Sometimes you start off on the wrong foot. In the case of various Chiefs receivers, however, it was more like they started off the 2023 season with feet for hands. The Lions were able to come into Arrowhead Stadium and crash Kansas City’s Super Bowl celebration by handing them a sobering 21-20 loss in the NFL’s regular-season opener. While Detroit played well enough to win this game, it also didn’t come without errors from the Kansas City side, specifically Kadarius Toney and a copious amount of drops.
In the wake of losing All-Pro tight end and No. 1 pass-catching option Travis Kelce for this game due to a knee injury, an opportunity presented itself for Chiefs wideouts to step up and carry the load. Instead, they — quite literally — let it slip through their fingers. Toney was the main culprit, although others — like 2022 second-round pick Skyy Moore — didn’t help out the cause.
Toney was credited for two drops on the night. That included a demoralizing drop on a throw by Patrick Mahomes that hit him in stride and squarely in his hands during a third-and-6 play in the third quarter. Instead of Toney hauling in the pass and turning upfield to attempt to move the chains, the ball bounced out of his hands and into the arms of Lions rookie defensive back Brian Branch, who took the ball 50 yards to the house for a pick-six that tied the game at 14 apiece.
A couple of drives later, the Chiefs were threatening to find the end zone, but faced a third-and-2 play from the Detroit 17. Mahomes dropped back and there seemed to be some confusion between Toney and fellow Chiefs receiver Richie James, who shielded him from the play and resulted in another drop rather than converting the first down.
Moore was the other key culprit in the overall rough night for Chiefs pass catchers. In their last gasp of the night, Andy Reid left the offense on the field for a fourth-and-25 attempt,…