Kansas City Chiefs
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)

What to Make of the Kansas City Chiefs?

When the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV, many had them tabbed as the next NFL dynasty. With Patrick Mahomes under center throwing to a stable of dangerous weapons, multiple rings over the next few years certainly seemed attainable. The start of the 2021 NFL season has given many pause and resulted in reevaluation of KC’s ‘dynasty’ billing. Through Week 5, the Chiefs are 2-3 and last place in the AFC West. After two consecutive Super Bowl appearances for Andy Reid and company, what in the world is going on?

A Historically Good Offense

Through five games, the Chiefs offense has looked about as good as expected. A new-and-improved offensive line gives Mahomes the time needed to make throws down the field. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are still around. The offense is currently leading the league in Expected Yards over Average per play. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that their offense has fallen off. Believe me, that isn’t the problem. Kansas City has consistently produced a stellar offense year after year. They have been historically great in that regard. What about their defense?

Oh.

A Historically Bad Defense

Yeah, the Chiefs defense is dead last in EPA/play. They also have surrendered the second-most total yards in the league. It’s an absolute train wreck. Here’s how bad they have really been:

If it wasn’t clear based on how Josh Allen torched them on Sunday night, any team facing the Chiefs defense immediately becomes the best offense in league history. Not a recipe for success. That’s not how you win multiple rings over the next few years. Things will get even more difficult when Patrick Mahomes’ contract extension kicks in and his salary balloons to $50 million a year. The window for the Chiefs will get even smaller at that point. The reason the offense has looked bad at times is because Mahomes knows that he needs to bail out the team on virtually every possesion.

About a third of the way through the season, Kansas City doesn’t look like a team that will sniff the Super Bowl. You can never truly count them out with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, but the defensive struggles are very real and very detrimental to the team’s success.

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