Chiefs struggle finding explanation for letdown loss vs. Giants

Defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches took a long pause when asked to explain what went wrong for the Kansas City Chiefs in their 12-9 loss to the New York Giants Sunday afternoon, giving the Giants just their second win of the season.

The Kansas City Chiefs defense lines up against the New York Giants during the team’s 12-9 loss at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 19, 2017. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR, Chiefs.com)

“I’m still trying to figure that out right now,” Nunez-Roches told the Chiefs radio network after the game. “Honestly I couldn’t tell you what it was. I know we didn’t come out and execute how we normally do, but overall the Giants were just a better team today.”

Head coach Andy Reid told reporters after the game that everyone on the team shared ownership of the loss. He pointed toward the team’s three turnovers and nine penalties for 87 yards as examples of failed execution.

“We’ve got to take care of business and tighten things up a bit in these area so we’re more disciplined in those areas,” Reid told reporters. “And again that’s a direct reflection on me so I’ve got to make sure I do my job there.”

Quarterback Alex Smith and the offense failed to find a rhythm much of the game. The Chiefs picked up field goals on each of their drives gaining more than 50 yards, but netted less than 40 yards on each of their other nine possession. Smith finished 27-of-40 passing with two interceptions.

But Reid bristled at placing the blame on Smith’s shoulders alone.

“Does he have a couple of throws he’d like to have back?” Reid said in his post-game press conference. “Yeah, probably he would. But this is all part of everybody being part of that. It’s not just Alex there as you look at. We’ve all got a piece of that thing.”

Indeed, it seemed everyone in the Chiefs locker room pointed toward the team’s lack of execution for the failure against the Giants. Center Mitch Morse told the Chiefs radio network everyone on the team must critique their own performance.

“Just a lack of execution, especially on my part,” Morse said. “There’s just no excuse. You can sit here and say we could have done this. We just got to execute better and come out and compete.”

The team’s lone bright spot belong to kicker Harrison Butker. The rookie booted two 31-yard field along with a 23-yard field goal that sent the game into overtime. That extended his streak of successful field goals to 22, tying the franchise record shared by Pete Stoyanovich and Ryan Succop.

“He’s done a nice job,” Reid told the Chiefs radio network after the game. “The positive was just coming back at the end being able to get a field goal there.”

Reid’s earlier teams faced adversity of their own. The 2015 Chiefs fell to 1-5 before reeling off an 11-game win streak.

“The important thing is that everybody sticks together and keeps working,” Reid said. “This locker room has that characteristic and it will be no more tested than right now. We got to make sure we do that. And then as coaches we’ve got to make sure we’re putting guys in the right position. When you’re in the right position you got to make a play.

“When I tell you we’ve all got that, we’ve all got a piece of that,” Reid said.

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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