The Kansas City Chiefs lost a tough one to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, marking their first loss of the season.
Here are some quick notes and facts about the game.
1. Despite the result, the Chiefs' defense deserves credit for their performance on Sunday.
It will understandably be overshadowed by the Colts' game-winning drive and the subsequent final score, but the Chiefs' defense was mostly dominant on Sunday.
The Chiefs racked up five sacks and 10 quarterback hits, recording their first five-sack performance since Week 11 of last season. Kansas City also yielded just 259 yards of total offense, which marked the Chiefs' fewest yards allowed since Week 8 of the 2020 season.
In total, the Chiefs pressured Ryan on 12 of his dropbacks. That's all usually a recipe for success, but it just wasn't the case on Sunday. Regardless, it's a good sign for the defense's outlook moving forward.
2. That defensive effort was fueled by a tremendous pass-rush that got after Colts' quarterback Matt Ryan.
The Chiefs generated a ton of pressure throughout the game that directly led to scoring opportunities for Kansas City. For starters, cornerback L'Jarius Sneed sacked Ryan on a fourth-down passing attempt early in the game that set the Chiefs up with tremendous field position. Kansas City cashed in on the opportunity with a touchdown just a bit later.
They were then at it again late in the second quarter, as defensive end Carlos Dunlap strip-sacked Ryan deep in Colts' territory. Sneed recovered the fumble, setting up an eventual touchdown plunge by tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
That consistent pressure nearly helped Kansas City win the game despite the various miscues that took place.
3. Linebacker Darius Harris was impressive in his first start since 2020.
Harris – who stepped in for the suspended Willie Gay – performed well in his third-career start on Sunday. Harris led the team with 13 tackles and one tackle-for-loss while only missing one tackle. He was solid in coverage, too, yielding just four catches for 14 total yards on six targets.
The 26-year-old Harris helped the Chiefs hold tailback Jonathan Taylor, who led the league in rushing yards last season, to 3.4 yards-per-carry on 21 attempts. The outcome didn't end in the Chiefs' favor on Sunday, but Harris' ability to step in and play well was certainly a positive.
4. The Chiefs committed several uncharacteristic miscues on special teams.
Kansas City has developed a reputation for playing relatively mistake-free football on special teams over the years, which is why Sunday's performance was so surprising. The Chiefs' miscues on special teams included a muffed punt, a missed extra point, a missed field goal and an unsuccessful fake field goal attempt. The muffed punt and missed field goal, in particular, directly led to touchdown drives by Indianapolis.
This was just the eighth time since 2013 that the Chiefs missed a field goal and an extra point in the same game. Additionally, among those eight occurrences, this was the first game that also included a lost fumble on special teams.
It was a tough day, but if history is any indication, the Chiefs are unlikely to struggle like that again.
5. Indianapolis took advantage of those mistakes, including when it mattered most at the end.
The Colts struggled offensively for much of the game, but to their credit, they seized the opportunities provided to them by the Chiefs' various mistakes. In fact, each of Indianapolis' touchdown drives immediately followed a miscue by Kansas City. The Colts cashed in on the muffed punt early in the first quarter with a score and later engineered a 16-play, game-winning touchdown drive following the Chiefs' missed field goal.
Kansas City doesn't often make mistakes like that, but they occurred on Sunday, and the Colts took advantage.
"In the NFL, the parity is crazy. Any mistakes get magnified," said Head Coach Andy Reid. "That's just how it goes, so we have to clean that up. We'll get that taken care of."
The Chiefs will look to bounce back this upcoming Sunday night as they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in prime time at Raymond James Stadium.