May 28, 2024

How the Chiefs lost one of the secret-sauce elements to their Super Bowl teams

Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy was discussing the late-season prospects for the team under his guidance, emphasizing the avenues for improvement. Throughout his remarks, he repeatedly introduced a noteworthy term: adversity. Nagy used this term not just once but twice during his Thursday afternoon discussion. When pressed further about the instances of adversity he was alluding to, Nagy promptly responded, stating that adversity is a constant factor at all points in the game.

One specific challenge that stood out was the team’s historical strength in comebacks, a trademark of quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ career. However, this season, that ability seems to have vanished. The Chiefs, who are currently 8-4, faced a setback in their comeback prowess during the 2023 season. A glaring example was their recent game against Green Bay, where they failed to convert opportunities to take the lead or tie the game in the final quarter.

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As the exploration into this issue unfolded, it became apparent that the data was more disconcerting than initially thought. Despite the team’s overall record and a recent uptick in offensive performance on a per-play basis, the ability to stage comebacks seems to be waning. The Chiefs have struggled in the final quarter, trailing in crucial moments without mounting successful comebacks. This stark departure from the team’s previous resilience is cause for concern.

The article points out that the Chiefs have not trailed successfully in the final quarter in any of their four losses, a departure from Mahomes’ past seasons, where fourth-quarter comebacks were a defining feature. The team’s challenges include trailing for the entire final quarter in two losses and the last 6 minutes and 20 seconds in all four losses. In these situations, the offense has failed to capitalize on ten fourth-quarter possessions, scoring zero points and not even reaching the red zone.

Mahomes remains optimistic, expressing faith in the team’s ability to turn things around in the playoffs or the final stretch of the season. However, the article poses an intriguing question: Can the Chiefs, having struggled in a specific late-game scenario for the majority of the season, tap into their historical resilience when it’s most needed?


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