Chiefs Victorious: The Balance For Power

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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?”

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Tags: KC Chiefs

  • berttheclock

    Jim Harbaugh, David Shaw, Andy Reid
    What do they have in common? They have all defeated Chip Kelly. Harbaugh outscored him in an over 90 point shootout, while, Shaw hit them with balance and won 17-14. Reid beat them with balance.
    Kelly’s offense always appears to be one long play from killing you and his speed up can take its toll on opposing players (Sean Smith said he needed an IV). David Shaw, the HC who followed Harbaugh at Stanford said of Kelly, “They’re always on the verge”. Consider that win against Stanford. Mariotti broke it 77 yards for Nike and looked as though they were going to score from inside the ten. However, Stanford’s defense held them and on 4th and short, stuffed them.
    Now, with the balance discussed by Laddie, Reid has stopped Kelly. That 8 minute drive was an object of beauty. The Chiefs are still a work in progress, but, this win has stamped them as a force to be of concern to both offensive and defensive co-ords for future opponents.

    • Chris Tarrants

      Jim Harbaugh, Chip Kelly, Andy Reid. All great coaches but IMO Chip Kelly is going to fall flat on his face because he doesn’t have the luxury of getting fresh meat every year. He is going to run the legs off of this offense before the seasons end! There is only one solid comparison that I can think of here that sent domination at the college level to the pro level only to see it fizzle out and that is Nick Sabin. Probably going to be the greatest coach ever in college but couldn’t stick in the nfl. Chip will be the same if he doesn’t realize that these are grown men who don’t heal up overnight like the college boys do and he doesn’t get a flood of fresh meat

      • ladner morse

        The best Chip “should” hope for is going to a hurry up offense like the Buffalo Bills used to do in the late 1980s. Coach Marv Levy had a great plan but he also recognized that scoring too fast would jeopardize his defenses ability to be effective. Chip got where is is by being improvisational… so I would count him out just yet. But, at the pro level… his approach must adapt or die.

      • berttheclock

        I think that fizzle had more to do with Saban realizing how difficult it is to rebuild an NFL team. Drafting every 32nd time, having to really evaluate FAs and how they could work in his system, etc. and comparing that to just sitting down in the front rooms of proud parents of exceptional high school athletes and getting into his tele-evangelist type of used car salesman pitch and, VOILA, within a year or two stocking his college team with 5 Star athletes. Years ago, Tommy Prothro talked about how much easier it had been to build a pro team during the AFL-NFL wars (You only selected against the other AFL teams, then had to convince them not to go to the NFL) and how much easier it was to build a winning team in college than in the pros where you could only
        draft when your turn was called to the podium.

    • ladner morse

      So, what you’re trying to s………. … hey, wait, is that John Candy over there!?

  • Justin R Groth

    I just wish there was more o production early on (more balance from an o vs d scale.) We should have ran away with thus one with all the great field position we were given. There were. times where Alex would have time (not as often as he should) and he would start scrambling or hold the ball for too long or tuck it q hair late. His overall game would have been better had he hit some of those short passes he overthrew under pressure. I feel Ried should run more traditional I early to set up the PA pass instead of passing a couple of times then running a naked boot that seemed to get Alex creamed more often than not, or incomplete.

    • Jarad

      I totally agree!! It was a great win and its hard to argue with the game plan, but that offense was frustrating. Not turning the ball over is key to any teams success, but at least try to challenge the defense down field! Trust your receivers. Its possible to throw Downfield and still take care of the ball. Good win ,but Alex Smith and the Offense need A LOT of improvement.

      • Calchiefsfan

        I just can’t help but imagine what this team is going to look like when the offense starts executing. That’s when we’ll see less sloppiness and longer throws. Smith is not going to take any chances yet, but he will as time goes on. I agree he might be overly cautious, but hey, we’re winning!

        • ladner morse

          Yea… I’m just waiting to see what kinds of chances Smith (and Reid)take when the team goes up by two to three TDs. Then… I think there’ll be a lot more chucking it down field.

