Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs Are More Than A Feel-Good Story, They're A Contender


Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs are 6-0 and are the talk of the NFL, but are the Chiefs really one of the leagues best teams, or just a feel-good story?

After all, this is a team just one year removed from a 2-14 season. Turnarounds happen in the NFL, but this big of a turnaround is unprecedented.

Normally it takes a few years for a bottom feeder to work its way up to mediocrity, then to the Wildcard and then into contention. And it often times takes a draft pick or two, a few shrewd free agency moves and a few surprise stars along the way to really be the catalyst for that change. Not to mention a philosophy change, a new head coach, new schemes, new front office, so on and so fourth…

The path from the bottom to the top of the NFL is a path that can be traveled, but it’s a weary one that often times takes patience.

Kansas City sure looked like a program that was entering rebuild mode—with everything from the quarterback to the head coach being new—but somehow the Chiefs skipped the part where patience was required.

The Chiefs changed everything, but instead of taking time to get acclimated to the differences, they went out and win six of their first six games, often times looking dominant in the process.

They took care of business against the Jaguars, held on against a talented Dallas team, made a statement against Andy Reid’s former team on the road, terrorized a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, won on the road against the Titans and beat a big rival at home while setting a stadium noise record.

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It’s been a magical two months in Chiefs Kingdom, and looking ahead to the Texans, Browns, Bills and the bye week, there’s a chance Kansas City can enter Week 11 at Denver with a 9-0 record.

Of course there are the naysayers, and those who don’t believe in the legitimacy of this team, but I’m here to tell you this right now: The Chiefs are for real.

Kansas City is not just some cute story to feature on a TV package, or an easy feel-good piece in the morning paper. This is a team that can and will play with the best teams in the NFL on a week-to-week basis.

So what if they’re not on the schedule, the Chiefs can hang with the Patriots, Packers, Bengals, Saints, Seahawks and 49ers.

Remember, in the NFL, defense wins championships, and right now Kansas City boasts a defense that can roll with any offense in the league. The Chiefs boast a front line that can get after the quarterback or stuff the run. They also have athletic and fast linebackers that are terrors on the blitz, but can chase down the more athletic quarterbacks out there, such as Russell Wilson or C0lin Kaepernick. That’s not to mention the secondary—a unit playing opportunistic football who can and does change momentum for this team.

So what if the offense isn’t prolific and doesn’t feature a Hall of Fame quarterback under center? Alex Smith may not be Peyton Manning, but he’s his own kind of field general out there on the field, and Kansas City has put pieces around him that can be downright explosive when they get the ball. Dwayne Bowe, Dexter McCluster, Donnie Avery and of course, Jamaal Charles, who is arguably the best all-purpose back in the NFL.

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The Chiefs’ offense may not put up 30-something points a game, but it’ll protect the ball, eat up clock, and at the end of the day, efficiently drive the field and put points up on the board. It may not be record-setting, but it will be good enough and serve its purpose.

Throw in an explosive and well-coached special teams unit that can and will win games, and you’ve got the making of a team that can not only make the playoffs, but can win in the playoffs as well.

This 6-0 record isn’t a product of an easy schedule or momentum gained from the drastic face lift. It’s the product of hard work, excellent coaching, teamwork and talent.

It’s the byproduct of selflessness, according to coach Reid, via KCChiefs.com:

“Well it’s a selfless football team. It’s whoever’s on the field. They don’t care the situation of the position, there on the field. They’re going to try to take advantage of it, whether it’s special teams, whether it’s offense or defense, they all support each other. If there’s a turnover from the offense, the defense doesn’t really care, they just get out and they play. They erase the slate and all that stuff and they just go play. Likewise, when the defense gets a takeaway it kind of charges the offense up, and they do their best to score.

This is a team that has come together under one banner and one city. And this is a team that plays not only for each other or their

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coaches, but for the fans that fill that stadium every home game and cheer to deafening levels—all in support of the cause.

The Chiefs aren’t perfect—you can certainly find some things they need to work on—but they are without a doubt one of the best teams in the NFL this year.

The proof will be in the pudding, of course, so Kansas City will have to go out there and prove it against the Denvers of the world. But I for one, have faith that this is a team that can prove its doubters wrong, and prove its supporters right.

The Chiefs aren’t just a feel good story. They’re a wave of sound that’s quickly, and violently, growing and picking up steam.

 

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Alex Smith Andy Reid Dexter McCluster Donnie Avery Dwayne Bowe Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Peyton Manning

  • Trent Taylor

    Good read, Andrew. Contenders. Damn it feels so good!

    • Andrew Kulha

      Thanks Trent. I do believe it’s possible.

  • Horace Lee Madre Jr

    I agree. To the haters, we’re playing the SAME teams the ponys are playing.
    #GO CHIEFS!

