Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) and cornerback Sean Smith (27) celebrate with fans after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff-Caliber Chiefs Have Room To Grow

Normally I spend a lot of time tweeting from the Arrowhead Addict Twitter account during games but Thursday I took the night off.

A good friend of mine and the man that officiated my wedding was in town from California. This guy is a Chiefs fan (it is how we became friends) and so I had him over to my place to watch the Thursday night clash in Philly. I didn’t want to be rude and so when he arrived, I shut my computer and watched the Chiefs game without tweeting for the first time in roughly three years.

It was an interesting feeling not being tuned in to the thoughts and knee-jerk reactions of the Chiefs Kingdom. Watching the game while participating in the live chat on AA and by watching Twitter pretty much makes it feel like I’m in a sports bar with a bunch of other Chiefs fans.

Larry and I watched and went through a lot of the emotions I am sure you all went through during last night’s contest. It was a roller coaster ride to say the least.

“I don’t feel like we’re winning,” Larry turned and said to me.

The Chiefs were up 16-10 at the time.

“We’re going to lose this game,” I exclaimed to Larry a little later.

“We can’t score. We can’t score to save our lives.”

It is strange to watch your team lead an entire NFL game and spend most of that time wallowing in doom and gloom.

But that is what Larry and I did.

It didn’t matter that the defense was doing a tremendous job. We were convinced that eventually, the Chiefs were going to blow it.

Only they didn’t.

Some time during the third quarter, Larry got up to go to the bathroom and I cracked. I grabbed my computer, flipped it open and loaded up Twitter.

It was mayhem.

Chiefs fans were freaking out. One reader tweeted to me:

This is not a better team than last years, just luckier. They look pathetic

That comment snapped me out of my own funk.

“This team is way, way better,” I replied.

It was true.

Yes, there were times last night when frustration directed towards the Chiefs offense was justified. It seemed like Alex Smith just flat out refused to throw the ball at times. Flat. Out. Refused.

He also seemed less confident in his running ability than he did last week against the Cowboys. There were plenty of times where it seemed like Smith stood in the pocket way too long and decided to take off and run way too late. As a result, he was sacked five times.

The Chiefs also struggled mightily in the red zone. They just couldn’t seem to punch it in.

Then there were the penalties. KC was flagged nine times for 65 yards.

Yet when the clock hit zero, Alex Smith’s stat line looked like this:

22/35 for 273 (average of 7.8 yards per completion) 0 TDs and 0 INTs.

Here are a few more relevant facts:

-The Chiefs couldn’t seem to get the running game going…until they did…in the 4th quarter…when they needed to. Jamaal Charles finished the game with 20 carries for 92 yards and a TD. He also added seven receptions for 80 yards.

-Alex Smith didn’t get the ball to Dwayne Bowe. But he got it to Donnie Avery. Smith targeted Avery seven times and Avery caught seven balls for 141 yards.

-Smith, who loved throwing to Vernon Davis in San Francisco and who is at his best throwing across the middle, was without Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce. Yet he hit TE Sean McGrath four times for 31 yards

-The Chiefs engineered two drives in the 4th quarter (the first started in the 3rd quarter) that led to 10 points. The key drive of the game was a 15-play,75-yard march that began on the KC five and ended in three points, putting the Chiefs back up by 10.

The Chiefs finished off the Eagles much in the same way they finished off the Cowboys. After struggling on offense against “America’s Team” the Chiefs scored a second-half TD that put them in the lead for good. They then used the running game to run out the clock and send the Cowboys home as losers.

Thursday night, KC busted out another long, clock-eating scoring drive and again, used the running game late to put things on ice.

The Chiefs have some work to do if they want to keep winning. They absolutely must find a way to be more explosive on offense if they hope to keep pace with the likes of the Denver Broncos.

We Chiefs fans have some work to do, too. We need to ease off the panic button during games so that we are better able to enjoy the ride. After a year of complete and utter misery, our beloved Chiefs are back in business and appear to be on their way to the playoffs.

There is nothing wrong with wanting the Chiefs to be better than they are right now. That is the nature of sports fans. When our teams are bad, we just want to win. When our teams are winning, we want them to dominate.

It is fine to be a little greedy when it comes to the Chiefs. Just don’t let your desire for KC to be the best make you say things like:

“We’re going to lose.”

