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Chiefs vs Titans: Grading Kansas City’s Win Over Tennessee

The Kansas City Chiefs toppled the Titans in Tennessee 26-17 on Sunday to stay undefeated on the young 2013 season. The game was moving in the direction of a true “tale of two halves” story as Kansas City dominated the first two quarters, and then came out pretty stale to start the second half. But alas, the Chiefs turned it back on in the fourth quarter to maintain their winning streak, and stay perfect on the year.

The game today was another sloppy one, and this report card reflects that.


This was probably the worst game of the season so far for Alex Smith, right? Something about his throws just seemed a bit off. On the day, Smith was 20/39 for 245 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. Not awful, but not great.

Aside from his fumble, Jamaal Charles was incredibly effective in this game. Charles was, without a doubt, the saving grace for the offense today.

There’s still a ton of room for offensive improvement. This can’t be their ceiling.

Grade: C-


All things considered, the D played well today. By not sustaining many long drives, the offense kind of hung them out to dry. Also, Was it just me, or did it seem like every time Tennessee made a play it was after we had nearly sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick?

This just in: Marcus Cooper is a stud.

Grade: B-

Special Teams:

Dustin Colquitt’s shank was something Chiefs fans don’t see every day. It was most likely due to the poor snap, but still: 9 yards? Really? Ryan Succop was the stud on special teams in this one, going 4/4 on some pretty important field goals. Throw in a solid return, and the team’s first touchdown due to a Titans muff, and you’re looking at the best unit on the field this Sunday.

Grade: B+


There were too many penalties in this game. Additionally, the ball should be going to Dwayne Bowe more. I know Smith likes to go to the open man, but Reid needs to figure out a way to get Bowe involved in this offense. Right now, Dwayne Bowe is the most expensive decoy in football.

Grade: C+ 

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  • Trent Taylor

    Agreed. Bowe can dominate when he gets in rhythm. Right now, the offense lacks dimension.

    • tm1946

      There is an issue with Bowe. Not sure what. He has talent, has earned his pay but he is MIA so far. Not sure why, double teaming, coaching plan or the dreaded got his pay day and that was what matter mentally.

      • Doc

        I think he has the LJ syndrome – he got paid so now he doesn’t have to work. I mean, c’mon man – all he says is as long as the team is winning he is happy. WTH? Gee, you got the big payday and now he isn’t even complaining about not getting balls thrown his way. I still say they should have let him walk this last off season.

        • berttheclock

          Negative – Negative – Negative

          Dwayne Bowe is one of the most important pieces of this team. He is essential and he is light years from being a Larry Johnson. Do you really think Avery would be able to get open if it were not for the double teams on Bowe? Bowe blocks as well as any on the team and his being happy as long as the team is winning is a huge positive statement for him.

          • Suzi Conger

            like your comment btc; bottom line 5-0 !! 250% improvement over last year…Enjoy :-)

  • DTVTechGuy

    Receivers not getting open… O-Line not creating holes…. Smith’s passes looked like poop… The D is not going to win EVERY game for us…. Reid better learn from this game..

    • Andy

      No team hits on all cylinders every week. Be thankful we have one of the most balanced teams in the league, so that when one phase meets stiff competition, the others have their back.

      • Suzi Conger

        excellent post Andy… 5-0 says it all; 250% improvement over last year CHIEFS!!

  • Brandon Oliver

    First off a c+ for special teams are you blind? Did you even watch the game one bad punt the special teams scored the first touchdown no missed fieldgoals and the kickoff return the one we got gave us good field position definatley an A for special teams. Maybe you shouldn’t be a writer for this site and questioning weather or not you are even a Chiefs fan

    • P Heitman

      Haha, you’re totally right. That was supposed to be B+.

    • Andy

      Think you were a little hard on Paul there.

  • Calchiefsfan

    This team has such a long way to go to reach their ceiling and yet they are still able to beat a good team on the road. The offense was sloppy, some lapses on D, a Colquitt shank and yet we’re 5-0.

    The Chiefs remind me of a rookie top 5 draft pick, lots of mistakes but flashes of greatness. Once Smith and the O get there rhythm down and know this offense in their sleep, this team will be a Super Bowl contender. They really are right now. Even the D has a lot of room to grow.

    I said last week we are 1 more good CB and a pro bowl left guard away from dominating. After Cooper’s play the last 2 weeks I’m revising that to 1 pro bowl LG.

    • Kurt Rauch

      It doesn’t appear to me that Colquitt has the mobility he needs to be his normal ‘super’ self. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think he has had a really good kick since his injury. I’d like to know what the medical ETA is on his right knee being back to normal.

