Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Memo To The NFL: Fear The Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs had lost three games in a row.

The Kansas City Chiefs once mighty defense was giving up yards and points left and right and could no longer get to the quarterback.

Simply put, the Kansas City Chiefs had slipped from the ranks of the NFL’s elite.

No longer was this a team to be feared.

So when the Chiefs took the field on Sunday against the Washington Redskins there was a lot on the line. Yes, they were trying to break their three game losing streak. Yes, they had a chance at clinching a playoff spot, but more importantly, they needed to get their swagger back. For the first nine weeks of the season the Kansas City Chiefs were on the warpath. They terrorized teams. They were feared. They had to find a way to get that back.

Mission accomplished.

The Chiefs obliterated the Redskins Sunday by a final score of 45-10. That score alone sounds one sided, but the fact is that the Chiefs called off the dogs in the second half, scoring only 7 points, so it could have been even worse. As others here at AA have already pointed out, they dominated in all three phases of the game. The offense found the end zone multiple times. The defense harassed RGIII and the Redskins offense, forcing turnovers and repeatedly hitting (and sacking) RGIII. Finally, the special teams had what was probably the most dominant performance I have seen from the Chiefs since Dante Hall’s glory days.

Are the Redskins a good team? No, but good teams lose to bad teams in the NFL all the time. The New England Patriots needed a recovered onside kick to slip past the 4-9 Browns in Foxboro. Domination like we saw on Sunday is rare and it should send a message to the rest of the NFL. The Chiefs are not “exposed frauds” as many in the national media have portrayed them. They may not be perfect, but they are dangerous.

In fact, there is a chance that come playoff time, this team could be hitting it’s stride. It sounds funny to say that a team that was 9-0 and is now just one for its last four could finally be hitting their stride, but the 9-0 Chiefs were not a complete team. They were a team that was great on defense and special teams, but mediocre on offense. Now the offense seems to be coming around.

“But Lyle, the offense has only looked good against bad defenses!”

I won’t argue that the pass defenses of Denver, San Diego, and Washington aren’t bad, they are. However, the Chiefs aren’t looking at a first round playoff matchup against the Seahawks, 49ers, or Panthers, so it’s not like they need to be prepared to face elite pass defenses right away. With the Bengals defeating the Indianapolis Colts, it makes it very likely that the Chiefs will be going to Indy in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

The Colts are ranked 18th in passing yards allowed.
The Colts are ranked 19th in completion percentage allowed.
The Colts are ranked 26th in yards per attempt allowed.
The Colts are ranked 21st in QB rating against.
The Colts are ranked 21st in QB sacks.

Kellen Clemens went 9-16 for 247 yards (15.4 YPA) with 2 TDs and 0 INTs against them in Indy.

Now, Indy is no pushover, they have home wins against Seattle and Denver who are arguably the two best teams in the NFL. However, that was before they lost Reggie Wayne for the season. Since then they are 3-3 and have looked very average. My point is, if the Chiefs offense can keep clicking and get into a rhythm in their last few games there is no reason to think that they can’t continue to have success in the playoffs.

“But Lyle, the defense has shown it can’t stop big time passing attacks!”

Yes, KC’s defense was shredded by Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers. The Chiefs aren’t going to have to face Phillip Rivers in the playoffs and if they face Manning it would be the 2nd round at the earliest. Going back to the presumption that KC will face the Colts in the first round the question becomes could Andrew Luck do the same thing to KC that Manning and Rivers did?

Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers are two of the elite QBs this season. Check out their numbers:

Manning: 67.9% completion percentage, 8.4 YPA, 347.8 YPG, 3.5 TDs per game

Rivers: 70.3% completion percentage, 8.4 YPA, 298.6 YPG, 2 TDs per game

Now let’s look at Luck’s numbers over the past six games without Reggie Wayne:

Luck: 56.7% completion percentage, 6.4 YPA, 257.5 YPG, 1.5 TDs per game

That’s a pretty big drop off.

Plus, KC has three more weeks to adjust their attack to what offenses have started doing to slow the KC defense down (apparently the Redskins missed the memo). If they continue mixing up their blitz packages like they did on Sunday AND get Justin Houston back healthy, they will be a defense that no team is going to want to see in the playoffs.

That mix of offensive production, defensive production, and special teams dominance make KC a team that no one will want to face come playoff time. Here’s a few numbers to back that up.

