When Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was asked after last Sunday’s loss to the Titans about why the Chiefs weren’t able to hold for a win after taking a 10-point lead into halftime, he said he couldn’t blame it on playcalling but added that he thought the team “got a little conservative” on offense.
The Chiefs had the ball twice in the fourth quarter and ran nine total plays. Six were runs, including three after getting the ball back with a one-point lead and just over three minutes on the clock. Two of those runs were short of first downs with the Chiefs facing third-and-2 on each drive.
The Chiefs also ran 20 plays in the third quarter and called passes on 10 of them. Alex Smith was sacked once and threw an interception in the end zone to kill the team’s best scoring chance of the second half.
On Monday, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that Kelce came to him to say “it didn’t come out the way that he really wanted it to” and that he didn’t think anything Kelce said would be taken the wrong way in the locker room. Reid added that he didn’t feel the team got too conservative.
“I look at all that — there’s situational plays and situations in games … there’s a time and a place for everything,” Reid said, via the Kansas City Star. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that [we were too conservative], but when you don’t win the game, you’re going to definitely look at something like that.”
Reid did say that he could have looked to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the team’s leading touchdown scorer, more often after Hill failed to get a touch after a 68-yard touchdown run in the first half.
The Chiefs have now failed to score in the second half of their last two games and they saw an 11-point lead disappear in the fourth quarter against the Falcons in Week 13 before safety Eric Berry put them back on top by returning an intercepted two-point try to the end zone. That’s a trend they’ll need to stop if they are going to both make the playoffs and stick around for a while.