Notebook: CB Kendall Fuller Injures Thumb, Chiefs Set Dubious Club Record
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The injury-riddled Chiefs suffered another setback on Sunday with cornerback Kendall Fuller leaving the 31-24 loss to Houston with a thumb injury.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed Fuller would have an X-ray on the injury. He was seen in the locker room after the game nursing his right hand. That's the same hand on which Fuller had surgery late in the 2018 season.
Fuller suffered in the injury during a Week 14 win over Baltimore, then played four days later on Thursday night in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. He had surgery following that game, sat out the Week 16 contest at Seattle, then finished out the campaign wearing a cast and brace on the hand.
Rookie cornerback Rashad Fenton replaced Fuller as the team's slot corner after Fuller's injury.
Time of Possession Woes
The Chiefs set a new club record they would have preferred not to reach against the Texans on Sunday, holding the ball for just 20 minutes, 12 seconds, That's least time of possession the Chiefs have ever had in a regular-season home game.
The previous low came in Week 10 of the 1985 season when the Chiefs held the ball for just 20 minutes, 14 seconds in a 36-28 loss to Pittsburgh. The Chiefs finished 6-10 that season.
The Chiefs had one home playoff game with less time of possession. That came in the Wild Card round against Baltimore in 2010 when the Chiefs held the ball for just 18 minutes, 16 seconds. The Chiefs lost that game 30-7. The club record for least time of possession came in Week 13 of the 2017 season when the Chiefs held the ball for just 17 minutes, 11 seconds in a 38-31 loss to the New York Jets.
The Chiefs are 1-12 in franchise history when controlling the clock few less than 21 minutes in a game. That came in a 42-41 win at home against San Diego in Week 7 of 1986.
The Texans ran 83 offensive plays against the Chiefs on Sunday. That's tied for the 13th-most in club history and tied for the fifth-most by an opponent in Arrowhead Stadium. It matches the 83 plays ran by Jacksonville in Kansas City's 30-14 win over the Jaguars in Week 5 of last season.
Tight end Travis Kelce caught four passes for 58 yards against the Texans, and after the game he couldn't quite explain why the offense could only muster 2 yards in six plays on its final two possessions of the game.
“It's football,” Kelce said. “Everybody's just got to deal with it.”
Kelce said the team must go back to the film room and figure out what happened on Sunday. He says he doesn't see anything on the field that explains the recent second-half troubles.
“It's not frustrating, we got the ball, we got do something with it,” Kelce said.
Out Gunned on the Ground
Reid historically out performs other NFL head coaches when it comes to winning games losing the ground battle, but the last two weeks have brought his record down.
The Chiefs have lost in back-to-back games with getting out rushed by 100 yards or more in a game. The Texans piled up 192 yards on the ground Sunday, while the Chiefs rushed for just 53 yards, a difference of 139 yards.
Defensively, the Chiefs continue to struggle stopping the run, Reid says.
“The obvious is that there are too many holes and we have to make sure we squeeze on those and fill,” Reid said. “That’s the basics of it. It’s not one person that is the problem.”
One the offensive side, Reid ratio of 36 passing plays to 11 rushes comes down to run-pass option plays tending toward the pass.
“That’s some of what you do when you’re in an RPO game,” Reid said. “If you’re doing that then you’ll have some that end up being throws. That’s how we roll. We’ll go back and look at it and see what we need to do better there. That starts with me.”
Reid falls to 6-7 as Chiefs head coach when getting out gained by 100 yards or more rushing in a game. That's the third best record in the league since 2013, behind only Seattle (4-2) and New England (5-5). Pittsburgh is the only other team to win more than 25 percent of its game when getting beat on the ground that much.
Since 2013, NFL teams now own a 41-302 record in games when losing the rushing margin by 100 yards or more.