KC is ranked #4 in points allowed.
KC is ranked #7 in points scored (tied with the Saints).
KC is ranked #5 in rushing yards per carry.
KC is ranked #1 in turnover margin.
KC is ranked #2 in QB sacks.
KC is ranked #1 in QB completion percentage against.
KC is ranked #6 in rushing TDs allowed.
KC is ranked #1 in kick return average.
KC is ranked #3 in punt return average.
KC is ranked #1 in return TDs.
KC is ranked #1 in punts inside the 20 yard line.

KC is one of only five teams to be ranked in the top ten in points scored and points allowed (Seattle, New England, New Orleans, and Cincinnati).

Does that sound like a team that anyone will want to play in the playoffs?

I don’t think so.

I know every week won’t be as one sided as the game against the Redskins was, but the Chiefs sent a message to the NFL on Sunday. They have their swagger back.

They are once again a team to be feared.

They will look to keep rolling next week against an Oakland Raiders team that is ranked 26th in points scored, 24th in points allowed, 22nd in turnover margin, and 28th in sacks allowed.

Be afraid Raiders fans, be very afraid.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!

Follow me on Twitter: @LyleGraversen

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Jason Seibel

    Hey Lyle, thanks for breaking all of this down. After watching the high lights from yesterday, I think I would rather face Indy in the playoffs than the Bengals. You don’t seem to know what you’re going to get with them. Anyways, great read as always!

  • berttheclock

    I keep referring to the year the NY Giants won the Super Bowl after a 9-7 season. They lost 4 games in a row. They lost two games at Giant’s Stadium, one in November and the other in December where they gave up high 30s in each game. But, they jelled in late December and made their January run where two things happened. The QB rating of Eli was better in each win than the rating of the opposing QB. This meant two important things. First, Eli was improving rapidly. Secondly, the defense was becoming a force.

    What impressed me yesterday was the team and the coaches really showed their respective abilities to improve upon mistakes. One other thing was the rapid improvement of many young players, whether draft picks and or waiver wire pick ups.

  • Patrick Allen

    The Chiefs’ offense didn’t look good against any defense earlier in the season so that fact that they are starting to look strong against bad defenses is a good sign. To make the Super Bowl, KC will likely have to face Cinci/Colts then Den/NE. The Bengals will probably be the strongest D they would face until the get to the Super Bowl.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      If I could pick, I’d take Indy and New England.

      • Chris Tarrants

        I’m with you on Indy. But kinda like the schoolyard kid who keeps getting picked on I want to see Denver one more time. Get everybody back and healthy and march into milehigh and sucker punch manning right in his forehead

        • CaliChief83

          Damn you! Haha! That forehead joke had me rolling! If we get what Stacy wants, we could get a third shot at Denver in the conference championship game.

        • Curtis

          I’m with you Chris. My wife is a Broncos fan and I want my boys to have one more chance to hush her up.

        • berttheclock

          How many people remember the University of Oklahoma 87-88 men’s basketball team beat the squad of KU twice during the season? How many people remember KU beat OU in the National Finals? Any banners down in Norman proclaiming, “But, we beat KU twice”?

        • micah stephenson

          Uh no to wanting to play the Broncos in the playoffs. Give me indy and NE.

          • Chuck Burrell

            I originally wanted Denver before ne, but now that gronks out ne will give us the easier path. Doesn’t matter tho, gotta play both before we get to the big bowl anyway

    • ArrowFan

      I would love nothing more than to play Dumbver in the AFC championship game.

    • KCMikeG

      And the Bengals just gave up 362 yards and 4 TD’s to the Colts who have no run game at all. I think a more balanced attack like ours will be the key to victory.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Good work, Graversen!
    Yesterday was a HELL of a statement, but I won’t be convinced they have their swagger back until they go into Oakland and punch the Raiders in the mouth.

  • TheBillTheCat

    The Raider’s defense peed themselves just reading this article- Woodson

  • doomedby2020

    They beat a lousy team, no one is saying the Chiefs stink, but they are saying that they are not as good as their hype. And this article does not change this argument…despite its attempt to add more hype.

    “Domination like we saw on Sunday is rare and it should send a message to the rest of the NFL.”

    • Jason Seibel

      But they didn’t beat a lousy team by one score or one point. They dominated a lousy team. They beat a lousy team by 5 touchdowns. The Denver Broncos have the best offense in the league and they haven’t beat any team by 5 touchdowns. And they’ve played plenty of lousy teams. Nobody is saying that this team will win the Superbowl. But your arugument of “they beat a lousy team” is completely invalid.

