When you root for a tortured team, you expect the worst.
Still, Kansas City Chiefs fans couldn’t have expected the start they had on Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs couldn’t do anything right in the first quarter. How bad was it? The Houston Texans scored 21 points in the first quarter for the first time in franchise history, in their 298th game according to CBS.
The Texans stunned the Chiefs with two quick scores. On the first, receiver Kenny Stills was wide open for a 54-yard touchdown. You don’t often see a receiver as open as Stills in an NFL game.
Giving up a long passing touchdown happens though. Blocked punts are a lot more rare.
After a bad drop by Travis Kelce on third down, disaster struck for the Chiefs. Barkevious Mingo — a former first-round pick who was acquired as part of the Jadeveon Clowney trade before the season — came up the middle and blocked the punt, which was scooped by Lonnie Johnson for a touchdown. Less than five minutes into the game, the Texans led 14-0. When CBS showed the crowd, Chiefs fans seemed paralyzed.
The Texans had not scored on a blocked punt since September of 2014, a span of 101 games according to CBS. They broke that streak at the right time.
But that wasn’t all. Kansas City had another drive end when Demarcus Robinson was open but dropped a pass on third down. Robinson would drop another potential first down before the first quarter was over. The Chiefs made yet another disastrous mistake before the end of the first quarter. Tyreek Hill muffed a punt that was recovered by Houston at Kansas City’s 6-yard line. A couple plays later the Texans scored, and it was 21-0. Patrick Mahomes had never trailed by 21 points in his professional career, and he and the Chiefs were down 21-0 before the first quarter was even finished.
So that was the Chiefs’ first quarter: Blown coverage on Stills’ touchdown, third-down drop by Kelce, blocked punt for a touchdown, third-down drop by Robinson (and another that would have been a first down), muffed punt by Hill. You might see one or two of those horrible mistakes in a full game. The Chiefs did it all in the first quarter of a playoff game.
The Chiefs came into the game knowing they’d host an AFC championship game with a win. It couldn’t have started worse, though.
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