On Sunday in Houston, the Kansas City Chiefs did an awful lot of things right but just enough things wrong to lose them the game against the Texans.
In total, the offense had its best game of the season, while the defense may have had one of its worst.
Here is how the Chiefs graded out in their loss to the Texans.
Quarterback Matt Cassel had his best game this season, completing 69 percent of his passes and throwing for three touchdowns.
Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe had a breakout performance as well, marking just the second time since 2008 that he posted more than 100 yards receiving (108) with two touchdowns.
After Bowe, Cassel was able to complete passes to eight other receivers, including another touchdown pass to linebacker Mike Vrabel.
Stated simply, the Chiefs are the best rushing team in the NFL.
They proved that again against a Texans defense that had been pretty good stopping the run by gashing them for 228 yards on the ground and winning the time of possession battle by holding onto the ball almost seven minutes longer than Houston.
Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles combined for 35 rushes for 193 of those 228 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
One of the main concerns leading into this game was whether or not the Chiefs would be able to contain perhaps the best receiver in the NFL in Andre Johnso—they didn’t.
Johnson caught eight passes for 138 yards and the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Early in the Texans second-to-last drive, it was painstakingly obvious that linebackers Jovan Belcher and Mike Vrabel are liabilities in pass coverage, as each was beaten on consecutive plays by tight end Owen Daniels who finished with five catches for 79 yards.
The Chiefs have been one of the best in the league at stopping the run, but they gave up three touchdowns to Texans backs on Sunday.
While the Chiefs did a decent job of containing starter Arian Foster most of the day, it was the 38-yard touchdown run in the third quarter by backup Derrick Ward that was the most disheartening.
The Chiefs special teams units went another week without any big plays in the return game, and with one exception, they played well on the coverage units.
That exception was a “mortar” kick with the Chiefs holding a 24-14 lead late in the third quarter.
Fullback Vonta Leach grabbed the kick and took it 26 yards back to the Chiefs 46-yard line, giving the Texans a short field they would take advantage of with a touchdown 11 plays later.
Head coach Todd Haley once again showed the rest of the league that he’s anything but conventional when it comes to play-calling.
His faith in his offense paid off twice on the team’s first series as he chose to go for it on fourth down twice, getting a pass interference call on the first one and a Vrabel touchdown on the second one.
His gambling backfired later in the game with his “mortar” kick call in the third quarter, a move that allowed the Texans more than enough time in the fourth quarter to stage their comeback.
If not for a terrible pass-interference call against cornerback Brandon Flowers by the line judge late in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs very well could have won this game.
They played well enough to win, but in the end they proved that even just a few mistakes can cost you a game when your opponent is good enough to take advantage of them.