  • Jason J Morrison

    as for Charles, I would do a little more pitches so that he can get that outside run going. as for Bowe, I say re visit that contract after this year and pay Cooper, and the Beard with Bowes money.
    the offense needs to pick up if we are going to have a shot at any of the playoffs, let alone trying to beat manning twice this season.
    I think Dorsey has done a steller job of bringing in loads of talent but if he could get us a few receivers that know how to break away and get some separation that would be great.

  • Andy

    Lets all take a deep breath here. This is Dorsey and Ried’s first year. Not bad so far. No team has it all together every game. Seems like some forgot we were 2-14 not to long ago. The two best things about this game is we won when we were not playing particularly well and we came back in the 4th quarter…when it counted. That is a huge confidence builder. Cooper (a converted WR) is making a name for himself. That int was (ESPN top 10) veteran material.

    • Tom Sparks

      I would agree, Andy! It is good to see that, even if the Chiefs are having an off day, they can handle the adversity and come back from it.
      It’s pretty amazing how we have owned the 4th quarter, in every game! A sign of commitment to work and conditioning! And how good IS Dontari Poe? Man, for a NT, especially in 3-4, he is unstoppable at times! I believe we still had 3 sacks, with Poe, Houston, and Hali each adding to their tally! Night & day, compared to team sacks, last season! And, sacks or not, that D front is collapsing the middle and pushing that pocket back, nonstop! In exception to the 3rd quarter, (Don’t know why the big left up?) our D was playing Lights out! How great is it to see a Chiefs D stop a team “stone cold”, when they have 1st & goal from the one, all 4 times! And then the O to take the ball down the field and score. Yea, I would have liked to see a TD, but Succup was money, today! He gets my game ball! He not only made all 4 attempts, but split the uprights!
      It’s so frustrating to see us drop so many INT’s & it sure seems like the ball was bouncing the Titans way, except for the crazy muffed “off the ankle”punt, that Super Cooper fell on!
      It is hard to get down on the sloppy play, when they came back like they did…… Every team has an off day, (except the Broncos, damn it!) but to keep fighting and not totally collapse is a great sign, IMHO!

      • Andy

        It is fun getting anxious again before and during games. We Chiefs fans have been taken down this road before, only to be let down. I have to tell myself that we are under new management now. Very few teams are as balanced as we are in all THREE phases. That is good because one phase of the game can lift the other on bad weeks. It wasn’t long ago that our strength was our kicker and punter. Glad we added to that core. LOL

      • Andy

        Also love Breaking Bad. Totally hate the drug part, but a well written and acted show.

        • Tom Sparks

          Again Andy, I totally agree on both your replies! It good to know, I am in good company!
          I just wish I could be at Arrowhead! Have not been able to make the trip (stuck in Fargo for 30 years), as I once did at least once, if not twice a year. I was part of the Sea of Red, for going on 12 years in row, mostly during The Marty Ball Year! great times! And then on and off for 8 more years, I would make the trek straight down I-29, to take my twin boys!
          Unfortunately, I am physically unable to go anymore, due to an onset of maladies, which has forced me to go on Perm. Disability 6 years ago. Not complaining, just want to share and make sure somebody else in The Chiefs Kingdom out there, can take my place. Won’t be easy, but I know you’re out there! LOL! I was hoarse after every game I attended & put my heart & soul inti the 12th man in the Sea of Red! We really need to bring it, this Sunday!

    • berttheclock

      He converted to playing DB in his second year at Rutgers and played DB for the next two years under a very defensive minded coach in Schiano. This is his third year playing DB. He is rapidly turning into a shut down corner.

      However, will people stop talking about the Chiefs being 2-14 last year. That was an entirely different squad. John Dorsey has assembled well over 30 new players to the roster and Andy Reid and his assistants have had to mold them into a cohesive unit. In fact, Taub had his Special Teams set coming out of training camp, only to see several of his players cut and new ones added to start the season. He has really worked hard to bring them up to speed as a unit. This team is light years away from what was on the field last season. Another thing is Reid assembled a great conditioning team which has worked hard with the players and it is really showing in the 4th quarter of play as this new team is dominant in the 4th quarter of games.

      • oldchiefsfan

        So glad I’m not the only one getting sick of hearing about 2-14 last year. That was an entirely different Team, Management and Coaching staff. Can we please just start talking about our 5-0 team and leave last year where it belongs, in the past?

  • Blake Molina

    Sometime you’re just gonna have an off day, thankfully, we have a well-coaches enough team for them to not roll over. The grades are accurate in my opinion

    • Troy Utt

      It was good to see the team be able to pull it together when it mattered! The offense went into ball control mode, & the “D” stepped up as usual. With losses by both Seattle & NE I would think KC moves to #3 in the power rankings.

