It’s hard to criticize a team that goes 3-0, so I won’t. What does need to be pointed out is perhaps the most simplistic reason of all, one that explains how these Chiefs have gotten to this point: they’re balanced and that balance is their power.
Take the tight end situation. Without regular starter Anthony Fasano, or rookie backup Travis Kelce and considering that last year’s starter Tony Moeaki isn’t available either, the Chiefs go with the bearded wonder Sean McGrath. McGrath makes four receptions for 31 yards and more importantly a critical first down.
Maybe you don’t want to see the current depth on the Chiefs roster as “balance” but if the current GM had not done his due diligence, then on Thursday evening the offense would not have been able to include the TE in the game plan. How many times in the past have you been disappointed by the backup that comes in and makes a major contribution… to a Chiefs loss. John Dorsey has done his best to see that that doesn’t happen. And, I think he’s been doing a bang-up job.
You could also look at this game and see that the special teams — once again — contributed in big ways. Long returns, a fumble recovery, hitting long field goals and pinning the ball deep in Eagles territory. When the Chiefs got the ball with 10:00 left in the game on their own 6 yard line it was such a shock because special teams have been that good this year… we now come to expect them to win the field position battle every game, every possession. And, they usually do.
That kind of contribution to the balance of what is working for the Chiefs can’t be ignored. In fact, it’s doggone exhilarating.
For a really impressive examination of how balance is making the Chiefs powerful, first look at their competition on Thursday evening, because they seem to lack this balance in so many ways (some great players mind you, but no balance). The Eagles only possessed the ball for 20 minutes and 53 seconds.
The question is why?
The Eagles’ game plan is to score as fast as possible. Sounds like a good game plan right? Wait a minute. If you score so fast that you are constantly giving the ball back to your opponent and your opponent is romancing the ball twice as long as you are… it’s easy to predict who is kissing the bride at the story’s end.
That’s exactly what the Chiefs did. To compound the situation for the speedy Eagles, they seemed determined to give the ball to the Chiefs as an early wedding present. Make that five wedding presents, in all.
That’s another way the Chiefs play balanced ball. They keep it. While I’m a bit frustrated with Alex Smith not being willing to sling the ball down the field more, I have to admit he is effective at continuing to help the Chiefs to play a winning formula of football.
The formula of power through balance.
You want more balance? Consider that Dwayne Bowe has basically served as a decoy this year but he likes winning so much, he hasn’t complained one bit. In fact, it was satisfying on a personal level to see him be the first one to go hug Andy Reid after the game even though he only had one catch for four yards.
For so many years you might hear one player or another complain of this or that and you’d get the sense that something on the team was “out of balance.” I’m thinking back to the days of Haley here. But, there’s no such “imbalance” on this team.
There are so many examples of the how the Chiefs are balanced this season it’s hard to choose which examples to leave out for this post. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Tamba Hali and Justin Houston pressure that they were “consistently” able to sustain when Michael Vick dropped back to pass. This game was the perfect highlight reel of what I’ve dreamed about for the Chiefs pass rush ever since Jared Allen left town.
The 2013 rendition of the Kansas City Chiefs present so many different ways to win because of their balance, that now, when there is a breakdown at one specific position like, say, right tackle, in years past it would have led directly to defeat. But now, one breakdown here or there doesn’t keep this team from competing and ultimately, winning. And winning they do.
NFL.com’s lead story title on the Chiefs and Eagles game says, “Chiefs’ D Overwhelms Eagles” Wow, did they just say… overwhelms? That’s a “powerful” word. And that is what the Chiefs have grown into: a powerful team. That’s because they’re getting contributions coming from every player on every unit.
That kind of balance, is making them a powerful force to be reckoned with.
And that, is the reason I am lovin’ me some Kansas City Chiefs right now. Oh, and I kinda like that 3 and 0 thingy too.
Mmm, mmm, mmm.
Now, let go cut us some Giants down to size back at Arrowhead.
How about you Addicts, can you “feel the power?”