The last time I wrote my monthly column, the Chiefs sat at 3-0, waiting to welcome the New York Giants to Arrowhead. A month later, the Chiefs remain the only undefeated team left in the NFL (thanks Indy!) and are at first place in the AFC West. It’s been an incredible month that saw the end of the Raiders’ dominance in Arrowhead and a noise record return to its rightful owners. Home field advantage has returned and the aura of Arrowhead is back. With the defense off to an incredible start, we patiently wait to see the offense erupt. But man oh man does 7-0 feel good, let’s enjoy it Chiefs fans. After last year, we deserve it. It’s time for my Three and Out, my key aspects from the past month.
Three & Out
First Down: Jamaal Charles
We all have come to appreciate what Jamaal Charles brings to the Chiefs offense, but this season Charles is making a case for MVP. Sure, Peyton Manning will probably get yet another one, but Charles has been the majority of the offense, both rushing and receiving. I think we all thought Coach Reid would utilize him more in the receiving game, and he has. Currently Charles is second on the team with 337 receiving yards, averaging 48 yards per game. He currently sits at 561 yards rushing, 3rd place in the NFL, averaging 80.1 yards rushing per contest. Through 7 games, Charles has 898 yards from scrimmage for an average of 128.3 yards per game, second behind LeSean McCoy (136 ypg). As Charles goes, so does the offense. Reid and Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson have utilized the ultra-talented back as the feature of their offense. They have also done something that previous coaches had not, used Charles as a threat around the goal line. Charles is already 1 touchdown away from tying his career high of 7, and the season isn’t half over yet. Charles won’t win the Offensive MVP award, but he should get consideration. I know he would definitely get my vote.
Second Down: Marcus Cooper
The legend that is Marcus Cooper. What a month can do for someone. Before the Giants game, he was little known, but now, he is a Kansas City folk hero. One of the great waiver acquisitions General Manager John Dorsey made at the end of the preseason, the former 7th round corner from Rutgers went from cut by the 49ers to starting in place of Brandon Flowers against the Giants. Holding his own against the great receiving core of the Giants, the legend began. Then came the Tennessee Titans, as Cooper scored the first points of the game, recovering a touched punt for a TD, then intercepting Ryan Fitzpatrick late in the 4th to help close the game. Cooper helped beat the Raiders, once again grabbing a key interception late thus helping shut the door on the Raiders. The versatility Cooper brings allows Bob Sutton to use his cornerbacks in different ways. He can matchup with bigger receivers, allowing the smaller Flowers to cover the slot receiver if needed, a matchup that worked very well at times in Tennessee. And hopefully the legend of Marcus Cooper can continue…
Third Down: Bob Sutton
Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton has finally put together the Chiefs defense many thought it could be. The man has looked like a genius through the first 7 games as the Chiefs sit first in the NFL in points allowed (11.6). The team also sits first with 35 sacks, 10 ahead of second place (Baltimore) and tied for 3rd with 10 interceptions. The Chiefs have three players in the top 15 in sacks, Justin Houstin (2nd with 10) Tambi Hali (4th with 9) and Dontari Poe (15th with 4.5). Do everything linebacker Derrick Johnson leads the team with 49 tackles and has added 3.5 sacks as well. Safety Quintin Demps leads the team with 3 interceptions. Sutton’s unit has thrived on a team effort, where everyone gets in on the action. While one week Justin Houston may dominate the sack category, the following week Sutton will roll focus to another side to allow Tamba Hali to take advantage. His pressure has allowed Demps and the secondary to find the ball and pick up key interceptions. The defense has carried the team, turning itself into one of the more respected units in the NFL. With a dominate defense and Arrowhead back to where it once was, it seems all is well in Chiefs nation, here’s to the Chiefs continuing the winning ways Addicts!