          • elly violette

            Didn’t the Chiefs go up by 21-2 and then 28-2 against Jacksonville? If they aren’t going to take any chance then… then why do you think they will take chance anytime in the near future… or ever?

  • RrrLllBbb

    The Chiefs may be 3-0 but think they are really overrated. I have been a Chiefs fan for a number of years but this team seems to be far less talented than teams of past.

    • Norman Gunn

      Far less Talented?!? Other teams would snatch at Houston, Berry, Poe, Flowers, JC, DJ, and Bowe in a heart beat if they were ever available. Our offense looks stagnant but there has been zero turnovers. Once the o-line gels, if our D keeps playing top 5 ball we have a chance to beat the Broncos.

      • ladner morse

        Agreed. Especially if the offense can be successful at piling up first down more consistently then they can just possess the ball and keep it out of Peyton’s hands for most of the game.

        • Chris Tarrants

          I want to see the ball in his hands! They lost their LT for the season, I want to see Bobby send the house after Manning. There is nothing that makes me happier in life than seeing Payton and his stupid looking forehead laying on his ass

          • Calchiefsfan

            What Poe is going to do to Denver’s center should be considered manslaughter! Peyton is going to have to get rid of the ball much faster than he normally does. This has always been the way to beat Peyton. I just hope by that time that the Chiefs o line is up to the task against Miller and Co.

          • ladner morse

            It’s a bit of mathematical madness… the Bronco RG (Louis Vasquez) will likely be the one to help double Poe because the LG (Zane Beadles) MUST help the new LT (Chris Clark- 6 starts in 4 years) on Tamba Hali and Mike DeVito and/or Mike Catapano (or Allen Bailey). That means Tyson Jackson and Justin Houston should have monster games attacking from the left side especially since one or the other will be singled up one on one with the RT (Orlando Franklin) and the other against the RB (Ronnie Hillman… because the Broncos have no FB). This should also limit the number of times the Broncos send the RB in the flat. That will give Bob Sutton more flexibility with how he uses the D-backs.

            Mmm, good times. Can’t wait.

          • KCMikeG

            Excellent point Laddie! You bring such great insight – Thanks for all your contributions to AA.

          • ladner morse

            Thanks Mike… that means a lot coming from you! I appreciate it.

          • KCMikeG

            IF Miller is there. Didn’t he get arrested again? And he has an old traffic warrant in California for failure to appear. I heard there may be another suspension. Even if there isn’t missing 6 weeks will hurt him by not being in “football shape” and will take a while to get up to speed.

          • ladner morse

            The problem is… the Broncos D is thriving without their two best players, Bailey and Miller. When they get back I expect them to be top notch.

          • KCMikeG

            Were you aware of the details of Miller’s suspension? I wasn’t and can’t believe they didn’t kick him to the curb for the entire year. Not only did he fail the drug test he tried to cheat using another’s urine sample. ONLY two games for fraud. Total BS.

            http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9707976/von-miller-denver-broncos-urine-collector-tried-cheat-test

          • KCMikeG

            Thriving might be a bit of a stretch as giving up 25 points per game and nearly 400 yards per game does not lead to winning games unless you have an offense lead by Peyton.

          • Calchiefsfan

            What Laddie said. When Miller and Champ get back they will be that much better. Von will be up to speed by week 11. The Chiefs need to be ready too. If the Chiefs keep improving it’s going to be quite a game.

          • ladner morse

            You’re right Chris. For me — the moment the Chiefs front 7 goes up against Peyton — if shaping up to be my most anticipated moment in the rest of the season.

            That is of course… if Peyton is still able to stand up by then. Before the he faces the Chiefs he must go against the front sevens of Philly, Dallas, Washington, Indy and San Diego. BTW… the defenses he will face which I didn’t mention are Jacksonville and Oakland, both of which have top 5 defenses at the moment.

