The New & Improved Cool Of The Kansas City Chiefs

Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s an idiom that fits the Kansas City Chiefs’ season-opening drubbing of the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s “all’s well that ends well.” Just 2:28 minutes into the first quarter, the new-look Chiefs looked a lot like the 2-14 Chiefs from last season. On the first offensive play of the regular season, tight end Anthony Fasano dropped a perfectly thrown deep ball from Alex Smith. Two plays later, J.T. Thomas slipped through special teams protection and blocked a Dustin Colquitt punt. The ball bounded out of the back of the end zone and resulted in a safety that put the Jaguars up 2-0.

The old Kansas City Chiefs might’ve folded the tent after a pair of early mistakes. In the 2011 season opener, Dexter McCluster fumbled the opening kickoff to start the game with the Buffalo Bills. One special teams play and offensive series into that contest, the Chiefs were trailing by seven points and looked to be shaken by first quarter miscues. They never recovered and were routed by the Bills 41-7. On Sunday afternoon, Kansas City proved to be a much different football team.

Kansas City’s defense responded by forcing Jacksonville into their second straight three-and-out series of the game. Dexter McCluster would then return a Bryan Anger punt 36 yards to set up excellent field position on the Chiefs’ next drive (the Jacksonville 24-yard line). The offense took full advantage, scoring in just three plays to take their first lead of the season (the same feat took nine games in 2012). The Andy Reid coached Chiefs weren’t interested in shrinking back into their former selves. The team composed itself, eliminated mistakes, and put together the franchise’s largest margin of victory for a season opener in a half century.

Avery Score

It’s tough to know what you can truly take away from Sunday’s win over Jacksonville. The Jaguars still appear to be one of the league’s worst teams. It certainly didn’t help them to be without second-year wide receiver Justin Blackmon (serving a four-game suspension) and tight end Marcedes Lewis (out with a calf injury). Put simply, wins won’t always come so easily for the new regime. Resilience is something they’ll need to return to NFL respectability.

Kansas City’s home opener with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday will be a great litmus test for where this team truly is. The Giants’ defense surrendered 331 total yards and 23 points to the ‘Boys in their ”Sunday Night Football” matchup. The Chiefs’ defense can have success against the Cowboys, but they won’t be a pushover like their Week 1 opponent. Dallas is a much better football team and should provide a bigger challenge for Kansas City.

I’m curious to see how this team will respond to a real deficit. How will Kansas City answer the bell when they’re trailing by one or two possessions? That, I think, is a true measure of what we can expect from the Chiefs in 2013. Players needn’t press to retain a lead in the NFL. When you’re hanging on to a three possession lead, like the Chiefs were in the second half on Sunday, you can play conservatively and manage the clock. Playing from behind is the challenge. When the pressure’s on, teams start forcing plays and that usually sets the stage for errors in judgment and execution.  We know they can put a lesser opponent away. Hopefully we’ll also find out if they can handle a respectable team like the Dallas Cowboys.

It’s good to see a Chiefs team move on from negative plays. The first sign of trouble in years past was the death knell for Kansas City. Poise will be monumental for this football team if the trend continues. The Chiefs could face some character-revealing adversity this coming Sunday. As confident as I am in Bob Sutton’s defensive unit, they won’t blank the ‘Boys like they did the Jags. We’ll soon find out if they can take a punch as well as they throw one.

Despite a very impressive win over the weekend, I think there are still more questions than answers. I expect we’ll learn more about this football team at One Arrowhead Drive this Sunday. Addicts, do you think the Chiefs can keep it together if they fall behind the Cowboys? Have we seen enough to know the true mental makeup of this football team? Speak your piece below in the comments section. As always, we appreciate your readership and support!

Until next time, Addicts!

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs

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  • Trent Taylor

    Arrowhead will be as crazy as its been since the days of DT. I look for the defense along with the crowd noise to really put a lid on Romo’s offense. Also, if its close, Andy Reid will out coach Jason Garrett any day. Go Chiefs!

    • Stacy D. Smith

      It’ll be exciting for sure. It’s a big, big game. Coming into the year I said they needed to at least split the first four games. Winning this one would guarantee that and maybe give us a chance to close the first quarter of the season out 3-1.

      • Danny W

        Beating the Giants or the Eagles as well. Who do you have us losing to in that scenario?

        • Stacy D. Smith

          I think that road game with Philly is going to be tough. We’ll be on a short week AND we’ll have to travel.

          • Canad-Ian

            I agree. Short rest and chasingVick and the fast tempo all over the field

          • Stacy D. Smith

            That team has so much speed. It’ll be a great challenge for this defense.

          • ILChiefan

            Gentlemen…..we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s handle Dallas first, OK? :)

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Sure, sure. Just had to take a quick peek.

          • Danny W

            Got it Dallas.

          • Danny W

            Honestly I think the only way we beat Philly is Jamal Charles Cyrus Grey and Knile Davis. We have to have long quarter eating offensive drives. I mean long long drives. Not scoring fast on purpose if that makes any sense at all.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Ball control. Good game plan.

          • sidibeke

            I saw an interesting bit on Kelly’s offenses. One key are runs up the middle. You’ll note that play selection is skewed in favor of runs. I think with our cover guys, we won’t need to play a prevent D like Wash did at the onset of the game and we can take the run away from Philly.

          • Trent Taylor

            I agree bro. Keep that offense off of the field for as long as possible and get points in the end. Kinda like playing Manning. If he’s not out there, he can’t hurt you.

  • Danny W

    I’m taking the wait and see approach. I’m hoping our offense isn’t as bad as I think it has the potential to be and hoping our defense is as good as I think it has the potential to be. A solid showing from KC would be a big milestone for KC. A win and things really are looking a whole lot brighter. A bad loss and it could be another death knell to this team. Dallas is a big game.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      A win and this team will have a mountain of confidence. That goes quite a long way.

  • KcNdaRock

    I think room will choke in a playoff atmosphere. Even though it’s game number 2 lol well be rocking like its the Super Bowl.. Lol.. I think this defense is for real and I think all doubters will realize. They might not have the stats like Sunday but they will still be a force to recognize..
    I think the deeper into the season the better the offense will gel.. The d will keep us in the first few games till the o comes alive.
    Good article but I think our character is diff from yrs past!! This team seems hungry..

    • KcNdaRock

      Romo auto correct

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I’d like to think so too, but Jacksonville really didn’t present much of a challenge. Dallas will.

  • sidibeke

    Looking forward to see what KC can do at home against Dal. I’m not quite as worried about folding when behind; if Smith has proven anything, it’s that he doesn’t turn the ball over. I’ve also been impressed with his poise. He doesn’t seem to have those happy feet so many former KC qbs have.

    I’m getting ahead of myself, but I’m really looking forward to the Blur offense vs. Sutton’s attack D. That should be interesting.

  • Lyle Graversen

    Great read Stacy, I was nervous when the Jags blocked that punt, it suddenly felt like last year all over. For KC to stay calm and just roll right over them after that happened is a great sign. There were a lot of teams that struggled to beat teams everyone thought they should clobber (NE vs Buf, Indy vs Oak). The fact that KC was able to completely control a bad team while on the road at least shows us that we’re not as bad as Jax anymore. We don’t know just how good, but at least we now can be sure we aren’t that bad. That’s progress.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Indeed it is. Can’t recall the last time I felt this good about the Chiefs’ chances.

  • Norman Gunn

    Great article! Very well written.

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