  • Mark Bustamante

    Even when we were winning games with Dick Vermeil and Marty Schottenheimer the KC CHIEFS got no respect! The more we win the less respect we get! How is that possible.

    • micah stephenson

      Ain’t nobody gone respect this team with the offense we have. Good defense. Bad offense.

      • toperspective

        Or they beat a good team with this terrible offense.

  • Larry Devore

    Yo Adrienne we’re contenders!!!!!!!!!!!!Go Chiefs! Didn’t the Dolphins have a huge turnaround one year, so it can happen.

  • tomflex

    It’s not surprising that it’s taking the media this long to finally give the Chiefs some love. Hell it’s taken this long for many of us to risk lowering our disappointment shields and believing again. Winning is so sweet and it’s the one thing that gets harder and harder for anyone to ignore…….we’re back

  • KcNdaRock

    O well let the haters hate!! When we kick there ass they’ll respect us that much more!!

  • Gary Durr

    The reason last year they only won 2 games is because they had no confidence in themselves. With all the changes in coaching last year and the tragedy that occurred, caused the players not to believe in themselves. I saw a glimpse of this team’s capability when they were able to beat Green Bay Packers last year. This Chief team is one of the best teams in the NFL and they can contend with any team that they will face and beat them.

    • toperspective

      The reason they only won 2 games is because they are a terrible QB and a terrible HC.

  • Ryan Longstreth

    I grew up a chiefs fan from the late 80′s we chiefs fans havnt had much to route for in the last decade, tho I never missed a game each season felt much like the last failure. I always watched teams like pats, ravens, colts, giants and wondered what it would be like to sit on the edge of ur seat each week and watch ur team be “elite”! I am 33 years old and for the first time since I was a young teenager,I find myself saying we can take this all the way, damn it’s a weird feeling, but one I enjoy every day, keep the pedal down boys! Go CHIEFS!

  • Jim Harper

    Nice post Andrew and right on target. This team reminds me so much of the 2000 Ravens Super Bowl winners. They had a killer defense and Trent Dilfer under center who was a great game manager very much like Alex Smith. They had a terrific running game lead by rookie Jamal Lewis who had 1364 yards and they got more help from a veteran running back who added another 588 yards by a guy named Priest Holmes. They also had picked up a free agent TE named Shannon Sharpe. They are practically twins.

    • jacati

      Spot on Jim. That is exactly what I was thinking.

  • Pealvin

    Wait until Commings joins the secondary next season. Maybe getting too far ahead of myself, but whew, can we say lockdown!!

  • Calchiefsfan

    The thing is last year’s record of 2-14 is more the aberration than this year’s 6-0. They won the AFC West in 2010 and missed winning it by one blocked field goal in 2011, in spite of all the injuries. They should have been contenders last year except for the dismal coaching and bad juju over the entire organization brought on by Pioli. They’ve had the talent all along!

    Right now the D and special teams are carrying the Chiefs with the offense doing just enough. If this offense can get it together by the end of the year we could be favorites to win the dang Super Bowl.

    Good article Andrew.

  • Bosco Cletus

    I feel like we’re in a see who blinks first situation with Denver. The facts are they haven’t faced a defense even close to the Chiefs (fewest points allowed) and we haven’t faced an offense even close to theirs (most points scored). I’m hoping that having the bye a week before the trip to Mile High lets everyone get rid of the bumps and bruises and feel fresh. I’m a fan, I can look ahead because these next few games should be laughers for KC, and really who doesn’t wanna see KS vs. Denver?

    • jacati

      Bosco, I’ve been a Chiefs fan since before birth and have been known to harbor homerish tendencies from time to time. Moving forward, I don’t believe we can overlook any of the games coming up. The Broncos came close to being beaten by the jags this last weekend which just goes to show that on any given Sunday anything is possible. That being said, Bring on the Donks. I feel more than confident that our defense will create issues that even the slope of Mannings forehead won’t be able to overcome. Kirk out.

      • mattU

        Broncos won 35-19 and held a 2-possession lead for the better part of the 2nd half…Just because you don’t cover a 28 point spread doesn’t mean it was a close game. If “close” means less than a one possession difference at some point in the second half, then the Chiefs have had 5 nail-biters. Fortunately, points scored in the 4th quarter do count so the Chiefs have had only 1 one-possession point margin victory, against the same opponent Denver had their only one-possession point margin victory.

        However, I do agree the Chiefs can’t look past the next 3 opponents. Houston may be in free-fall, but they are still a talented team. Cleveland has a pretty good defense, and Buffalo has always been a problem up in Buffalo.

        • jacati

          Yep, The broncos won but you’re wrong about it not being close. It was a two point game until late in the third quarter when Moreno ran in for another score. What I’m referring to is the worst team in the NFL keeping it close until the end. 5 hurries, 5 knockdowns, 2 lost fumbles and a pick six by Manning. Can’t wait to see what kind of chaos our defense will cause. Just sayin

          • mattU

            Sorry, but I’m not wrong. There are 4 quarters in a football game…5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter is not even close to the end of the game. The Broncos had a 2-possession advantage from 4:48 in the 3rd quarter and on. That’s no different than saying the Chiefs-Giants game was close…We won 31-7, but it was 10-7 with 2:00 left in the 3rd.

