raiders (4-5) as well as Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers (both 3-5). But one of their three losses came on a Thursday night in the Bay Area when Reid’s team squandered a 30-21 fourth-quarter lead and fell 31-30.

You may have already heard some of the criticism aimed at veteran quarterback Alex Smith. Yes, he hasn’t played as well lately as he did when they were unbeaten. But there are far bigger concerns for this club. After averaging 156.2 yards per game on the ground in their first five contests, the Chiefs have been held below a c-note rushing four consecutive weeks.

A team that produced 17 offensive touchdowns in five contests has totaled only seven in its last four games. Rookie running Kareem Hunt has run for 191 yards during this 1-3 stretch after totaling 609 rushing yards in his first five games.

But what about the defense? It’s here that the bigger problems seem to lie. At 5-0, the Chiefs had allowed 366 total yards per game. There were seven takeaways and twice as many sacks (14) while allowing 13 offensive touchdowns.

Over the last four weeks, the Pittsburgh Steelers (439), Oakland Raiders (505), Denver Broncos (364) and Dallas Cowboys (375) combined for 1,683 total yards (420.8 YPG). Kansas City defenders have allowed 130-plus yards on the ground in three of their four losses. Yes, there have been six more takeaways along the way. But five of those came in the 29-19 Monday night victory over the reeling Denver Broncos. The Chiefs got a Ben Roethlisberger interception in the loss to the Steelers while the Raiders and Cowboys played turnover-free football.

Reid and his team are off this week. It’s safe to say that it’s the ideal time to regroup. The stretch run includes a three-game homestand vs. the Raiders, Chargers, and Dolphins (Weeks 14-16). There’s a lot of time to play better football when it comes to these Kansas City Chiefs. But we will point out just one little factoid that may wind up coming into play by year’s end.

In 2015, the Atlanta Falcons opened the season at 5-0 and finished 8-8. Last season, the Minnesota Vikings won their first five games as well only to manage an 8-8 record as well. What does it mean to the Chiefs? Not a thing…yet.

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Russell Baxter

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