“I don’t feel like we’re winning.”

And certainly don’t say:

“This is not a better team than last years, just luckier. They look pathetic.”

No, no.

This team is good.

Right now, save the two games against the Broncos, there isn’t a single game on the Chiefs’ schedule that I don’t think Kansas City can win. In fact, after watching Bob Sutton’s defense shutdown the explosive Eagles last night, I’m not convinced that by the time the Broncos finally come to town, that the Chiefs offense won’t have improved enough that KC might not be abel to steal one from Peyton Manning, too.

It may be time for us to adjust our expectations a little bit. The Kansas City Chiefs are a playoff team…and they have a lot of room to improve.

And that is damn exciting.

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Chris Tarrants

    So Patrick if your friend had to officiate your wedding then I must ask what you had going on mud wrestling or flag football?

  • Chris Tarrants

    I would analyze our team like this, our offense while not Super Bowl caliber is deffinantly wild card material simply because of ball security, but our defense so far is Super Bowl caliber and I am getting that feeling that even the Broncos are going to hard a hard time with this defense especially now that they lost their LT for the year! Could be feeding time for the front 7

  • P Heitman

    Spot on, and also captures my feelings from last night. For two straight games, I’ve felt uncomfortable with the Chiefs leading. Probably because my brain isn’t used to it. Remember, this team didn’t have a lead until 9 weeks in last year. It’s uncommon, and my brain is still getting used to it.

    • berttheclock

      Also, first 4th quarter TD in many a game.

  • ArrowFan

    You nailed it room to improve. But if one was honest with yourself thought camp and preseason the Offensive struggles where obvious and warranted at this point. As the O line improves so will Smith to Bowe and Smith to McCluster and Smith to Avery and Smith to JC and Smith to who ever is healthy enough to play TE.

  • ArrowFan

    That 4 and goal at the 1 yard line in the fourth needs to be a TD. It seems to me that when we need just 1 or 2 yards the hard way we are not getting them. That is all on the O line.

    • superman_25_58

      2 games in 5 days plus a plane ride………….. seems to me they could have been a lil tired but still did enough to get the job done IMO. Could of been better but when Fasano and Kelce get back healthy our offense will pick up.

  • berttheclock

    Early throws to Bowe were very well defended by double teams. However, he hit Bowe for a crucial 1st down in that long drive. Many adjustments were made on that drive which really reflects well upon the coaching staff. Both Albert and Fisher threw great blocks for Charles on that important drive. In the past, the Chiefs would have disappeared in the 4th quarter. But, bruised and battered, they appeared to grow stronger. At times, our offensive line reminds me of the great book by Rick Atkinson, “An Army at Dawn” about the entrance of US forces into fighting the Axis in North Africa. Much learning and several set backs, but, in the end they learned their hard fought lessons and prevailed. Our line is going to morph into a pro football version of the Big Red One.

  • A1 Yola

    Bowe should move to the Tight-End position! He’s faster on the short route.

  • berttheclock

    Some credit due to others. Sherman laid some great blocks for Charles and he had an excellent catch for 10 needed yards. Sean Smith, except for having his leg cramp on one pass, held Cooper to 2 catches out of 7 targets and kept Vick from throwing to Cooper on several other occasions. Ron Parker had a smashing tackle on Special Teams. In addition, Davis came off the bench to pickup 25 yards on six carries. He spelled Charles well. One gain was for 12 yards and he did not fumble.

    • Troy Utt

      Bert, Sherman is quickley becoming an integral part of our offense. As to my recollection we have not truely had a FB that has contributed to the team since I can’t remember when??? KC has had big backs, quick backs, & everything in between… But not a true FB in a long time!

      • superman_25_58

        Richardson was a great FB for the Chiefs.

        • Troy Utt

          T-Rich… Not only a great Chief, but IMO one of the best FB’s of his era… I hated seeing him leave!

  • Nemoi

    Please don’t say “America’s Team”, unless you are referring to the Chiefs. I might go Poe on you!

    Our defense was good last year and they are even better now. It is starting to feel like the days of
    Marty Schottenheimer. Defense is exciting again!

