The Kansas City Chiefs may have suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the San Diego Chargers last week but to call the team’s success prior to Sunday’s game a mirage would be folly.
It is funny how quickly our opinions of a team can change. Just a few weeks ago the surging Chiefs traveled to Denver and got slapped around by a terrible Broncos team. The next day, the sky was falling in Chiefs Nation. The Chiefs had been exposed. The secondary is terrible. KC has no pass rush. Ron Edwards is old. Charlie Wies is a bum. Romeo has lost his edge. The Chiefs have only won because of their cupcake schedule.
Then what happened? Well, the Chiefs rattled off three straight wins. Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe abused weak defensive backfields in Seattle and at home against the Cardinals. The defense did a 180 and shutdown the Broncos passing attack, holding Kyle Orton to a pitiful 9 completions. Cassel and Bowe started popping up on MVP shortlists. Talk of Bowe breaking the single season TD record was tossed around. The Chiefs finally had an elite, #1 receiver. Haley had worked magic with Bowe and Weis had turned Matt Cassel from Scott Mitchell into Drew Brees.
Then Cassel’s appendix decided it couldn’t handle the pressure of an MVP season or a playoff race and checked out. The Chiefs went to take on the big, bad, inconsistent San Diego Chargers on the road with a backup QB who had never won a game and a game plan so simple a five year old playing a game of Madden could have figured out how to stop it.
Now the Chiefs are bums again. They are merely beneficiaries of a soft schedule, a rain storm and Seneca Wallace. They are sure to collapse down the stretch and watch the Chargers win the division again. The draft needs are many. Spirits are low…or high depending on how you are dealing with the loss.
We’re fickle. The slightest change in the flow of the season can send us running around like Chicken Little or on to Stubhub searching for playoff tickets.
With three games remaining in Chiefs’ regular season, it is time we all took a deep breath and allowed ourselves some perspective.
Who are the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs?
-Good far more often than they are bad.
It is true, they wouldn’t be 8-5 if they weren’t.
The Chiefs are crazy young. Guys like Deter McCluster, Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, Jovan Belcher, Jon Asamoah and Javier Arenas have almost no experience and most of them spend a lot of time on the field.
Others, like Jamaal Charles, Brandon Carr, Branden Albert and Brandon Flowers have hardly ever played in any games that have meant anything as pros. These guys may be good but they are still young. They’ve learned how to win but now they have to learn how to win the big games.
The Chiefs have had difficulty with some of their big road games because they’re…
-Not battle tested.
Right now, big games are too big for this team. Part of becoming a good team is winning the games you are supposed to win. The Chiefs, for the most part, have learned how to do that. Anyone claiming the Chiefs are 8-5 only because of their easy schedule needs to lay off smoking the green stuff. The Chiefs are 8-5 because they are a pretty consistent and talented football team. This is the NFL fools. If you take your eye off the ball even for a moment, any team, even a 3-win Denver team, can take it to you and make you look foolish. There are no easy games in the NFL. You needed only to watch the 2008 and 2009 Chiefs to know that no game is an easy win. The 2009 Chiefs had plenty of so called easy games. See Buffalo, Cleveland and Oakland please. If easy NFL games were so easy to win, the 2009 Chiefs should have at least been 7-9.
KC has had a couple of lapses here in there in coaching and game plans but for the most part, this staff has done a tremendous job. The Chiefs have had a number of excellent game plans that have worked very well on both offense and defense. They’ve frustrated Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and shut down the likes of Maurice Jones-Drew, Frank Gore and Arian Foster.
The Chiefs have had games where they have suffered mental lapses and shot themselves in the foot but for the most part they have done a pretty good job of avoiding penalties and taking care of the football. The latter has been especially helpful in achieving their current 8-5 mark. On a team so young, this bodes well for the future.
They may have gotten their brains beat in last week but the Chiefs are getting better. There has been a marked difference in this team, especially the young guys, from the first game until now. This is something that is going to continue for years and Chiefs fans should be thrilled about it.
-Capable of beating anyone.
Yes. They are. The Chiefs may have trouble on the road, may not be battle tested and may not be ready to win big games yet but they are a dangerous, dangerous team.
Look, the Chiefs have only gotten blown out twice all season. This is a team that regularly got it’s tail kicked a year ago. The Chiefs went toe to toe with Peyton Manning and as I stated above, have shut down some really good players on both offense and defense.
I am not saying the Chiefs are going to waltz into the playoffs and get a road win but if I were coaching a team, I would not want to go to Arrowhead in December to play a Chiefs team this well coached and that can run the football better than anyone in the league. No sir.
In closing, the Chiefs are what their record and their play has shown they are. They are dangerous, young, inexperienced well coached smart and division leaders with a shot at the playoffs.
For these next 3 games, try to sit back and enjoy watching this team grow. Try to remember that these Chiefs have played 13 games and not just one road contest against one of the best QB’s in football. Try to remember that the San Diego Chargers are just as capable of laying in egg in one of their last 3 games and they are of winning out. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be 7-6 and have losses to the Seahwaks and Rams under their belts.
Lastly, try to remember 2008 and 2009, when winning was about as rare as a Brodie Croyle led victory. Try to smile and enjoy the fact that your 2010 Kansas City Chiefs are in the playoff hunt with 3 weeks to go.
Lamar Hunt would be proud.