  • Suzi Conger

    When Smith was off today, it was for the most part, due to the continued below-average OLine pass/block protection and continuous pressure/’hurried’ plays. His average time to execute allowed by the OL still only averaged a meager 2.5 seconds/play. Consider when Alex can squeek out 3-5 seconds of protection, the immediate result is two 40+ yd pass completions (to Avery); our OLine must improve protection and reduce the excessive penalties, and receivers need to separate and catch…. But, 5-0 speaks for itself; they’re made of true grit, and I am very proud of our Chiefs!! Team, Coaches and Hunt family one and all

    • micah stephenson

      I don’t see what you see in Alex. He is not that good. I hope we draft a QB real soon.

      • Michael Shaw

        Your right. We should have kept Cassel. He is so good that Minnesota is bringing in Freeman. Your insanity is starting to NOT be funny……….or I have been up watching too much football today!!!!

        • Troy Utt

          That’s FUNNY! I thought the same thing when I saw the news that Freeman had signed with the Vikes. It’s pretty obvious I’m a fan of Alex
          Smith, but man he did not have one of his better better games today! I realize he does not have Mannings arm, but I subscribe to the theory that these 2nd tier QB’s who have something between the ears can get the job done. Perfect example… Gannon! I believe that Smith in this offense surrounded with the right pieces can be highly effective! Just my two cents… WAR CHIEFS!!!

          • berttheclock

            Yes, several of his passes were off including the one which Bowe had to reach back for and reel in with one hand. However, what matters the most is Alex Smith notched another come from behind win and he did it on the road. However, did anyone happen to notice the moisture falling throughout the game? Next time it rains in the areas where his critics live, I want them to grab a football and head out to the nearest playing field and try to throw perfect passes.

          • Troy Utt

            LOL! Bert… Hell I remember years back when I coached my sons teams, with that smaller ball before they moved up. Even it was hard to grip / throw when wet!

          • micah stephenson

            Both QBs had to play n the elements. Every week its a different excuse.

          • Suzi Conger

            Yes, however our OLine really gets pushed around too much (I agree with several analyzers and ‘bloggers’), often by the opposition’s front 3 or 4; Alex’s average execution time is a meager 2.5 seconds/play. At present, he is operating under way too much pressure and ‘hurried’ passes/plays….eventually the continuous excessive pressure is gonna ‘crack’ a cool egg, even Alex. (not to mention the excessive OL penalties) I understand it takes a while to ‘gel’ with a new system/team players, but I’m hoping its sooner, rather than later lol….definately gotta be in time for Broncos. We can beat ‘em if Alex has the time to execute his big deep play capabilities. Hey, I’m used to seein’ Alex play ’11/’12 and know his big QB talents with adequate OLine coverage; fun film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taDd19Bf2fM Hey bottom line 5-0 !! 250% improvement over last year :-)

          • Troy Utt

            I agree… the OL has to give him time to work, & the penalties yesterday were out of control!
            I honestly believe we can split with Denver if the team is healthy. I will qualify that by saying healthy sooner rather than later so they have time to gel. If all these pieces we have been talking about fall into place yes I believe it’s possible, even more-so after seeing Dallas hang 48 on them! The next few weeks will tell… Until then-
            WAR CHIEFS!!!

          • Suzi Conger


        • micah stephenson

          Shut the fuck up! That’s opposite of what I want. Tired of used bum ass no goid QBs. Fuck Cassel. Fuck Freeman. If you don’t like the fact I wantto draft a big time QB then go to hell.

          • Michael Shaw

            Wow man you might want to check your blood pressure. Alex is not nearly as bad you would like to think he is. He is just as capable of leading this team to a SB as any other QB in the league. In fact, this offense is even better for him than the offense he had in San Fran. As for a QBOTF, I think we may have one in Tyler Bray. He has the intangibles you continually disrespect Alex as not having. He just needs to learn the mental aspect and then get used to the speed of the game.

          • Troy Utt

            LOL!!! I’m right there with you Michael on both counts. Smith will do just fine in this offense, & more-so once we get everyone rolling… As for a QBOTF I honestly believe we may be on to something with Bray sitting in waiting!!! He certainly looks to have all the intangibles to be a big-time talent & has shown he is not afraid to go deep into tight places. IMO we need WR’s in the draft next year as a very high priority? Guess we’ll find out…

          • Troy Utt

            Saw this on my Twitter feed this morning from Chief Concerns: The fans who say we should have drafted Geno are the fans sitting down on 3rd down! LOL!!! Had to laugh when I saw that, just after counting our lucky stars for Smith…Again!