    My two worries about our current team are all the injuries happening to key players and our offense still looks anemic at times. Last year, we were anemic AND it seemed like opposing defensive backs caught more passes than our own receivers. I still prefer Alex’s safe ball control to last year. I also loved when they showed Alex’s eyes. That is a quarterback who is scanning the field for an open receiver. Last year again was a different story.

    Injuries (depth) and offense need to get better if we are going to be the team we deserve as faithful Chiefs fans. I too was tense at our last two games, but it again is a great time to be a Chief’s fan. Go Chiefs!

    • Troy Utt

      Like not having a TE corp at all or having to sign Brock off the street to be able to say we had one? While talking Chiefs with a friend the subject of TE’s came up & I mentioned that signing, his immediate repy was “WHO?”
      I hope we are able to get at least Fasano back on the field ASAP, & Kelce headed in the right direction as quickley as possible!

      • Nemoi

        Brandon Albert going down in two games. Jamaal Charles & Brandon
        Flowers looking gimpy. All positions we don’t have reasonable backups as of yet. At least at tight end we have depth. Oh yeah, as you pointed out,
        we didn’t have a tight end for the game. Injuries to key players is
        concerning me. At least we have a long week to heal.

        • ArrowFan

          I think Robinson and Davis qualify as reasonable back ups for Flowers and Charles.

  • berttheclock

    Kudos to all of the fans of the Chiefs who gathered behind the post game show. They kept up the “Tomahawk Chop” throughout the discussions. Great interview of Alex Smith during that show, as well. Smith responded very well to the group. Loved the comment made by Dion about Flowers getting into the face of DeSean Jackson and trash talking him. It seemed as though the new Chiefs have won over both Sanders and Irvin. In the gifts to Smith, they even included a bobblehead of our “1st Round Pick, Sandcastle”. It was really a fun time to watch a top Chiefs’ player interviewed by the pundits.

    • Guest

      Brandon Albert going down in two games. Jamaal Charles & Brandon Flowers looking gimpy. All positions we don’t have reasonable backups yet. At least at tight end we have depth. Oh yeah, as you pointed out, we didn’t have a tight end for the game. Injuries to key players is concerning me. At least we have a long week to heal.

  • Blake Molina

    Sooner or later, defenses are going to have to account for Donnie Avery. Otherwise he’ll have a stat line like that. Double teaming Bowe will leave someone else open. Hopefully the Giants focus more on Avery so we can see Bowe break out

    • Troy Utt

      I agree… I’m hoping Bowe will show up soon as we are in need of help quick, especially with the injuries to KC’s TE corp. The signing of Brock was a bandaid…
      To think just a few weeks ago all the chatter was “Who will step up to be the #2 & help Bowe?” I know teams are doubling down on Bowe, but he has to find a way to get some seperation… Getting Fasano back in the line-up will help take the pressure off & open up the field, as that will require the defense to cover from the flat to the post in a more traditional man-on “D”… WAR CHIEFS!!!

  • Jeff

    Excellent read! We have to remember this is only the start of something great for KC!

  • Chuck Burrell

    Admitting that your team can’t beat another team that belongs in the same division as you is a loser’s mentality. With Crennel and Cassel, we wouldn’t stand a chance (Losers). But what Andy Reid and (maybe more importantly) Alex Smith bring to this team is a sense of confidence and grit. Losers expect to lose. Our team has the best record in the NFL, and will expect to win every game. That is what turns a franchise from worst to first.

  • Aaron

    Awesome write up! I agree with everything.

  • Troy Utt

    Loved the Ink Patrick!!! I could not agree with you more… The win last night was not pretty, all the same it counts. No doubt this is not last years team, that much can be told just by the attitudes, body language, & the way the team carries them-selves on the sidelines.
    I do believe at some point we are going to have to address the “O” line…As we really have not faced top level competition & yet they have struggled! If we expect to keep pace with the Donkeys & Shehawks of the world we will first have to keep them out of the backfield! Irregardless we are of to a great start…

  • Calchiefsfan

    The Chiefs are for real, there is no doubt now. We all were thinking doom and gloom during the 1st 3 quarters Paddy. When they started putting that drive together in the 4th though I started to believe we have something special. Last year the Chiefs found more ways to lose than any team I have ever seen. This year they are finding ways to win. Their best comes out when the heat is on. That is a real good sign.

