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.
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.
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
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.