If you’ve been hiding in a cave or sleeping for the past seven weeks you may not know this, but the Kansas City Chiefs are 7-0. They are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. The 1972 Miami Dolphins (who had a completely undefeated season, including a Superbowl win) and (the 2007 New England Patriots who are the only team to post a 16-0 record in the regular season) have bottles of champagne with the Chiefs’ name on it, waiting for them to lose. But that hasn’t happened yet.
If you had put money on the gamble that the Chiefs would be the final undefeated team in Las Vegas in August, you could have stood to brought in quite a bit of winnings.
At the beginning of the year, post draft, the ESPN Power Rankings were released. The Chiefs were not even near the top 10. In fact, they weren’t in the top 20. This isn’t surprising, considering they posted the league’s worst record last year. They were in the middle of the bottom third of the rankings at 22. Some would say this was generous, considering their miserable season in 2012.
But, with every win, came a jump in the rankings. After the preseason concluded, the Chiefs got a bump to 19. The crew at ESPN surmised that the draft pick of OL Eric Fisher as well as the acquisition of Alex Smith would lead to improved offensive play by Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles.
After a week one victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chiefs slipped a spot to 20. This may seem a little odd, but let’s face it, the Chiefs did beat a horrible team and made it look easy.
Week two, the Chiefs faced off against the Dallas Cowboys. After a hard-fought, “gritty” game, the Chiefs were 2-0 and got the bump in the rankings to show for it, moving them up seven spots to 13. Already, the writers were praising the Chiefs defense.
In week three, the Chiefs had a quick turnaround and faced Andy Reid’s former team, the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football. After winning a game many thought they should lose, the Chiefs cracked the top 10, moving up to number eight. Not too bad for a team that was dead last in 2012.
After handling the New York Giants with ease at Arrowhead, the Chiefs became one of five undefeated teams at the end of the first quarter of the season. This put them in the top five, ranked as the “worst” undefeated team behind the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots.
Week five saw the Chiefs survive two of the five unbeaten teams lose. They became a member of the “final three” beating the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. The Broncos and the Saints remained ahead of them in the rankings, and the Chiefs moved up to the number three spot.
In week six, the Chiefs returned home to Arrowhead stadium for their first divisional game of the season against the Oakland Raiders. The fans at Arrowhead set a world record and the Chiefs moved to 6-0 for the first time since 2003. The Saints lost the same week, thus moving the Chiefs into the number two position behind the still undefeated Broncos.
Finally, this past Sunday, the Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans at home while the Broncos lost on the road to the Indianapolis Colts in what was to be Peyton Manning’s homecoming to Lucas Oil Stadium. This leapfrogged the Chiefs into the number one position in the power rankings, sitting atop the heap looking down at the rest of the league. Quite the change in view from the bottom.
At this time last year, the Chiefs had only won one game and were struggling to find their way with incompetent coaching, a point surrendering defense, a feeble quarterback controversy and injuries. This is the definition of parity in the NFL. Just one short year later, head coach Andy Reid is a strong candidate for “Coach of the Year,” the defense is arguably the best in the league, a firmly seated quarterback (who hasn’t lost a game since last October) and the entire team is healthy.
The rankings can be fickle, but it’s nice to enjoy the Chiefs being on the top of the pile for a change.
To view this week’s rankings and all past rankings, here is the link.
What do you think, Addicts? Do the Chiefs deserve their spot at the top of the ESPN Power Rankings? Sound off below.