Game-changing plays on defense and special teams like those contributed by cornerback Brandon McDonald (34-yard interception return against Cleveland) and wide receiver Dexter McCluster (96-yard punt return against San Diego) can only take a team so far.
Quarterback Matt Cassel ranks near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories, and running back Jamaal Charles – one of the offense’s few bona fide playmakers – is being underutilized behind plodding starter Thomas Jones. As quickly as they’ve started, the Chiefs will come crashing back to earth Oct. 10 and 17 in road games against Indianapolis and Houston. But all is not lost for Todd Haley’s squad. A favorable schedule and strong coaching staff should keep the Chiefs in the playoff hunt for a while.