Loss to Vikings add to Chiefs' fourth-quarter failures with Alex Smith at QB

Rookies Diggs, Peters get game balls from Vikings-Chiefs (1:41)

ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling gives his game ball to WR Stefon Diggs, who caught 7 passes for 129 yards in Minnesota's win. ESPN Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher gives his game ball to CB Marcus Peters for his INT of Teddy Bridgewater. (1:41)

MINNEAPOLIS -- In theory, the Kansas City Chiefs had a chance to win Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter. Twice they got the ball in the fourth quarter needing a touchdown to win, or at least take the lead.

They failed each time, of course. Charcandrick West lost a fumble to kill one drive and two errant Alex Smith passes to an open Albert Wilson ruined the other.

History says the Chiefs were doomed to fail. Sunday’s game was the sixth time since Smith joined the Chiefs in 2013 that they needed a late fourth-quarter touchdown to win a game.

They’ve failed to get one each time. The Chiefs did get a late field goal last season to beat the Chargers in San Diego, but that wasn’t a do or die situation. The game had been tied and would have gone into overtime if the Chiefs hadn’t scored.

Most infamously, the Chiefs failed to rally late to win their most recent playoff game against the Colts in Indianapolis. But last year they didn’t score in clutch, late-game situations against Denver, San Francisco, Oakland and Arizona.

The Chiefs can’t possibly have much in the way of confidence in those situations. They had openings to make plays to beat the Vikings.

Smith’s throws to Wilson were the best examples. He had Wilson available deep along the left sideline in each case but skipped both throws to the wide receiver.

“I let it go and felt really good about it but you have to hit it,’’ Smith said.

The common theme to all these failures is Smith. The Chiefs have changed their wide receivers from Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster to on Sunday after Jeremy Maclin left the game with a concussion Wilson, Chris Conley and De'Anthony Thomas. Travis Kelce is now the tight end.

The fourth-quarter failures aren’t all Smith’s fault. West, for example, could have helped on Sunday by not fumbling.

That doesn’t change the fact the Chiefs have led into the fourth quarter in almost all of their wins with Smith as their quarterback.