      • KCMikeG

        Dead on great comment! We also held the donkeys to two of their three lowest scores – the last one w/o Houston and Hali coming off an ankle injury.

    • berttheclock

      Frankly, I do not give a Tinker’s Damn about what “they” are saying.

      • Jason Seibel

        Hey Bert, is a Tinker’s Damn like a rat’s ass? Because if it is, I agree with you!

        • berttheclock

          Actually, in “Miss Pettigrew’s Manuel for Correct Manners by Young Ladies”, “tinker’s damn” is the more preferred.

    • Jared Watson

      KC is one of the best teams in the NFL. They didn’t fall off the map by losing 3 in a row. It doesn’t change. After going 9-0, losing by 10 and 7 to denver, then a fluke loss to SD, takes you from best team to top 4 or 5, not to frauds. They’ve lost close games to great teams and beat everyone else. Sounds like to me KC is a legitimate top 5 team.

      • doomedby2020

        oh please, they have played far too many teams with back up QB’s . Their match with the Boltz was their first true bench marker. Losing to Denver and San Diego put them somewhere between average and great.
        So I say again….dominating a lousy team does not automatically qualify them as being “great”.

        • berttheclock

          So, where do you rank New England? They played a team with a backup QB, yesterday, and were life and death to pull out a miracle.

          • micah stephenson

            They rankings shud go down for that, for this week the Chiefs cud say they are better.

        • micah stephenson

          Beating the B.Gabbert, Jeff Tuel, Case Keenum, Terrelle Pryor’s of the NFL sure did help the D look good. Manning, Vick, and Romo ain’t bad tho so…..
          I still think we a top 5 team. Upgrades at QB, Wr, and Te and we will b ok.

          • Mark Bustamante

            So Ely Manning 2 time Super Bowl MVP is a crap QB.

          • KCMikeG

            Coud have sworn the Skins gave up three 1st round picks for RGIII and Vick wasn’t a backup either.

    • berttheclock

      On November 25, the Redskins, playing at home, held the Niners to only a 10-6 lead at half time. The contained Frank Gore and held the Niners to just 69 yards. They lost the 2nd half 17-0. They have fallen into dysfunction both in the front office and on the field. Yes, Deion Sanders referred to their game, yesterday, as a “U-Haul Game” and I’m sure he will say the same about the upcoming Raiders. “U-Haul Game” or not, a quality team does not play down to their opponent.

      • Mark Bustamante

        Dion “CANT TACKLE” Sanders!! Hell Colonel Sanders made more tackles.

        • Battlespeed

          I wasn’t aware that either Deion *or* the Colonel made any tackles at all.

    • berttheclock

      Yes, carbon emissions must be cut by 2020, but, most of what “they” are currently saying is nothing more than hot air and, in and of itself, is a major form of air pollution.

      • doomedby2020

        Not quite where i got the name. Nice try.

    • LGB

      What hype do you speak of. All you hear about is the implosion of the redskins not about how the chiefs dominated every aspect of the game. The talking heads rather speak about how nobody helps RG3 up when he gets hit. Also you don’t hear anyone talking about the Broncos having the easiest schedule but when the chiefs were 9 and 0 all you heard about was the chiefs had the easiest schedule. The reason for this is because ESPN “experts” misuse stats in order to try support their argument. The strength of schedule state is completely useless. Of course the opponents you have BEAT will have a worse record cause why? You beat them.

      • doomedby2020

        What hype? Read the headline.

        “Also you don’t hear anyone talking about the Broncos having the easiest schedule”

        I didnt say the Chiefs had an easy schedule. Your post make little sense…

        • LGB

          Ok do you watch ESPN they don’t talk about the Chiefs. There is little hype about the Chiefs. The part about the schedule pertains to the Hype you say there is about the Chiefs. When the Chiefs were the last undefeated team the “hype” was about the Chiefs schedule. Also the fact you say “they have played way too many teams with backup quarterbacks” how is that not a reference to an easy schedule. Apparently with your thinking the QB makes the whole team? What backups do you speak of. Buffalo, houston(who still is using keenum), and I can’t think of the other team. Every team play backups at some point. Hell McCown is a back up and Geno is a starter. Glynn who has been cut with how many teams is a backup and found a way to get a win.