    The offense looked sloppy, not crisp at all. But I have to remember that this offense has a QB, HC and DC who are all new. The o line has 1 rookie, 1 guy that is technically starting for the first time in Hudson and then Allen who is in his second year. So really this offense is playing very well, all things considered. Definitely better than what we had last year with yes, a lot of room to improve. Sweet!

    I’m expecting a wild card spot this year and even possibly a playoff win. GO CHIEFS!!!

    • Brody Hall

      I expect first round bye. B-)

  • Calchiefsfan

    Is anyone seeing that Toub is starting to get the new guys up to speed on special teams. Still not there yet but Demps almost broke that one. In another couple of weeks we should start to see the ST unit doing some big things!

  • Michael Santino Paniccia

    guys thats me with bowe and smith in this picture!!!

  • Michael Santino Paniccia

    If anybody has more pics from post game please let me know…. im the biggest KC fan !!!!!!!!

  • Mark Bustamante

    This is a whole new era in Chiefs football. I too felt like we were going to blow this game but had to eats words once THE DRIVE ended with points. That was when I realized that this years Chiefs are the real deal.

  • Michael Santino Paniccia

    Are You Guys Fans??? I had no doubt in my mind that since march that we would start off 3-0.. are defense is the real deal!! our O is a work in progress but we are looking better and better!!! watch out for my boy Kelce when healthy!!

  • kcpauly

    At least when AS11 threw the hail mary into the endzone, we all got to see that he CAN chuck the ball 50yds. down the field, now if our O-line will give him time to let the receivers get down the field maybe we will begin to see the “Bombs over Baghdad” and to Michael we are fans but we have been beatin’ down pretty badly and takes a little time to believe that we are not going to get kicked in the gut again, nice read Pat, 3-0 feels SOOO good for a change keep it up guys, now time to make Quentin Tarantino’s, I’m mean Eli Manning’s head all purple, and get him to throw like 14 int’s, and maybe our O can drop a couple of bombs on their D.
    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!

  • tm1946

    Thanks we all needed this writeup. Last nite had more doom and gloom than i could handle.
    We are what we are. 3-0 with a QB some of these posters hate after 3 wins, an OL with more issues than Pres. O, a defense who apparently is made up of 11 guys in iron man suits, and SP who is just starting to find what we lost at the end of preseason.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I was uncomfortable for about three quarters of this game. You just can’t let good teams hang around when you force so many turnovers. Put them away when you have the chance. We won’t always be that fortunate. Still, I’m ELATED with where this team is. They’ve won two straight games where they simply didn’t have their best. 3-0 is better than anything I could’ve imagined.

  • NicholasAlanClayton

    Well said. I’ve very happy with where the team has gotten so far, but, like a battered spouse, I live on the panic button. Any second I expect something is going to go wrong and bring it all crashing down. It’ll help a lot once this team has some more games under its belt and we understand it a bit more. I still never really know exactly what to expect out of either side of this team. The defense is delightfully aggressive and designed to take away the opponents best stuff, while allowing some other random things to flourish — Dez Bryant in the 1st quarter last week, Old Man Vick on the run + Injured McShady this week. Alex seems to randomly focus in on different guys every week. Can’t say he leans on any weapon in particular as a crutch, but it’s really unpredictable who he is going to target (not necessarily a bad thing, btw). Sometimes though, as you mentioned, he just decides that he is a running back for some reason and seems to think that getting awkward 3-yard scrambles play after play is a good strategy.

    At least they’re keeping it interesting (actually puzzling to attentive watchers) and, screw it, they’re 3-0!

  • Ian

    The Chiefs are an okay team, nothing special. The true test will be when you play Denver.

    • Brody Hall

      Okay? You telling me that unless a team can beat Denver they are nothing special? Have you seen what Dallas is doing? You see what Phili is doing? And KC beat them both. This team is something special… now you need to stay off this site :p

      • Ian

        Ha I like checking in from time to time. does Adam still run this site or did he sell it? Anyways, the chiefs are decent defensively but pretty boring offensively. Against the eagles horrendous defense, the chiefs were a typical reid offense that squandered multiple opportunities. After four turnovers the chiefs barely scored any points and that included a pick 6. They were just dumping the ball short to Avery and charles on third-and-anything and converting. Against a good defense those plays get shut down.