Four Takeaways From the Chiefs' 38-20 Loss to the Buffalo Bills

Here are some major takeaways from the Chiefs' fifth game of the 2021 season.
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After beating the Philadelphia Eagles last week and getting back to .500 on the season, the Kansas City Chiefs dropped back down below that mark on Sunday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs simply couldn't get out of their own way, as has been the case all season long. The final score for this contest was 38-20. 

Here are four takeaways from Sunday night's game.

1. The Bills are better than the Chiefs right now

This shouldn't really be a debate, either. Not only have the Chiefs lost to the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens this season, but now they were defeated by a top-tier challenger in the Bills. Sean McDermott's team has been on fire after losing its first game of the year, and the good times continued to roll on Sunday night. This contest had major implications in regards to the race for the AFC's top seed, and it's no longer a Chiefs-Bills conversation. At 2-3, the Chiefs simply need to worry about getting back in the thick of the AFC West race and take the driver's seat there. Once that occurs — and if it does — a new goal can be set.

2. The Chiefs' coaching staff needs to be better

No matter how you slice it, Andy Reid and Steve Spagnuolo had rough nights on Sunday. Reid made some very questionable decisions with when he chose to run the ball, and Spagnuolo's defense continues to struggle immensely. Sure, the players on the field need to execute and a deficiency of talent (in the defense's case) can make things much more difficult. It starts with leadership, though. Reid's play-calling has was conservative and bland and while Spagnuolo's in-game adjustments were worthwhile, they need to come earlier. The Chiefs have a long way to go before turning back into a dominant presence, and everyone needs to look themselves in the mirror. 

3. So does Patrick Mahomes

Before you jump down my throat, yes, I understand that Mahomes had a tipped pass get intercepted. I know he had another go through his receiver's hands. I saw several plays ruined by others' mistakes. On the other hand, this was a lackluster performance from the best player in the NFL. He can't do everything himself, and trying to do so comes back to bite him consistently. The box score numbers make Mahomes' effort look extremely poor, and that wasn't necessarily the case. All things considered, though, he was off. Many throws were inaccurate and his pocket presence remained shaky. Mahomes needs to be at his best in order for the Chiefs to be great, and he wasn't anywhere near that against the Bills. 

4. Storm delays are weird

I don't know about you, but this was the first time I can remember a lightning/rain delay this lengthy in a Chiefs game. From the suggested shelter for fans at the stadium to the constant checking of weather radars during the television broadcast, everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. The horrendous performance by the Chiefs likely contributed to that, but this entire sequence is something I'll remember for quite some time. Rain delays are common in baseball but for lightning to come into the picture and play a major role in a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, that was an awkward change of scenery. With that said, the conditions were far from the biggest problem on Sunday. 

Read More: Assessing How the 2021 Chiefs Compare to the 2018 Chiefs