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Four Takeaways From the Chiefs' 27-3 Loss to the Tennessee Titans

Here are some major takeaways from the Chiefs' seventh game of the 2021 season.

Despite generating some positive momentum in Week 6 with a huge win over the Washington Football Team, the Kansas City Chiefs struggled immensely against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. From beginning to end, the Chiefs were outclassed by a team that should now be considered a top competitor in the AFC. The final score in this one was 27-3.

Here are four takeaways from Sunday afternoon's game.

1. Patrick Mahomes, again, has to be better

Look, no one has fun criticizing the best quarterback in the NFL — especially after a game in which he suffered an injury. With that said, Patrick Mahomes struggled all day on Sunday. His final stat line — 206 yards, no touchdowns, an interception and a fumble lost — showed it, as did the eye test. Whether it was a lack of trust in his receivers or offensive line, a lack of accuracy or a feeling that he had to make big plays happen on his own (or a combination of everything), Mahomes wasn't at his best. He wasn't anything close to it and if the Chiefs are going to be underwhelming in other facets of the game, they won't win more contests with a performance like this one. 

2. Pump the brakes on the Chiefs' defensive improvement 

In Week 6, the Chiefs' defense pitched a second-half shutout against a middle-of-the-pack Washington offense. While it did the same thing this week against the Titans, multiple position groups performed poorly. Up front, the addition of Chris Jones via a return from injury didn't seem to make a difference. The same can be said for the secondary and cornerback Charvarius Ward. Rookie linebacker Nick Bolton was one of the lone bright spots in the game but nevertheless, cautious optimism needs to be exercised. The Chiefs held Derrick Henry to under 100 yards, which is a plus, but Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill picked cornerback Mike Hughes apart and no one else stood out in a major way for Steve Spagnuolo's unit. I suppose taking the good in stride is reasonable, but multiple other tests remain this season.

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3. Losing to premier AFC opponents is a trend

If you're doing the math at home, the Chiefs have now lost to the Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and now, the Titans. Those four teams project to be playoff teams in the AFC, so that doesn't bode particularly well for Kansas City. Seeding shouldn't be the focus now: it should simply be making the playoffs. It's fine to point to the Chiefs' difficult schedule as a contributing factor to the team having a losing record, but those teams are going to be potential postseason opponents if Mahomes and company are still playing in mid-to-late January. Those squads aren't going away, and the Chiefs' struggles against them shouldn't instill confidence in anyone.

4. The Chiefs' coaches need to look themselves in the mirror

Spagnuolo has improved throughout the season, especially now that he can use Tyrann Mathieu in more advantageous positions. With that said, he still deserves a share of the blame for why the Chiefs lost to the Titans. The main thing that stuck out to me, though, was Andy Reid. Reid's decision-making was poor on multiple occasions throughout the game, his play-calling went stale and he didn't seem to make the proper adjustments needed to get his team back in the game. Reid is obviously still one of the best in the business, but that doesn't excuse him from being evaluated. This was one of the worst Reid games in quite some time, and that wave echoed throughout the team.

Read More: Six Potential Trades the Chiefs Could Make Before the Trade Deadline