KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Second guessing among media and fans began immediately when the Chiefs turned the ball over on downs in the waning seconds of Week 14’s loss against the Arizona Cardinals.
Kansas City started the final possession with 1:09 remaining in the contest at its own 24-yard line trailing 17-14 with no timeouts.
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson took a shot during Thursday’s media session explaining what the Chiefs hoped would happen.
“It goes without saying, it’s the drive to win the game,” Pederson told reporters. “You’ve got to complete the throws, you’ve got to get the ball down the field.”
At least that sounds good in theory.
The only problem is quarterback Alex Smith’s longest completion was a 6-yard pass to wide receiver Jason Avant.
“Whether you throw it quick or you’re taking five- or seven-foot drop, protection is obviously key,” Pederson continued. “And then the receivers have got to be a little more pinpoint accuracy in that situation. Alex has to trust the guys and make nice accurate throws. That’s just the bottom line in that situation when you’re in a two-minute in order to put yourself in a position to tie or win the game.”
It’s unclear if Pederson’s thoughts were conveyed in the huddle, but the execution clearly wasn’t present.
Smith’s other two completions on the drive went for 2 yards and 4 yards, respectively, on the team’s final seven-play drive. His final three passes, which all fell incomplete, were also of the short variety.
The inability to at least attempt to push the ball down the field with hopes to get within field goal range resulted in a third straight loss.
The Chiefs hopefully learned a lesson should a similar situation present itself with the game on the line in the final three contests.
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub had a spot in mind on Week 14’s final drive to give rookie kicker Cairo Santos a shot at a potential game-tying kick against the Cardinals.
“We felt like 35-yard line, a 53-yarder, we felt he could make on both ends,” Toub told reporters Thursday. “Obviously, it didn’t matter.”
Toub made the assessment based on the indoor facilities at University of Phoenix Stadium and how Santos kicked during pregame warm-ups and.
“In that game though, obviously you are trying to tie it up,” Toub said. “If we’re at the 38, you’ve got to try for it anyway if that’s what we get to. So he might have been able to bang one of those.”
Santos, who holds a school-record 57-yard field goal at Tulane, has a season-high field goal from 53 yards.
EYES ON MURRAY
The Chiefs got a hard look at Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray in Week 12, mostly the back of Murray’s jersey as he pulled away on a 90-yard touchdown run.
“We saw him go by us for about 90 yards so we got a long, long look at him as he went down the field,” defensive coordinator Bob Sutton told reporters. “He is a big man that runs fast and that is not always a great combination if you are on defense.”
Sutton complimented Oakland’s backfield, which includes Murray, Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcel Reese.
But Murray is the player the Chiefs must remain mindful of when the two teams clash Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
And this is especially true when considering the second-year pro totaled 112 yards rushing and two touchdowns on four carries the first time around before leaving with a concussion.
The Chiefs will face a healthy Murray, who returned to the field in Week 14 and isn’t listed on the injury report.
“I think the young guy (Murray) as it appears just from what we’ve seen of him, he’s really got a high upside in my opinion,” Sutton said. “Fast and big, it’s a good place to start with.”