The Chiefs are 3-0. Wow, yep, I’ll say it again. The Chiefs are undefeated three games into the season. They’re currently in the middle of a 10-day rest-and-prep period before they play the Giants at home. The Giants are 0-3. If the Chiefs win next week – and I imagine that they will be heavily favored – they will be a full quarter of the way through the season without a loss.
All that said, the Chiefs have amazed at times and also shown some flaws. Here are some numbers that bear out where this team is right now.
17th – The weekly Alex Smith QBR ranking-watch. This is a big drop from his ranking at 9th this time last week. Although
the numbers he put up by the end of the night were impressive against Philadelphia, he was playing some pretty ugly football for a while during the game. Then again, he has good company. Directly above him on the rankings are Tony Romo and Tom Brady. Directly below him – Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick. The really puke-worthy part of this list – Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers are currently at 1st and 2nd respectively.
54.55% – The Chiefs’ red-zone scoring percentage (only counting TD’s). This stat also took a plunge after last week’s weird game in Philly, leaving KC ranked 15th. The team is still 100% on red zone trips to touchdowns at home, so there’s that. Also, the teams’ percentage last year was 27.03% — by far the worst in the league, so I wouldn’t get too hung up on where it is now.
15 – Chiefs team sacks – leading the league. OLB Justin Houston is on pace for 40 sacks this season (the single-season record is 22.5), which is just plain nuts. He already has 7.5 this year and 20 in his 35 career games.
6.0 - The household rating for the Chiefs-Eagles game on Sunday. This was the highest Thursday Night Football rating since its inception and made the game the most-watched program that night. It was the fourth most watched game in the history of the NFL Network, which went on the air in 2006, and the 9.4 million views that were recorded by the ranking do not include people watching in Kansas City and Philadelphia through local stations (i.e. most of you). This just in: the country knows about the Chiefs.
106 – The number of yards RB Jamaal Charles has in the quarters 1, 2 and 3 of the first three games. Meanwhile, he has 118 yards rushing in the 4th quarter alone. This is a good and bad thing. While it is clear that the Chiefs have a guaranteed “put ‘em away” weapon in Charles, who is averaging 5.6 per carry in the 4th, they really need to find a better way to utilize him on the run for the rest of the game.
9 – The number of receptions that WR Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs’ $56-million #1 receiver, has. That’s three per game. If I have one bone to pick with Smith, it’s this. AS has never been known as a big down-field passer, but he’s gotta take some chances Bowe’s way if this offense is going to stay dynamic. Dallas and Philadelphia were nice enough to play hot potato with the ball and bounce it KC’s way seven times. When the opponent isn’t stymieing itself, the Chiefs need to be able to keep up and score fast. So far, the team has shown only limited ability to do so.
7 – The number of 3rd downs that the 2013 Chiefs have converted when they’re not playing the Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s out of 23, or, put differently, 30.4% of the time. The Chiefs are going to find it hard to win big games if they are converting less than one in three of their 3rd-downs
45 – The number of yards the New York Giants gave up last week on its seven sacks. The Giants’ quarterbacks also threw for 135 yards, 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s against the Panthers. I’d like to introduce New York to members of the Chiefs defense, but I have no doubt that Eli will be meeting Poe, Houston, Hali, Berry, and many others up close and personal next Sunday. I really wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.