Sep 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Giants strong safety Antrel Rolle (26) misses a tackle as Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) scores a touchdown during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

One Game At A Time

AA - Crowd Noise final

If you believe what you hear on national sports shows, the Kansas City Chiefs play the Denver Broncos tomorrow.

Much of the hype — even after the Broncos lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday — has been this matchup of two of the top teams in the NFL in Week 11. The problem is, this is Week 8, and Week 8 means the Cleveland Browns at home at Arrowhead.

I’m reminded of a radio interview I heard last month on a Monday, just as players were recovering from Sunday’s game and starting to prepare for their next opponent. On this particular Monday, radio host Jim Rome interviewed Stevie Johnson, the talented wide receiver from the Buffalo Bills. Johnson told Rome how much he was looking forward to playing against the New York Jets and cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. The only problem is that Revis — the best and most famous cornerback on the planet — had been traded to the Buccaneers five months previously in perhaps the biggest transaction of the offseason. Fans scoffed at Johnson, because we follow every little transaction like our lives depend on it. What I loved about Johnson’s response though was that he truly plays one game at a time and wasn’t looking beyond the very next game. He went on to catch six passes for 86 yards, including a critical two-point conversion.

That’s what Kansas City needs to do this Sunday. The Browns, on paper — hell, on the field — are a team in relative disarray. The offense has scored a total of 13 points over the past six quarters. Their defense ranks 26th in the NFL in third down conversions allowed. Last week against the Green Pay Packers, quarterback Brandon Weeden was just horrible, completing 17 of 42 for a measly 149 yards. The Browns are -1 in turnover differential; the Chiefs are +11. It’s so bad that former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia, who hasn’t played since the Pleistocene Era, just offered his services to the Browns.

But this is the NFL. Jason Campbell gets the start at QB, and he won his last two games against the Chiefs as a member of the Oakland Raiders. Starting running back Willis McGahee has gashed the Chiefs numerous times in his previous life on the Denver Broncos. Browns center Alex Mack is perhaps the best in the league, and may neutralize, at least somewhat, the dominance that Dontari Poe has exhibited this year. The Browns still have Joe Thomas, one of the premier left tackles in the game, as well as a legitimate lockdown corner in Joe Haden and a great rookie pass rusher in Barkevious Mingo. And of course, wide receiver Josh Gordon may be the Browns’ best playmaker, playing against a Chiefs defense that has had its share of giving up big plays.

The Browns will believe that they have to take risks on offense, since they will not see many opportunities. That means going for it on fourth down, pursuing touchdowns rather than field goals in the red zone, going for home run pass plays and using misdirection and play-action on offense to slow down the Chiefs’ relentless pass rush.

And they will make mistakes with this high-risk approach. The Chiefs must capitalize. In addition to turnovers and field position, the Chiefs may take advantage of one matchup in particular involving Dwayne Bowe. If Bowe plays outside, Joe Haden will likely line up against him. But if Bowe continues to line up in the slot, as he did on occasion last week against the Houston Texans, then either Buster Skrine or Chris Owens may slide over on Bowe. This would be a match made in heaven for the Chiefs. On the other hand, if Haden stays on Bowe in the slot, head coach and play-caller Andy Reid has a number of one-on-one pass route options on the outside to take advantage of the much weaker Skrine, including to the speedy Donnie Avery, Jamaal Charles out of the backfield or even Junior Hemingway.

The Kansas City Chiefs need to keep their head down, their humility high, and play each game as if it were the first game of the season. If we beat the Browns, it’ll be because Andy Reid, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, special teams coach Dave Toub and offensive coordinator Doug Pederson will tell their players that it doesn’t matter what they’ve done, where they are ranked or the media attention they are getting. It only matters what they do on the field on Sunday.

Addicts, do you think the Chiefs will continue its winning ways this Sunday? How will they do it?!!

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  • berttheclock

    Yes, one game at a time.

    The Chiefs are 7-0 and the news waves are filled with commentary from writers and pundits across the land, well, the East Coast, with negative comments about the Chiefs. “Oh, they haven’t really played anyone”. “Oh, Alex Smith is only an average game manager”. “Oh, their Red Zone production has fallen” This goes on and on. Yesterday, there was a column about an article from a writer for the NYT. Trey Wingo and Schlereth on ESPN have derided them. More negatives from a political analyst, Ethon Comments from fans of opponents have said the same thing week after week, until the Chiefs defeated their respective teams, and, the negatives switched to how badly their coaches and players had been.

