KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Andy Reid was in the middle of answering for the causes of another Kansas City Chiefs defeat, their fifth straight, when he took the conversation in a different direction.
“There were some good performances in this game,’’ Reid said Monday, a day after the Chiefs lost 16-10 to the Minnesota Vikings. “I mean, there were some positive things in this game that are going to get overlooked because we didn’t win the game.’’
Far more is going wrong than right for the Chiefs. That’s what happens when a team is on a five-game losing streak.
But Reid is right in that the Chiefs have some reason for hope, most of them on defense. The Chiefs held Adrian Peterson to 2.5 yards per carry. They intercepted a pair of passes for the first time this season.
Here is a look at four players, two of them rookies, who were standouts for the Chiefs in Minnesota and why that’s important looking ahead.
Cornerback Marcus Peters: The Chiefs’ first-round draft pick had a spectacular interception where he peeled off the receiver he was covering to go get the ball intended for another receiver. “That was a big-time play,’’ Reid said. Peters also broke up a couple of passes, but his interception showed his knack for making a big play at a crucial time, this one in the fourth quarter with the Chiefs trying to mount a comeback. Peters has three of the Chiefs’ four interceptions this season. Some of that comes with opposing quarterbacks testing the rookie, so he might not get as many chances as the season wears on. But it’s becoming clear that if the Chiefs are going to make a play in their secondary, Peters will be the player to do it.
Defensive lineman Allen Bailey: He was dominant. He was in on eight tackles, a high number for a lineman. He had a sack and two other tackles for negative yardage. He also forced a fumble. That kind of play from Bailey is crucial as long as Dontari Poe is out with a high-ankle sprain. The Chiefs may also be without another starting defensive lineman this week. Mike DeVito left the Vikings game because of a concussion. If Bailey and Jaye Howard continue to play as they did against the Vikings, the Chiefs will continue to contain the running game and make opponents one-dimensional, as they did to Minnesota, which had just two field goals in the second half.
Linebacker Ramik Wilson: The Chiefs’ fourth-round draft pick was starting in place of the injured Josh Mauga and wound up leading the Chiefs in tackles with nine. That isn’t always an indication of how well someone is playing, but Wilson continued to show enough instinct and ability to think that he could be an eventual full-time starter.
Wide receiver Albert Wilson: He came to life by taking a screen pass 42 yards for the Chiefs’ only touchdown. He also got open deep down the left sideline twice on the Chiefs’ final drive but Alex Smith couldn’t complete either of the passes. Jeremy Maclin also left the Minnesota game with a concussion, so he may not be ready for this Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Maclin doesn’t play, Wilson should be the Chiefs’ go-to wide receiver with rookie Chris Conley struggling.