NFL Wire News

Odd fumble personifies Chiefs’ bad luck


The Sports Xchange

A football team understands they are caught in a streak of bad luck when a running back fumbles the ball away when it’s knocked out of his hands by a teammate. Just ask the Kansas City Chiefs.

It happened in their 16-10 loss to Minnesota on Sunday. In the fourth quarter, with just less than five minutes to play and down by six points, running back Charcandrick West hit into the middle of his offensive line and was pushing forward when left tackle Donald Stephenson’s arm came around his body and knocked the ball out of his hands. The Vikings recovered and that ended the Chiefs last best chance to tie or win the game.

“I saw that Donald Stephenson hit it out,” coach Andy Reid said after the game. “He (Stephenson) was trying to make a play and ended up punching it out. The bottom line is you have to hang on to it no matter who it is, particularly at that point in the game.”

West wasn’t blaming anyone but himself for the turnover.

“The fumble killed everything,” West said. “That stopped any momentum that we had. It doesn’t matter who hits the ball or how it happens. I just have to hold on to the ball; fumbles are not acceptable.”

–After Alex Smith was sacked twice in the Chiefs loss to Minnesota, he’s now gone down 23 times in six games, with dozens of other hits where he’s gotten rid of the football. Coach Andy Reid said Monday he’s concerned about the physical beating his quarterback has taken.

“He’s taken a lot of his, too many hits,” Reid said. “I’ve got to make sure I take care of that part. It’s hard to play that position with that and hard to survive throughout the year.”

Through six games, Smith has completed 62.4 percent of his passes (131 of 210) for an average of 7.5 yards per attempt with six touchdown throws and three interceptions. Since he arrived via trade from San Francisco before the 2013 season, Smith has been dropped 107 times in his 36 starts with the Chiefs. That makes him one of four quarterbacks that have gone down 100 times or more since the start of the 2013 season. The others are Miami’s Ryan Tannehill (116), Seattle’s Russell Wilson (112) and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick (110).

NOTES: DE Mike DeVito (concussion) went down late in the third quarter of the Chiefs’ loss Sunday in Minnesota. … WR Jeremy Maclin (concussion) was injured early in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs loss to the Vikings on Sunday in Minnesota. … DT Dontari Poe (ankle) did not play in Sunday’s game against Minnesota because of the high ankle sprain he suffered the previous game against Chicago. … ILB Josh Mauga (groin) missed his second consecutive game with the right groin injury.

About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business