            I do agree Manning is going to have a long day against our D though!

      • micah stephenson

        Hell knaw. I don’t want know parts of the broncos yet. Without our offense being able to do much. I’m not ready to play the broncos yet. Our D is good but P.Manning is Like M.Jordan or L.James meaning the best D can’t stop him but only hope to slow him down a lil. With all the 3 and outs by our offense Payton will break down the D. We can’t just keep giving Manning the ball right back over and over again becuase the offense keeps going 3 & out. If the D can hold denver to 10-13 pts we might have a chance. If denver scores more than 20 & the D don’t score a td to help the offense we are in trouble.

  • berttheclock

    Something to consider. Both the Chiefs and Jags went 2-14 last season. Both teams had regime changes following the season. Both brought in a new GM and HC. Both went after FAs. Both teams, at the end of training camp plucked 7 players apiece from the Waiver Wire. So, one might believe both teams were in the same starting over position, eh?

    The Chiefs are 6 and 0, while, the Jags are 0 and 6.

    Hail to the Chiefs. Hail to Clark Hunt who made the far better decisions. Hail to Dorsey and Reid and Hail to the over 30 new players added to the Chiefs.

    • chiefridgy

      The difference is the jags have a rookie coach and rookie GM.

      • berttheclock

        Well, Dorsey is a rookie GM. Yes, their HC is a rookie, but, he did fine work in Seattle under Carroll. My point is the new regime in KC is blessed with being far better at evaluating needs and players to fit those needs. They are, also, far better in finding the right assistants to coach NFL players to improve. Plus, I believe Dorsey will continue to find talent. He reminds me of John Schneider, another Ted Thompson-Ron Wolf protege. Schneider, following his taking over the Seahawks kept a revolving door going in moving players through their system. Plus, Pete Carroll worked hard with him and never let past affiliations with any player sway him should he see they didn’t fit what they were trying to accomplish. There were times it was hard to keep up with their player transactions. Signed and cut, signed and cut. It was though they were two mad scientists working in a lab together. Bilichecks’ famous “Rent, don’t buy” became their motto. Remember one thing about them. When, they took over Seattle had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. It became so bad the former coach had tried to fit in that offensive tackle who had played for the Chiefs. A Kansas State product, whose name escapes me. Most of the new offensive linemen came from the draft and two of those ended up on IR their first year. But, they kept them and molded them.

  • micah stephenson

    NO way! We are not a contender at all! Yea we gone win a whole lot of games but no way we win 2 or 3 playoff games with this offense. The defense is the best ever. On pace to b record breaking. But this offense is garbage. We got the best rb, a top ten wr in Bowe, other fast wrs in Avery, Mcluster, Jenkins, our TEs are hurt, but Fasano has never been that good to me and Kelce is a Rookie, Duck Dynasty can catch tho, so, is it the QB or the oline or Andy Ried who I just found out is calling the plays? Its this bum ass QB! Mayby we shud go get Tony G if Alex can’t pass more than 4 yrds on a normal basis. We need two TEs so Alex can just try to check down to death and let them run for yac. Smith ain’t never been good at get n the ball out to the hash marks or downfield. Also The oline. They got give somebody like Alex all day and night. They got to really step they game up with the QB we got.

    • tm1946

      While I can see your pain, I am pretty content this week with being 6-0. Just for info. purposes…..Kelce is on IR. Jenkins does not even play on special teams and Hall his backup actually caught a pass and set foot on the field during a game. Tony
      G has said repeatedly he was only playing this year to help ATL, has no interest in playing in KC.
      Lastly we tend to give QB more credit for wins and more blame for loses….being 6-0 not to sure what your problem is (you said we are not contenders anyway)….did Smith run over your dog or something?

    • jacati

      That’s what the talking heads said about the 2000 Ravens with Dilfer at the helm. I’ll take my chances with a WINNING qb. Oops, My bad. That guy is playing for the Jets.

    • mattU

      The O-Line and the receivers not being able to get separation are more the problem than Alex Smith is. The O-Line is very young and has missed assignments or gotten straight beat 1-on-1 on a regular basis, so Smith has not be able to build much trust in his line. The O-Line issues have also caused Reid to bring more guys in to block in passing situations, leaving less options for Smith. Add to that the fact our receivers aren’t getting separation, and it’s not a good recipe for a QB that doesn’t take chances throwing into coverage. Smith will have to take more chances and trust Bowe to come down with some contested balls if this team is going to beat Denver though.

      • micah stephenson

        I just don’t think even with a better oline Alex will b that much better than he is now.