K.C. Chiefs: Losing Battles, Winning War

I’m gonna be a happy idiot, and struggle for the legal tender,

Where the ads take aim and lay their claim, to the heart & the soul of the spender.

And believe in whatever may lie, in those things that money can buy,

Thought true love — could have been a contender.

Are you there? Say a prayer, for the Pretender,

Who started out so young and strong, only to surrender.

~ “The Pretender,” Jackson Browne circa 1976


Pretenders no more. The 2013 Kansas City Chiefs are qualified, bonafide, and certified contenders. No more standing in the shadows. No more praying for a ticket to the playoffs.

Believe it: the Chiefs are headed to the playoffs!

Even if the Chiefs go 3-6 in their last 9 games they will be a 10 win team. In a league dominated by so many iffy or gimpy teams the Chiefs are showing each team they meet, how to win games.

But that’s looking at the glass half empty. The part that’s full is just too too much for other teams to handle right now.

Some complain about the team’s offense being inconsistent but, so far, they are helping to win games. They are doing enough to allow one of the most dominant defenses in the league in recent memory to ply their skills.

A closer look at the Chiefs 7-0 start, indicates they are in more than a culture shift. Call it a “societal transmutation” and consider this your friendly public health announcement. This shift not only encompasses the players, and organizational staff but… the fans and the media and the city and the region as well.

In previous years, only the foolhardy would predict that the they have a “feeling” that the Chiefs would win and the Broncos lose, especially since Denver is now the home of the immortal Manning. However, AA editor made that bold prediction last week on AA Radio and he was clear that by Monday the Chiefs would be in first place all by their lonesome. All hail Andrew Kulha!

Hey Andrew… question… have any inside tips on if the Chiefs will be beating the point spread against the Browns? Had any “feelings” lately???

There’s a “cardiac kids” side to these Chiefs too. What’s amazing about the experience of watching our 2013 Chiefs is that they are winning… while learning how to win.

Back in 2010, the last time the Chiefs had a winning season and went to the playoffs, there never was the “feeling” or the “confidence” that the Chiefs would bring a beat down on any of their possible opponents. Back then, Chiefs fans could only “hope” they would stay in the game and stay in the playoffs. Now, there’s not a single Super Bowl winning franchise from the past ten years who Chiefs fans could fear:

3-4 Ravens – Baltimore is atypically 28th in the league in rushing. Their rushing deficiencies have hampered their passing game causing their offense to putter and sputter and become one dimensional. One rushing TD in seven game isn’t going to scare Dontari mountain.

0-6 Giants – been there done that. They finally won a game on Monday evening against a popless Viking squad. This Manning has already proved his impotence.

4-2 Packers – while the Chiefs are ranked 3rd against the pass, the Packers are ranked 23rd. I’d like to see that matchup in the Super Bowl. Rodgers may be the 2011 MVP but the Chiefs figured out how to stop the Packers winning streak that year and they shouldn’t have a problem remembering how to beat him again with a much improved squad from helmet to cleats.

5-1 Saints – the Chiefs defense was good enough last year for them to get one of their two wins against the Saints. Rob Ryan has the Saints defense ranking high in the league but they still don’t have a match for Jamaal Charles speed. Plus, Chiefs defense would cool Brees.

2-4 Steelers – OL problems and lack of health at RB has OC Todd Haley scrambling. Pittsburgh’s 6th ranked defense is giving up 22 points per game. Chiefs give up nearly half of that at 11.6. Steelers are a long shot ot make 2nd place in their own division.

5-2 Colts – Indy is a little skittish this year losing to Miami and San Diego and beating San Fran, Seattle and Denver. They are possibly the team to fear most as they seem to rise to the occasion against the league’s best. Currently ranked #2 in ESPN’s Power Rankings.

5-2 Patriots – Maybe the return of TE Rob Gronkowski will help Brady get his mojo back but he does not look like the Brady of old. He just looks old. On defense the Pats are at a fork in the road with Vince Wilfork out they are currently #31 in the league against the run. I’ll bet JC would like a little taste of that.

0-6 Bucs – their record speaks volumes, and speaking of volume, the Chiefs crowd could beat the Bucs by themselves.

Is there a team there that you think these Chiefs should fear? If you said no, you are part of the change. Respect? Yes. But, fear? That’s doubtful.

That’s shows just how much the atmosphere of winning has permeated everything associated with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bob Sutton’s bend-but-break-your-face defense is losing very few battles. Rookie CB Marcus Cooper gives up a long TD but then gets an INT and allows very few receptions. Cooper’s presence on the roster is due to GM John Dorsey… and his presence on the field is due to Andy Reid and this superior coaches.

The offense? If you were to ask the Chiefs defensive opponents, they may tell you they think they had a good game against KC but they won’t tell you they stopped them. “Scrappy” best describes this offensive unit.

The teaching and learning are ongoing and clear to see:

+ LG Jeff Allen is not my favorite lineman and I’ve made it clear before that I believe someone else on the roster should be starting in his place but, he made progress this week. He was noticeably better against the Texans than he was against the Raiders. Andy Reid is not perfect (although this year’s record says otherwise), it’s easy to appreciate how he nurtures his offensive linemen. If Allen turns out to be a good one, there will only be one man to thank for that.

+ RT Eric Fisher has had a rough go of it for the first pick in the draft who was projected to be one of the future greats. Like Allen, Fisher is progressing and has the extremely fortunate prospect of doing so while he continues to learn. This week he faces Paul Kruger from Cleveland who moved over from the Ravens in the off season. Kruger has had 1 sack in week one against Miami and a half sack last week against the Packers. Be braced and cheered by the fact that Fisher faces the best pass rushers in all of football while in practice every day than he does in any game on the weekends.

+ Chiefs receivers were perhaps the best we’ve seen this year and making tremendous progress. The Houston Texans have the #1 rated passing defense and yet the Chiefs WRs had 157 yards after the catch,while Alex Smith was able to distribute the ball to a variety of his receivers.

+ RB, let’s not forget that one of the SuperMen in this league, Jamaal Charles, wears red and gold each week and he is a yard grinder the likes of which we’ve never seen before in K.C.. With JC batting clean-up it doesn’t really matter how many men get on base before he touches the ball, at crunch time he’s hitting doubles and triples and home runs. He’s now 2nd in the league all-time:

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles ran for over 100 yards and scored a touchdown for the seventh straight game, good for the second-longest streak to start a season.

Only O.J. Simpson has more with nine. Jim Brown is now 3rd with six. That’s some lofty company.

Learning to Compete

When you’re at the top of the power rankings, you are winning the war. However, the Chiefs are fortunate to be winning games while still losing some battles.

Sunday’s game against the Texans is the second game this season the Chiefs have won by one point. They previously beat that other Texas team, the Dallas Cowboys, 17-16 too. In close games, learning to stay focused and believe you can win those closely contested matches is invaluable. However, the average margin of victory in all of the other Chiefs games is 17.2. In those games, the Chiefs didn’t pull away until the late 3rd or early 4th quarters.

  • That’s a group of guys that are staying focused.
  • That’s a group of guys who don’t give up or give in.
  • That’s a group of guys who have been applying superior physical training late in games.
  • That’s a group of guys who no longer are just a group of guys, but a team. A real team.

After games, it’s become traditional now for the Chiefs to all yell together, “1-2-3… FAM–LY!”

In good families, they don’t turn on each other when a few battles are lost. That’s a big, big reason the Chiefs are winning the war. So many of them have already learned how to stick together through thick & thin. They’re ready for the thick.

And that, is ever so special to watch.

Go Chiefs go!!!!

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