          • Suzi Conger

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taDd19Bf2fM A great fun film that demonstrates Alex’s clear capacity for deep big plays and clutch QB skills; but any QB has to have adequate OLine pass/block protection to provide the time necessary to execute such plays

            Our OLine, at present, is dominated and run over by the opposing D by their front 3/4, much less blitz’s…not to mention their excessive penalty yardage losses. Alex has been afforded only a meager average of 2.5 seconds/play to execute and is expected to operate when the pressured/’hurried’/rush plays greatly outnumber adequately protected plays. Young, inexperienced, or not, our OL needs to step up and do their job much better, much earlier than the 4th qtr…Alex is taking the brunt ( ‘bum wrap’ lol ) for poor OL performance.

            I feel bad for Alex that he had a 104.1 QB rating and #3 nfl QB , #1 qb completion%/accuracy in ’12 and is experiencing bad stats (50+-% completion, etc) because of poor protection (and dropped passes)…
            But I do feel great about 5-0 !! Yes, indeed Chiefs!

        • micah stephenson

          If you satified with alex then you have that right. We oviously hav different standerds. A lot of yall are complacent with avg to belowe avg qb play. I’m not.

          • Montez K.

            In what category is AS “below average”? Post some statistics please. Blaine Gabbert is playing below average, Matt Schaub is playing below average…. GENO SMITH is playing below average…but Alex Smith? Winningest QB in the NFL since 2011. Sip on that…

        • Suzi Conger


      • berttheclock

        Might want to check out your nearest Lens Crafters. They are running specials on glasses.

        • micah stephenson

          Go buy you some. After 8 1/2 seasons this is as good as this bum Alex is. wow.

        • Suzi Conger


  • sidibeke

    I think Ten is a pretty solid team. They have a good O line and run game and we held CJ to 54 yards. I think it was a good, tough win against a team that came to play with its starting QB out.

    Now that we’ve beaten Fitz, does this mean we finally get to beat Buf this year, too? Please.

  • freshmeat62

    Actually, I thought the offense was showing some improvement over the last couple of weeks. They were playing against the best defense they’ve played against all year. My biggest problem is the way the o-line gets pushed around.

    That goal-line stand was freaking impressive by the defense. The negative though was the number of passes Fitzpatrick had dropped. If those had been catches, yikes!

    • Suzi Conger

      totally agree with you freshmeat… though there is room for improvement in all three sectors, my biggest concern is our OLine also (realize it takes time to ‘gel’ ) as Alex at present is only allowed an average of 2.5 seconds/play to execute passes/plays, not nearly enough time to execute and connect with open receivers… that was cool when the OLine finally afforded Alex the protection to connect with Avery for two 40+ yd completions.

  • kmon


  • oldchiefsfan

    Some fans love to hate this team. If this team won the Super Bowl there would be fans complaining about how bad they suck! This team wins games. Some times it isn’t pretty but would the Chiefs Haters rather have last years team? Most of the time I really believe they would. If you are a Chiefs fan enjoy the season. If you are Chiefs hater just hold on I’m sure there will be a loss or 2 you can be happy about sometime this season.

    • Suzi Conger

      well said,,,, the beautiful bottom line is 5-0 !! 250% improvement over last year! :-) Enjoy

  • jpopejoy

    ya know…as “bad” as the offense is, we’re averaging over 25 pts a game. It definitely needs to improve, and they will as the year goes on (and as we get back our starting TEs), but it’s not like we’re averaging 17 a game…we’re #11 in offense, and #1 in D…perspective

    • jpopejoy

      put it this way…

      The amazing Drew Brees is putting up 26.8 a game. chiefs 25.6. we will improve, but we’re 2nd in the NFL in point differential, behind the broncos.

    • Suzi Conger

      Like your positive perspective comments jpopejoy. Just curious, is the 25 pts/game inclusive of special teams/ D touchdowns , or is it strictly O ? thanks…

      • jpopejoy

        it’s everything. still, we’ve only scored below 26 ONE game. the O will pick up and I think we’ll start to roll. however, when you have a dominant D and special teams, they are gonna contribute

        • Suzi Conger

          O I like the D and special team scoreboard contributions…was just curious. My area of concern is our present inadequate OLine pass/block protection; Alex is getting the ‘bum wrap’ due to multiple pressured/’hurried’/rushed/sack plays because our OLine is getting pushed around and run over by opposing D 3-4 front’s only (much less the blitz’s)… presently our OL is allowing Alex a meager average of 2.5 seconds/play to execute (not to mention OL excessive penalty yardage losses ) Check out Alex’s deep big play capability when OL work is adequate and receivers can catch without drops… fun film; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taDd19Bf2fM It is sad that Alex has gone from #1 nfl rated QB (at time of concussion…#3 QB end of ’12 season) and #1 completion%/accuracy with QB rate 104.1 down to the present meager 50+-% completion, etc.

          The bottom line is 5-0 !! 250% superior to last year … Proud of the Chiefs!!