Nov 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) on his sidelines late in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Reid's Chiefs Will Be Battle-Tested Come Playoff Time


The 2013 Kansas City Chiefs may not make it to the Super Bowl this season but they will make the playoffs and will be the most battle-tested Chiefs team to enter the postseason since the 90s.

Andy Reid’s Chiefs have yet to win a big game. The closest thing the 2013 squad has had to a big win was when it went into Philadelphia early in the season and beat the Eagles in a charged and hostile environment in front of a national audience. It was a nice win but let’s not kid ourselves; the Eagles team the Chiefs beat in September was not the same Eagles team that has rolled to four straight victories on the arm of QB Nick Foles. If the Chiefs had to go to Philly this Sunday, the result may very well be different.

Reid’s Chiefs are still in search of their signature victory.

But let’s not get it twisted, as former Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards was fond of saying. These Chiefs are a good football team with a good coach. They’ve earned every one of their nine victories and short of a collapse of epic proportions, they’ll make the playoffs. Considering the next best Wild Card team has six losses, the Chiefs merely need to eek out one more victory to all but guarantee their place in the postseason. That win is likely coming this weekend.

Good as the Chiefs are, however, they’ve failed three big tests in a row. They’ve shown that while they are certainly talented enough to win against the likes of Case Keenum and Jeff Tuel, that beating QBs the caliber of Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers is a bit more challenging.

While I am sure it doesn’t make Chiefs fans feel confident about the team’s playoff chances, the last three losses were probably a good thing for the team’s championship aspirations.

The mere fact that the Chiefs have lost the last three weeks does not mean that the team has not gotten better. The challenge of facing Manning and Rivers has forced the Chiefs’ offense to come out of its shell. Denver and San Diego don’t exactly have the toughest defenses in the NFL but up until a few weeks ago, the KC offense was pathetic no matter  which team it was playing. Now, it seems as though the Alex Smith-led KC offense has the firepower to compete in a shootout against the likes of Manning, Rivers and Brady.

Unfortunately, the Chiefs’ defense has gone the other way. Manning and Rivers have exposed the fact that the 2013 Chiefs defense is not, in fact, the second coming of the ’85 Bears.

That’s ok.

Football is a game of adjustments and the Chiefs are learning what their defense can and can’t do. They can play an aggressive style of press man coverage against lesser opponents and get away with it.

But they can’t play that way against Peyton Manning.

The KC coaching staff is now armed with more knowledge about their players and their schemes. They’ve had two cracks against Peyton Manning and failed but the good news is, if they learned from those games, they very well make get a third crack at the future Hall of Famer.

The fact that the Chiefs have now been tested against superior opponents doesn’t mean they they will magically be able to beat those opponents. But it does mean that the will be better prepared the next time they get a chance.

The Chiefs have two games remaining against playoff caliber opponents. KC will face Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers before the season’s end. While San Diego may not qualify for the postseason, their absence from the tournament will likely not be blamed on Rivers. KC will play San Diego on the road in the season finale. Since it appears the Chiefs will be a Wild Card team, a road game against a good QB will be just the kind of study session the team needs before heading to the postseason.

If the 2013 Chiefs fail to win a playoff game, it won’t be because they weren’t tested.

It will be because they just weren’t good enough.

 

 

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • micah stephenson

    I like it.

    • Danny W

      Hey Mikey he likes it!

      • Phillip Maxwell

        You have to be a certain age to get that, I thought it was pretty funny.

  • Calchiefsfan

    I think you’re spot on Paddy. I wonder about that San Diego game. If both Hali and Houston don’t go down what the outcome would have been. Replacing one in the middle of the game is tough enough but two? Our D was containing Rivers up to that point.

    Manning and the Broncos just flat beat us, though we did make a game of it the second time around. Maybe it’s time to put Flowers back at the #1 corner spot. Coop obviously needs more experience but I do think he is going to be a top corner in the coming years. The safety spot was what stood out to me the most. Let’s hope Sutton makes some adjustments that work.

    I think we stand a very good chance of beating the Colts or the Bengals. It will be interesting to see how we do against the Colts in three weeks. That could be a good litmus test for any adjustments made on defense.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Both Coop and Flowers are getting burned a lot but I’d rather have Flowers out there. The problem is, when playing a team like the Broncos, they’re almost always in 3 WR sets so Coop would need to be on someone and with Thomas, Decker and Welker being the options, you pretty much can’t win.

      Coop just needs to grow up as fast as he can.

      • Calchiefsfan

        Hopefully Denver helped this whole team grow up a little. Coop will get there. I think Denver is the exception to my point. All other teams don’t have the 3 solid receivers and a good tight end. I’m afraid we’re out gunned when it comes to Denver unless Sutton can figure out how to get safety help on the deep stuff. It sure hasn’t been happening the last three weeks.
        Flowers playing Welker is fine against Denver, the rest of the time I want to see him back at his original spot. He was near pro bowl level at his original CB position.

  • tomflex

    One thing I hope we have learned from our losses is the fact that we can’t just sit on a lead and let the defense get the win for us. It seemed we were still tending that way when we got up on Denver this last game. Against good teams you have to go all out on every series of downs and when you get them down you have to stomp all over them…..especially when it comes to the playoffs.

    • mnelson52

      I agree. We moved the ball well at the start then seemed like we sat on it till we were down by 2 TDs. When we got down, then we magically could move right down the field again, but run out of time. I also, at the end, thought we would use our last three downs to get the 4 yards we needed for a 1st down instead of taking not so good shots at the end zone.

  • KCMikeG

    Great take Paddy! We were one play away from winning the last two games against the two most accurate QB’s in the league with Houston and Hali missing serious amounts of time. This team will learn from the adversity it has experienced which will make them stronger and more prepared for the playoffs.

  • Battlespeed

    I bet you feel stupid now looking back at this dump.