So. The Chiefs handily put away another struggling team, this time on the road in a place we’ve never won before. Just on the surface, based on what we know so far, the Chiefs have proven they can beat weak teams but they have yet this season to prove they can beat teams that are playing strong.
Where does that leave us? Are we now a better team than we were after week 3 simply because our record is better? Or are we the same team as the one that stood at 0-3 and merely benefitting from a brief creampuff stretch in the schedule? Or, perish the thought, are we worse than we were two weeks ago, record schmecord?
Once again, we’ll peer into that beautiful mind that is statistical analysis, courtesy Football Outsiders and try to gain a little insight into whether the Chiefs are showing significant signs of improvement. Or not.
I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible and let everyone digest the data for themselves. On offense, it would seem yes, we are improving, thanks primarily to the Herculean efforts of Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston. Mind you, we’re not talking about how much a circus catch brings to the game, but rather how efficient and productive these guys are when they get their hands on the ball. It’s a pretty big deal.
In terms of raw DVOA percentages, it’s definitely worth noting that Cassel’s game against the Vikes was a big stride forward, even if his ranking does not significantly reflect that improvement at the moment. If Cassel can consistently play the way he did against Minnesota, or better yet, progress further, I feel there’s no reason to think he can’t achieve greatness with this team. From my own eyeball perspective, it was without question the most impressive performance I’ve ever seen by Cassel in a Chiefs uniform. I hope it means that he’s at long last turned the corner from being a very good backup to someone who can lead and carry a team on his back when the occasion arises.
The biggest area of concern after Week 5? Our defense continues to struggle against the pass. I know the reason for this is primarily attributable to poor saftey play but man, we’ve got to somehow fix this because we will get hurt, a lot, by better QBs.
More proof of our how much our two main receivers are contributing to the Chiefs success on offense. Another positive that shows up here is that our offensive line is starting to make an impact in the running game. With the impressive debut of Jackie Battle as the new feature back last Sunday, I’m detecting a slight aroma of promise and hope for a dimension of our offense that I kinda figured was dead for the season after Jamaal Charles assumed his place on the IR list.
Yes, the answer right now seems to be that the Chiefs are not better because they’ve beaten weaker teams, but rather they are better because they are showing that they are becoming (or should I say, are going back to being?) a better team, regardless of how good or bad their opponents happen to be.
That’s my Double Take.
What’s your take, Addicts?