The Kansas City Chiefs couldn’t contain the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive or defensive prowess en route to third straight loss after an embarrassing 36-21 defeat at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Chiefs (1-3) were kept afloat singlehandedly by kicker Cairo Santos, who scored every point for Kansas City in the game with a team-record seven field goals. Without Santos, the outing could have been much worse.
There were several ugly facets, yet a few shining moments, in Kansas City’s blunder against Cincinnati.
• The offensive line continued its protection woes. Quarterback Alex Smith was sacked five times, including three times in the first half. So far this season, Smith has been sacked 18 times, a number that leads the NFL. At this rate, Smith is on pace to be sacked 72 times during the 2015 campaign, which would tie for No. 2 all-time. Last season, Smith was sacked a career-high 45 times.
• Kansas City’s defense could not stop Cincinnati’s offensive unit. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 321 yards, including two long 50-plus-yard bombs to wide receivers Mohamed Sanu (52 yards) and Brandon Tate (55 yards). Dalton’s game was his 15th career game with over 300 yards passing, and his passing totals marked the second straight week the Chiefs have allowed a 300-yard passer. The Chiefs pass defense did not allow a 300-yard passer in 2014. Bengals running back Jeremy Hill may have not racked up many yards rushing, but he did find the end zone three times during the day.
• The Chiefs defense did not get a single hand on Dalton while he was in the backfield. Zeroes were all across the board for every defensive player in sacks and quarterback hits. Only one tackle for loss was recorded. The last time Kansas City went without a sack in a game was on Dec. 15, 2013 against the Oakland Raiders.
• Forget Carmen Sandiego; where in the world was Travis Kelce? Overall, Kelce amassed 49 yards receiving on five receptions. In the first half, Kelce had one catch for nine yards. On his third reception of the game, Kelce fumbled. The fumble led to a Cincinnati touchdown and two-point conversion that put the Bengals up 29-15 in the fourth quarter.
Kelce’s fumble marked the fourth straight game that the Chiefs have at least one turnover. Also, Kansas City has turned the ball over at least once in eight of its last nine games.
• The red zone offense was nonexistent. On three trips to the red zone, Kansas City couldn’t produce a touchdown. On 10 drives in total, Kansas City came up with seven field goals and not a single touchdown.
• Kicker Cairo Santos carried the Chiefs on his back, and his seven field goals were the only scores the Chiefs had. His four field goals in the first half were from 22, 40, 51 and 49 yards out. He tacked on three more field goals during the second half. Those came from 40, 29 and 51 yards out. His seven field goals were the most in a game of his career and surpassed the Chiefs franchise record of most field goals in a game. Santos passed kicker Ryan Succop, who had the franchise record with six field goals in a game in 2012 against the New Orleans Saints.
• Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin racked up his most yards in a Chiefs uniform with 11 catches for 148 yards on 13 targets. His NFL career best came last season when the Philadelphia Eagles played against Arizona Cardinals. He ended the day with 187 yards receiving. To date, Maclin has 15 games with over 100 yards receiving.
• Despite not scoring a touchdown all day and losing the game, the Chiefs dominated in several statistical categories. Kansas City owned the time of possession, 36:59-23:01; totaled more yards, 461 to the engals’ 445 total yards; Smith had 386 yards passing, compared to Dalton’s 321 yards passing; and had 24 first downs to Cincinnati’s 18. Lastly, the Chiefs ran 73 plays, while Cincinnati ran 50 plays.
• Smith’s 386 yards passing were the most in the regular season of his career. His second most all-time came at Pittsburgh during Week 16 of the 2014 season. Smith walked away, with a loss, with 311 yards passing. Over his career, Smith has recorded five games with 300-plus yards passing. He’s lost four of them.
• Limiting Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was a key to winning the game for the Chiefs. Against Baltimore this season, Green racked up 227 yards receiving. Even though Kansas City didn’t win, Green was limited to 82 yards receiving on seven receptions.