Just as they did during their Week 14 matchup with the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs have done everything in their power to keep their opponent in the game. Mistakes and carelessness with the football are the only reason that Denver led in this half. Thankfully, the Chiefs lead 13-10 and Kansas City gets the ball coming out of the halftime break.
Here are a few quick takeaways from the first half of play:
Tommy Townsend holder questions continue
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Dustin Colquitt might have been right about the Chiefs’ holder situation. On the point-after-try following Isiah Pacheco’s 5-yard touchdown run, Townsend was unable to get the hold down for Harrison Butker to make the kick. He tried to salvage the play and run for a two-point conversion, but he could get past the Broncos ST unit and took a big hit on the play. Townsend was visibly upset over the situation on the sideline, as he should be. There are a lot of things that Kansas City needs to clean up on special teams, but consistency in the kicking game is perhaps the most paramount.
Rotating players might be frustrating, but will prove useful
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The Chiefs are cycling in a lot of different players on offense and defense so far in Week 17. Ronald Jones got some early carries and Skyy Moore seems to be playing more snaps on offense, while guys like Darrius Harris, Leo Chenal and Bryan Cook continue to get worked into the defensive rotation. At times it might be frustrating to see players who are perceived as “better” not getting those snaps. However, in the long run, this could prove very valuable for Kansas City. Depth is one of the biggest factors when you reach the playoffs as we’ve learned over the last several seasons. Having guys who can step in and perform in the event of an injury could prove to be important.
The turnovers have to stop
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Last week’s turnover-free game was a nice break from reality for the Chiefs, but during the first half, we were reminded again about the importance of taking care of the football. An interception in the red zone on a ball that should have been thrown away cost K.C. points. A sudden-change turnover on special teams led to a 16-yard touchdown run by Broncos QB Russell Wilson. According to ESPN’s Adam Teicher, Kansas City has now allowed eight touchdowns after their last 11 turnovers. That’s how you end up losing in the first half when you’re averaging 8 yards per play on offense.