Defense Comes Back Down to Earth

Facing one of the NFL's best offenses, the Chiefs' defense fell back to Earth in Houston on Sunday. They also had enough trouble battling the men in stripes. A couple of blown calls come to mind, and both eventually led to scores which helped the Texans escape with a 35-31 victory.

Both teams' defenses gave up over 400 total yards, but this was the first time where the Chiefs' defense allowed over 19 points in a game. Their secondary still has plenty of holes and rookie safety Eric Berry is still not making much of an impact as most expected.

Berry was one of the three Chiefs defenders who stood around in the back of the end zone while Joel Dreessen easily scored the Texans' first touchdown. Berry had another bad showing when he and Brandon Carr gave up the go-ahead touchdown to Texans receiver Andre Johnson that would seal the Texans' victory.

It was pretty much a given that the Chiefs defense would struggle against Johnson, but nobody expected a bad call by referees on Brandon Flowers. Flowers was flagged for pass interference on a play which let Johnson gain 31 yards and eventually spark the Texans' comeback.

Video replays clearly show that Flowers was actually on the receiving end of a little push that Johnson got away with. For the remainder of the game, Flowers and Chiefs head coach Todd Haley barked at the officials as the Texans pulled off a stunning rally.

The Chiefs entered the game as the third-least penalized team in the NFL; in fact a pass interference call on Flowers is quite a rare thing to see. Speaking of rare, it was good to see both Ron Edwards and Wallace Gilberry register their second quarterback sacks of the season. Since the Chiefs' front seven blew up against San Francisco and tallied five sacks in that game, they've only managed three in their two games since their bye week.

There's no doubt they just went up against two solid offensive lines in Indianapolis and Houston, but the pass rush is going to have to wake up again in order to help stop rallies like this to occur. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub had plenty of time in the pocket to connect with his receivers and hardly faced any pressure.

The call against Flowers late in the game wasn't the only blown call that went in favor of the Texans' offense. In the middle of the third quarter, Texans tight end Joel Dreessen got a good two-handed grip on Tamba Hali's jersey while his teammate Derrick Ward rushed for a 38-yard touchdown. That play made the score 21-14 and put the Texans right back in the game.

It was a tough game for Brandon Flowers and the entire Chiefs defense.
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But it was in the fourth quarter when the Chiefs allowed 21 points by the Texans. By then, the defense was gassed in trying to stop the Texans, whom have already made a specialty in scoring most of their points late in games. The only way the Texans can beat opponents is to outscore them because their own defense is incredibly shaky.

No matter how bitter Flowers and the rest of Kansas City will be for the following week, the only thing the team can do is move on and use this loss as fuel to fire them up in the next few games. When this team looks back at film to learn from their mistakes, they should definitely focus on the fourth quarter so that they can pinpoint just how to stop rallies like these from happening.

I said earlier in the month that October would feature the toughest games for the Chiefs all year, and so far, that prediction is holding up. The games against the Colts and Texans were the toughest, but the Chiefs just need to regroup and not let their defense allow late rallies to the Jaguars and Bills as well.

You can't win every game, but you can't lose games like these often or else there will be plenty of problems heading down the stretch. Top Stories