Every week, we here at Arrowhead Addict break down the Kansas City Chiefs’ matchup of the week and predict five things the team will have to do in order to win. Welcome to Five Keys to Victory.
It is Week 8 in the NFL and the Kansas City Chiefs stand on the cusp of going undefeated for the first two quarters of the season — Todd Haley that was for you. This week, the Cleveland Browns come to town to try and knock the Chiefs train off the undefeated track. If the Chiefs want to continue their winning ways, they’ll have to accomplish these five things.
Key #1: Score Touchdowns in the Red Zone
This season, the Chiefs started off quite well in this regard. They didn’t kick field goals. Though Ryan Succop was “Mr. Irrelevant” and has been anything but during his time in K.C., he was quite irrelevant the first couple of games of the season with the exception of extra points. Since about week three, the Chiefs have gotten off this track. While they still score touchdowns in the red zone (Jamaal Charles, I’m looking at you) they’ve been stopped quite a few times. Six is better than three, if you’re trying to stay undefeated.
Key #2: Good for a Kansas City FIRST DOWN!
The Chiefs must convert on third down. This has been a problem throughout the season as they have one of the lowest third down conversion rates in the league. Last week against the Houston Texans the Chiefs did much better than they have been on third down, but they’ve got to get better. They have to sustain drives to get this offense going.
Key #3: Attack Jason Campbell
Last week against the Texans, the Chiefs defense was quite passive against the pass in the first half. This led to a couple of scores that could have been avoided. The Chiefs “D” needs to do what they do and beat the QB down early and often. A rattled quarterback will throw picks and the Chiefs need to get back to their winning ways in regards to the turnover battle…
Key #4: Win the Turnover Battle
…which leads me into my next point. For the first time all season, the Chiefs lost the turnover battle last week. Alex Smith’s interception and Jamaal Charles’ fumble against a Case Keenum INT isn’t good. While the Chiefs still got the victory, they need to continue to dominate the turnover differential like they have the other six weeks of the season.
Key #5: Passing?
I suppose we’ll keep harping on this until it happens. The passing game looked better last week as Smith was more accurate than he has been previously and had nearly 250 yards. He even had a touchdown — though it was called short — with Anthony Fasano. Get the ball to Dexter McCluster. He showed what he can do in the offense last week. Get the ball to Bowe. Get the ball to Avery. We’re still waiting.
That’s it, Addicts. Will the Chiefs march on to 8-0? Did I hit everything? Let me know in the comments below!