            The Raiders, Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins all are in the top ten for sacks on opposing QBs. His front door is now wide open so hopefully it’s… Hello Mr. Manning.

          • KCMikeG

            I would be willing to bet he doesn’t make it out of their MNF match up with the faiders. They were tied with us through week #2 at 9 sacks. It makes me puke in my mouth a little – actually a lot – but I’m going to be cheering for them Monday night.

          • elly violette

            Chris, I will be following the Broncos games more closely now to see how their new left tackle is doing but more importantly, to see how the defensive ends he’s going against are doing.

    • ladner morse

      Interesting point of view. Can you give us… say… TWO Chiefs teams in the past 20 years that were more balanced or talented than this team? Be sure to point out the players on those teams who were better than: LB Tamba Hali, RB Jamaal Charles, LB Derrick Johnson, WR Dwayne Bowe, SS Eric Berry, LB Justin Houston, P Dustin Colquitt, LT Brandon Albert and KR Quintin Demps as a package.

      Can anyone do that since Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Kimble Anders, Willie Davis, JJ Birden, Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith, Dale Carter, Albert Lewis, Dan Saleaumua and Nick Lowery took the field in 1993?

      Of course I understand if you’re talking about the Chiefs Super Bowl collection. However, I really do wonder what “teams” (multiples) you are referring to? What Chiefs team(s) have had a more talented roster than this year’s team?

      It was your claim. So, let’s hear it.

      • KCinTX

        The 2003 team was balanced up until Mike Maslowski was put on IR. We always remember the 2004 defensive breakdown but the 2003 D was solid until we lost the MLB. See below scores.

        2003 Kansas City Chiefs (13-4)

        San Diego Chargers W 27-14

        Pittsburgh Steelers W 41-20

        @ Houston Texans W 42-14

        @ Baltimore Ravens W 17-10

        Denver Broncos W 24-23

        @ Green Bay Packers W 40-34 OT

        @ Oakland Raiders W 17-10

        Buffalo Bills W 38-5

        Cleveland Browns W 41-20

        @ Cincinnati Bengals L 19-24 – Maslowski Injured.

        Oakland Raiders W 27-24

        @ San Diego Chargers W 28-24

        @ Denver Broncos L 27-45

        Detroit Lions W 45-17

        @ Minnesota Vikings L 20-45

        Chicago Bears W 31-3

        Divisional Playoff

        Indianapolis Colts L 31-38

        • Calchiefsfan

          I hear ya but that year our D was not very good even with a healthy Maslowski. The offense was better than the one we’re fielding now, we had the best o line in the NFL plus Priest Holmes. Plus the special teams in 2003 was very good as well. In that playoff game Indy never punted once! The D we have now is way more talented than the one in 2003.

          • ladner morse

            Yea… opposite ends of the universe talented. And even if the 2003 team did have a HOFer it doesn’t make up the difference because in the end… they could even win one single playoff game. Not that year or any other.

          • Calchiefsfan

            Our D is starting to dominate, special teams are improving now that the new guys are starting to get it. Once the offense starts to execute, talk about balance!
            On another note, Fisher looks completely lost at times out there. This game is still way too fast for him, which actually gives me hope. Once the game slows down for him we’ll start to see the athleticism that he was drafted for.

          • ladner morse

            I’ll be interested to see how Fisher handles bigger D linemen whereas he’s faces some pretty swift types so far: Jason Babin, Anthony Spencer and Fletcher Cox (who Lyle Graversen wanted the Chiefs to take in the draft- and I agree with him). Fisher will be playing most snaps against Justin Tuck, who is very good, but if Jason Pierre-Paul ever slides over (like Fletcher Cox did in Philly)… Fisher will be over matched by Paul’s quickness, speed and athleticism.

            I hope Fisher get better quickly.

          • Calchiefsfan

            Fisher will need some help. Our D better hold Manning to under 17 points. Maybe this is the week that our special teams gets back on track and takes one to the house. If they do or our D gets another pick 6 then we should win this game. Otherwise it’s time to unleash Charles.

