One could write out a laundry list of reasons why the Kansas City Chiefs were defeated by the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon, so blaming one particular development or one player wouldn't be fair. With that said, a major contributing factor in the loss was a mishap by defensive tackle Chris Jones late in Kansas City's Week 3 loss.
With Indianapolis having 5:06 left in the game and needing a touchdown in order to take the lead on the Chiefs, Colts quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked by linebacker Nick Bolton for a loss of eight yards on a third-and-6 play. In the immediate aftermath of the play in real-time, it appeared to be a massive letdown for the Colts and something that could've possibly preserved the game for the Chiefs. After a few moments had passed, however, reality struck in the form of a penalty.
Defensive tackle Chris Jones was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, which was a 15-yard improvement for Indianapolis and an automatic first down regardless of the distance. Jones was spotted on replay seemingly exchanging words with Ryan, which was something that referee Shawn Smith described after the game as "abusive language towards an opponent." Jones said to the media postgame that he had never been flagged for words before and viewed it as more of a conversation with Ryan, but he took the blame for his actions nonetheless.
"It sucks, man, because I blame myself for that," Jones said. "It was third down, we got off the field, the defense fought hard. I kind of put us in a position to get back on the field, we got scored on, and that sums up the game. I'll take that one. It was my fault, it was definitely my fault. As a veteran player on this team, I've got to be better with those types of things, especially in those situations. But it won't happen again for me, I take full blame and apologize to my team for putting us in that type of situation."
Jones knows that his best option would have been to simply stay quiet following the sack, and his mistake ended up getting the Colts' offense back on the field and later in the end zone to take the lead. The Chiefs' offense was unable to respond in enough time to complete a late comeback, making the Jones flag Kansas City's most pivotal fourth-quarter error in a frame filled with them. When asked about what advice he'd give Jones moving forward, head coach Andy Reid was brief:
"I didn't see any pushing or shoving," Reid said. "I'm not exactly sure — there were two guys talking to each other, I know that. It seemed like Chris got called on that, so I guess the best advice would be 'don't talk.'"
Safety Justin Reid was also asked about the Jones incident. The veteran safety said Jones knows where he and the rest of the team need to be better, and Jones's postgame comments indicate that he learned from his in-game transgression. With a huge game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — a team with plenty of recent history against the Chiefs — arriving next Sunday, Jones and his teammates will need to be more disciplined at crucial points in the game in order to get back to their winning ways.