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Home > Dropped Passes and Missed Opportunities: Chiefs Fall to Lions in the season opener 2023
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Dropped Passes and Missed Opportunities: Chiefs Fall to Lions in the season opener 2023

Publish Date:September 8, 2023
Fact checked by: Chris A
Dropped Passes and Missed Opportunities Chiefs Fall to Lions in the season opener 2023

Dropped Passes and Missed Opportunities Chiefs Fall to Lions in the season opener 2023

In the Kansas City Chiefs‘ 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions, almost everyone seemed to have trouble holding onto the ball, except for Travis Kelce, who was sidelined in regular clothes.

Rashee Rice dropped a pass early on, while Kadarius Toney had one intercepted and returned for a touchdown before dropping another later. Skyy Moore, Noah Gray, and Jerick McKinnon also had passes slip through their hands. Patrick Mahomes couldn’t help but wonder who he had offended to have so many throws hitting the ground.

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Coach Reid Assumes Responsibility

“Just missed connections here and there,” he said. “Something you have to continue to work on.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid assumed complete accountability for the offensive challenges, resulting in a mere 226 passing yards and 316 yards of total offense.

Missed Opportunity for Victory

The Chiefs had a golden opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, transforming it into a true celebration of their Super Bowl triumph.

Chiefs’ Defensive Stand

Despite the absence of All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones due to a holdout, the Chiefs defense valiantly stepped up, striving to bail out the offense. This unexpected turn of events is a departure from the norm in Kansas City, where the offense typically takes precedence.

Lions’ Bold Decision and Justin Reid’s Interception

The Lions started strong with a significant gain from Jahmyr Gibbs, but their momentum waned near midfield. Despite this, Lions coach Dan Campbell, known for his bold decisions, opted to go for it on fourth down. Chiefs safety Justin Reid astutely positioned himself at the line of scrimmage, anticipating the throw from quarterback Jared Goff. Reid swiftly intercepted the ball as Goff attempted a downfield pass, disrupting the Lions’ offensive play.

The Outcome Turns: Late-Game Struggles

At that moment, Chiefs fans undoubtedly felt the sweet taste of victory. With 2:30 left on the clock, the ball back in the hands of their star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and the reliable leg of kicker Harrison Butker on the sideline, the Chiefs had a familiar sense of confidence.

However, this time, the outcome would be different. Dropped passes and untimely penalties hindered the Chiefs’ aspirations. On first down at the Chiefs’ 45-yard line, Mahomes spotted Toney breaking free deep downfield. His accurate pass found its mark, right in Toney’s hands. But, as had been the case throughout the night, the ball slipped from Toney’s grasp, resulting in an incomplete pass. A successful reception would have comfortably positioned Butker within range for a potential game-winning field goal.

Despite their efforts, the Lions’ missed opportunities ultimately cost them the victory. Conversely, the Chiefs celebrated a hard-fought win, proving that football games are often decided by the smallest of margins.

Chiefs’ Late-Game Hurdles

On second down, Mahomes dropped back once again, scanning the field. He spotted Moore breaking free across the middle, but the pass slipped through his fingers. To compound matters, left tackle Donovan Smith was penalized for holding, pushing Kansas City back.

Facing a challenging third-and-20, time was becoming a concern. Moore dropped another pass that would have set up a more manageable situation. Mahomes threw an incomplete pass on the next play, and right tackle Jawaan Taylor was flagged for a false start, resulting in a fourth-and-25 with just over 2 minutes remaining in the game.

The Outcome Turns: Lions Secure the Win

Despite having all three timeouts, Andy Reid boldly decided to go for it instead of attempting a defensive stop. Unfortunately, Mahomes’ pass also fell incomplete.

By the time Montgomery powered forward for a first down, the Chiefs had exhausted their timeouts. All the Lions needed to do was take a knee and snap Kansas City’s eight-game winning streak in season openers.

Conclusion and Coach Reid’s Response

“It’s unusual for us to drop that many passes anywhere, any time, so we’ll go back and work on that,” Reid said. “You got to take care of business, and these guys know that, so we’ll fix it.”

 

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