          • elly violette

            : Yes… I think we can all see that Eric Fisher will need some help booking the right side for the foreseeable future. But, WHY? Isn’t he the first pick in the draft? Wasn’t he supposed to be penciled in at LT if the trade to the Dolphins goes through for Brandon Albert?

        • ladner morse

          I believe that was the year that Ron Jaworski carried a notebook onto the ESPN set of every interview he was apart of and would pound the notebook and say the Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl this year and I’ve got the blueprints right here.

          Man was I disappointed the Chiefs could even win one game. They should have at least gotten to the AFC Championship game but… woulda… coulda… shoulda. Don’t really understand why they couldn’t improve the defense during those years. Befuddling.

      • Trent Taylor

        Crickets… Maybe he’s referring to the ’69 squad. SMH

    • Troy Utt

      Really not sure how you came to that conclusion? But we are all entitled to our opinions… The fact that they are 3-0 speaks to the very core of what this team is… YOUNG, HUNGRY, DETERMINED, COMMITTED, LEARNING, etc…
      All things considered, new HC & COORD’s, 50% new roster, depleted TE corp, 3 games into the season, I’d say we are anything but overrated or less talented than teams of past. Most likely we won’t have to worry about scraping up money for SB tickets this year, at the same time I’m not giving away my seats for the play-offs!!!
      (GONNA NEED EM’) WAR CHIEFS!!!

      • KCMikeG

        Great post Troy and I would add that 2 of the 3 wins were on the road and the roster is actually 56.66 new players, other than Bowe/Dexter all new WR’s and QB. This team is only going to get better the longer they play together. They are already “family” mentally and emotionally. LOUD & PROUD! GO CHIEFS!!

        • elly violette

          Interesting comment about the Chiefs already feeling like “family.” Do you really think that’s important of them to become winners?

          • KCMikeG

            Absolutely. Some teams can be winners but without being family but the truly great teams – the dynasties are that way. We are being built into a winner for the long run. Thank you Clark, John & Andy! The future is so bright I gotta where shades!

    • Chris Tarrants

      Are you high?

      • Jason Seibel

        Smoking that really good stuff.

        • cd3382

          Seriously…

    • elly violette

      I sure wish I knew what Chiefs team you are talking about. It seems like you are making bold (or foolish, I don’t know) comments with no way to back it up.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Good work, Ladner!

    • ladner morse

      Thanks Reach.

  • Spencer

    There is one thing I love about thursday night football…wait 2, I can actually see the Chiefs at my home (live in Wisconsin), and I don’t have to wait as long to watch them again…1 thing I hate, I have to wait longer to watch them again…:(

    • ladner morse

      However, the sporting news does carry a fair amount of Chiefs news these two in between days…. so that kinda makes up for it.

  • Phillip Maxwell

    If by balance you mean, a defense that is only allowing 11.3 ppg and has totally dominated the playing field and an offense that other than a few clutch drives looks dysfunctional then yeah, I totally agree.

    • ladner morse

      The perhaps for a person of your specific perspective we should say, “enough” balance to go 3-0.

      The again I might ask you… in what ways would you like to see the Chiefs improve on 3-0?

      • Phillip Maxwell

        I thoroughly enjoyed your article, I suppose at second glance that it could appear as if I was disagreeing with you. More of a frustration at all the wasted scoring opportunities by our offense.

    • KCMikeG

      I love our defense and think they will be top 5 for sure but they did give up 430 yards while the offense never turned the ball over and never put them in bad field position both contributing to the low points allowed. It’s a Ying and Yang thing.

  • elly violette

    I still haven’t heard a good explanation of why Alex Smith is not throwing the ball down field. Is he afraid of getting intercepted? I think he’s going to have to take a chance sooner or later. It seems like Matt Cassel at least got the ball to Dwayne Bowe more than Alex Smith has.