For the Chiefs, field goals are fine, but touchdowns are finer

Five Harrison Butker field goals, one for 51 yards and two more of 40-plus yards, helped the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos.

He also kicked five field goals in the victory over the Houston Texans.

Not to complain, but I would prefer Butker kick maybe two or three field goals in game and the Chiefs offense score more touchdowns.

So would Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.

“I would love for him to make a bunch of PATs,” Smith said after the 29-19 victory over the Broncos to end October. “I mean anytime he’s kicking that many field goals it’s not what you want offensively. I mean I love having him on the team and him making them, and the job he is doing right now is remarkable. I’d love to see him kicking PAT’s.”

While the field goals are nice for sure, but it also means the Chiefs failed to get the ball into the end zone. The offense managed just one touchdown against the Broncos. The other touchdown was scored by Marcus Peters on a fumble recovery return.

“Certainly there were some opportunities there in the red zone,” Smith said. “I felt like if we could have capitalized it would’ve changed the game between the field goals and the turnovers down there it’s hard. Even the sack fumbles in the big red going into score. I thought that was the big difference. Missed opportunities in the red zone obviously, a lot of field goals obviously. If we’re able to capitalize and finish one of those off, it’s a different story.”

Improving the red zone offense to get six points instead of three will be huge if the Chiefs are going to advance in the playoffs.

“Every week is unique,” Smith said. “It’s not like there’s a necessary carryover week-to-week. It’s just a chess match. The matchup battle, we got to find a way to get it done. We’ll look at this and learn from it. Like I said there’s obviously not a lot of carry over certainly when it’s a division game we’ll play these guys again. Both sides will be looking at it and make their adjustments.”

One of the red-zone foul ups was a razzle-dazzle play, but wide receiver Tyreek Hill threw an interception. That play will likely be removed from the Chiefs playbook.

“He was a little short on it I’d say, just a bit,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “He’d done a great job on it during the week and he’s been begging for that thing for a while so he got it and he probably won’t get it again.”

Beating the Broncos at Arrowhead was almost a must. After beginning the season with five consecutive victories, the Chiefs were the only unbeaten NFL team. And then within a five-day span, the Chiefs lost to Pittsburgh at home and the Raiders in Oakland on the final play of the game.

“For us it was just about getting back on track here we’re at the halfway point, finishing it off let’s get the sixth win,” Smith said. “Still early to be counting the wins, just feel like it’s too early to be counting like that. The focus is just getting back and rebound.”

Five field goals and the defense forcing Denver into five turnovers was the difference in the Chiefs picking up their sixth victory. They have three more wins than any other team in the AFC West.

“It’s always a focus,” Reid said of the turnovers. “Those things kind of come in cycles, so that’s how it works. We had opportunities today and we took advantage of it. Caught the ball well, went out and stripped the ball out well when we had an opportunity, but we always stress that and the players are always trying to make the play.”

The Chiefs’ lone offensive touchdown was a 29-yard Smith pass to tight end Travis Kelce, who caught seven passes for 133 yards.

It was enough to beat an anemic Denver offense, but the Chiefs will need more touchdowns than field goals in January to get to February 4 when the Super Bowl will be played outdoors in Minneapolis.

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Article by Alan Eskew

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