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Don’t Panic: The Chiefs Can Hit the Reset Button on Sunday

The Kansas City Chiefs are sitting in unfamiliar territory, but there is time to turn the ship around.

The Kansas City Chiefs, in the Andy Reid-Patrick Mahomes era, are in unfamiliar territory. The team is under .500 and sitting in last place in the division, albeit only three weeks into the 2021 season. The games have been so close that the team could easily be either 0-3 or 3-0, but it has landed at 1-2 thus far.

Plenty of lessons have been learned through the first three weeks of the season. At the top of the list for the offense, there needs to be an emphasis placed on hanging on to and making good decisions with the football. That seems like an obvious answer, but the turnovers have ultimately been what has cost the Chiefs two games early in the season.

The defense, on the other hand, needs to get stops. Again, this isn’t rocket science. When there is a third (or fourth) down, the unit needs to get off the field and get the ball back in Mahomes’ hands. The defense isn’t as bad as it looked through the first few weeks of the season. It has enough talent at all levels to be a factor to help get wins rather than contribute losses.

It starts up front with the defense. They need to get more pressure. Whatever is going on with defensive end Frank Clark needs to be resolved. If it’s an injury where he doesn’t feel like he can go all-out for a full game, then maybe staying off the field until he’s fully healthy is what they need to do. If it's something else, the Chiefs desperately need to get to the bottom of what's going on. Clark can still be a big piece to this defensive puzzle, but improvement is necessary.

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The linebacker crew can be even better when Willie Gay Jr. returns from injured reserve. Anthony Hitchens is entrenched as one of the leaders of this defense. Rookie Nick Bolton has looked good against the run, but suspect against the pass. He has out-snapped Ben Niemann, though, which could be good news for Kansas City when Gay is back in the lineup.

The secondary has been banged up, and Juan Thornhill continues to not get significant playing time. It’s confusing, although it is what it is at the moment. It’s good to see Tyrann Mathieu out there after missing the Chiefs' first game of the season, but the team hasn't won since Mathieu’s been back in the lineup.

There are plenty of things that can be corrected on both sides of the ball, and a few tweaks to the personnel on the defensive side could lead to better results. It’s not time to panic yet.

The team will play at head coach Andy Reid’s old stomping grounds in Philadelphia on Sunday. The Eagles have not looked good since a big Week 1 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Their most recent loss came on Monday Night Football against their division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. Thus, the Eagles will be coming back from a short week to play against the Chiefs. Now would be a great time for the Chiefs to turn things around.

Again, it’s not time to panic. The Chiefs simply need to finish the first quarter of the season strong and get back to .500 before heading into the second quarter of games. A one-week-at-a-time mentality can get this team back on track and into a position to reach the goals it had set before the season — win the AFC and get back to the Super Bowl for a third straight season.

Read More: The Chiefs Showed Evolution on Offense Against the Chargers