The Kansas City Chiefs’ inability to get a third-down stop cost them a chance to reach the Super Bowl.
It also appears to have cost Bob Sutton his job.
The Chiefs on Tuesday announced the firing of the longtime defensive coordinator, two days after his defense failed to get stops late in Kansas City’s 37-31 loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
Sutton had been the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator since the 2013 season, seeing varying levels of success. Injuries played a role in the unit’s downfall over recent seasons, but the results weren’t pretty: Kansas City allowed the second-most points in the NFL in 2018 after allowing fifth-most points a season ago.
Perhaps his job might have been saved Sunday night against the Patriots, but New England ran all over the Chiefs. Even then, the performance could have been salvaged with a stop late in the game, but the Patriots proceeded to score a go-ahead touchdown in the final moments of regulation. KC tied the game late to force overtime, but Sutton’s defense couldn’t get off the field in the extra frame, as Rex Burkhead scored a game-winning, 2-yard touchdown to send New England to the Super Bowl. That score came after three separate third-and-10 conversions from the Patriots’ offense to set up the game-winning score.
The AFC Championship Game was the sixth time the Chiefs allowed at least 30 points in a game and was remarkably the fourth time they allowed 500 or more yards.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images