On the list of problems the Chiefs seek to fix in hopes of ending a two-game losing streak, points off turnovers isn’t at the top.
But as the Chiefs prepare to visit the Denver Broncos on Thursday, consider this number from Kansas City’s 31-24 loss Sunday to the Texans: Houston outscored the Chiefs 14-3 in points after takeaways.
When the Texans came up with the big defensive play — Tashaun Gipson’s interception of Patrick Mahomes, and forcing a Mahomes fumble — Houston’s offense came onto the field and scored touchdowns. Those scores in the second quarter turned a 17-9 Chiefs lead into a 23-17 halftime deficit for KC.
The Chiefs won the takeaway battle on Sunday, with Frank Clark’s forced fumble and recovery on the Texans’ first snap and end zone interceptions by Juan Thornhill and Charvarius Ward.
But the Chiefs’ ensuing offensive possessions produced merely a field goal.
The Chiefs’ defense had struggled throughout the game, surrendering 472 total yards. The Texans didn’t punt. But when the unit came up with a stop with a turnover, the Chiefs could hardly take advantage. The feel-good moments were over, and the defense was back on the field quickly.
“We have to take care of it — we have to score,” Andy Reid said. “We’ve been very good at that. We just weren’t (Sunday)..”
The Chiefs’ 10 takeaways and plus-three turnover margin each rank eighth in the NFL. It’s been an opportunistic if not a rugged defense. But when Mahomes and company don’t cash in, the Chiefs lose the one edge they’ve created.
Chiefs at Broncos
Kickoff: 7:20 p.m. (Central), Empower Field at Mile High
TV/radio: Fox (Ch. 4), KCFX (101.1 FM)
Line: Chiefs by 3 1/2