    Funny thing is last year, the Chiefs were 1-6 for their first seven games and no one in the land knew who we were. Now, with the magnificent turnaround, we are suddenly that very well known beautiful Mercedes, but, ever so many are so “concerned” about some perceived engine knocking, tread wear showing misalignment, and “Oh, aren’t those cracks building up on your windshield?”, “Heard your gas mileage has really fallen off”. They flock across the parking lot to share their angst with us. “Oh, you poor dears, shouldn’t you be taking it back to the dealer, ASAP?”

    Just keep practicing and just keep getting better and just keep winning. “Munch” those Brownies, in fact, just smash mouth them. Make Campbell wish he had never left the Redskins.

    • RepOurChiefs

      I have been saying the same thing for weeks!! “Ethon Comments from fans of opponents have said the same thing week after week, until the Chiefs defeated their respective teams, and, the negatives switched to how badly their coaches and players had been.” And these same ppl would be elated and defending their teams if the situation were the other way around and not just defending but blindly,cause they would ignore the flaws of said team from which most here at AA havent done. (WE STILL GOT WORK TO DO!!) is the motto. The Chiefs bout it er’day!

      • Miles Yi

        I totally agree. Keep your head down, keep grinding. That’s the Chiefs way. At the end of each game, commentators can rip apart the statistics, criticize Alex Smith or make up other reasons to justify their preseason snubs of us. As Bowe said this week, we care about the letters, not the numbers – the W!

        • RepOurChiefs

          The W indeed.

          • berttheclock

            Yeah, I understand that, for some archaic reason, that is the one etched in stone at NFL HQ in NYC. Apparently, they never place any asterisk next to it indicating “strength of opponent or lack thereof”. The NFL is not the BCS, because, if it were, many “pundits”s in the land would have the Chiefs heading for the Sun Bowl.

  • RepOurChiefs

    Taking it one game at a time seems exactly like what they are doing so I think they will not overlook the browns,come prepared and TCB. ‘We still got work to do” should be the motto and I really see that mindset. GoChiefs!!

  • ArrowFan

    Bowe and Smith are going to break out this week.

    • Miles Yi

      You know, I was thinking that too. Not only is it time, but with the divisional games coming up where we need to be able to run the football, a little scouting film on our downfield passing game won’t hurt at all as the Broncs, Chargers and Raiders develop their defensive game plans.

      • berttheclock

        One positive is Alex Smith and, even, the coaching staff appear to learn from both mistakes and near misses. Alex Smith has thrown passes to Avery, Charles and Fasano which have just missed. Those can be corrected with better timing as they really learn one another. I say one another because on one of those near misses to Avery, Avery appeared to slow and then, had to speed up. I would expect to see the former Illinois wide out, Jenkins, start to catch passes as well. With Fasano, I thought it had more to do with a touch of rust.

    • Andy

      Bowe is due, but Hayden is a shut down corner. If the Browns play my WR in FF, I think about playing someone else.

  • berttheclock

    The biggest reason for one game at a time goes back in time to that huge game at Arrowhead between the Steelers and the Chiefs in the playoffs.

    Hmmm, hard for anyone to remember, eh? That is because the Chiefs lost to the wildcard Colts the week before and that wildly anticipated Steelers-Chiefs game never happened.

  • Priest4Prez

    I say let us, the fans, handle the power rankings and lack of respect. We’ll do all the talking as long as the players keep doing the playing. They can look at one game at a time and I’ll talk about playoff hopes and championship aspirations. That’s what we’re here for. Go Chiefs and to every analyst can suck it. 7-0!!!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    That’s been the motto of this football team since Day 1. Can’t overlook anyone. The Browns should get a lift from having Campbell start. They have weapons. Defensively, they’re a Top 10 unit in terms of the yards they surrender. Only thing that matters is Sunday’s game.

  • Andy

    Could not agree more. Reading articles with the Chiefs and Super Bowl mentioned in the same sentence kills me. We still are one year removed from 2-14 and have not won a playoff game in God knows how long. Keep it real, one game at a time.