          • doomedby2020

            @ 9-0, their last 5 games were against QB’s who were back-ups at training camp this year. Since that long stretch was over they lost 3 games, and a victory over a lousy team.
            The rest of the season will be very telling. Regardless, KC fans have waited a long time to have a good winning team and for that I am happy for them (i am from KC MO).

    • ArrowFan

      Dumbver and the Dolts are very lucky to leave Arrowhead with wins, very lucky indeed.

      • doomedby2020

        Really? You are boasting a lost to a team whoms’ O-line was all messed up? Missing a starter (Dunlap), RT payed LT, the whole line was scrambled. And still managed to do damage to KC’s D-line? Boltz got their O-line back to normal last Sunday and destroyed the Giants. Overall I wouldnt call the boltz lucky, they are severely Bi-polar. When they play good they are much better than average, when they play bad, they lose to RGIII….

    • Battlespeed

      Simple fact: When all three phases of the Chiefs are humming, they outclass most teams in the league, and play head-to-head with the best.

  • berttheclock

    I just checked Pro Football Focus, but, no ratings as yet. However, there was an interesting article by Brad Gagnon, the NFC East lead writer for PFF. He predicted a hard fought game with the Redskins losing on a late turnover by 28-27. His main focus was on the running by Albert Morris and the stopping of Charles. He said that Alex Smith does not do well against the blitz. I hope he is the one who will rate the game.

  • micah stephenson

    They already scared to play us! Don’t nobody wana have to play the Chiefs right now.

  • tomflex

    If we have to play Denver again I wish for the same weather conditions we had Sunday.
    The difference between Indy with Reggie Wayne and Indy without Reggie Wayne sure makes a good argument for spending next year’s first round pick on a wide receiver.
    We shouldn’t be so quick to give up on the Chiefs still winning the division. Denver still has to get past San Diego Thursday and then travel to Houston.
    If everything stays the same and we are locked in for the 5th seed when we play San Diego we will lose that game by default because we will be resting our players… record 12-4 (not bad for a rebuilding year).

    • Battlespeed

      I don’t think Reid will rest many players in San Diego – if anyone, it would probably be Charles, and perhaps McCluster. He might give Smith the 2nd half off, but not the whole game.

  • tm1946

    Wish someone could explain why McCluster is a mudder? Nasty weather and he is running like it was spring practice, why? Who knew, not me.

  • berttheclock

    Lyle, I know you peruse Pro Football Focus. The new ratings are in by Gordon Guinness. He raves about the dominant performance of the entire team and says this should belie those who were writing off the Chiefs as a “one and done playoff” team. Very high marks awarded to several of the Chiefs with Charles getting the game ball. Only Orakpo made high marks. Interesting aside to the Orakpo marks Jackson, also, had high marks. Remember after Jackson was drafted instead of Orakpo, many thought Orakpo might have been the better choice? Now, in DC, many Redskins fans are worried he won’t be resigned as his contract is up. Jackson’s is also up and he is really playing extremely well.

  • ArrowFan

    Funny thing is this morning on SC they hardly mentioned the Chiefs it was more about how bad Washington was. Even that only got about 1 min of the show. If JC played for any east or west coast team then SC and the rest of the national media wouldn’t stop talking about how great he is. When was the last time you saw a team return two kick for TD’s? If the Giants had done that they would have given 15 min of the show to the highlights.

    • Battlespeed

      The Chiefs’ game was so one-sided that it was overshadowed by several other games on Sunday that had a lot more “drama value” for the show’s producer.

  • Danny W

    I think it sucks that we have a better record than Cincy and Indie but would still have to travel to face them. Don’t get me wrong I get how the NFL works but it still sucks. Gotta give the Chiefs credit. I saw the Skins give up, which is something KC did all of last year.

    • 44WinMag

      Yeah, beating the 2013 Redskins is a lot like beating the 2012 Chiefs. I’m not getting to excited about it, stomping the Raiders on the road this week will be more telling.

      • Danny W

        I agree. The Redskins have quit on Shannahan. They have plenty of talent on that ball club they just obviously aren’t playing for that coach any longer.

  • sidibeke

    I am hesitant to be overly optimistic, but I do get the feeling that the offense is 1) learned what Reid wants and is executing better, and 2) the O line has started to gel for both run and pass.

    I also love that it seems that Sutton and Reid/Pederson shook things up a bit. For example, 4th and 1 near the goal line: no Bowe pass this time but a JC run downhill. On the other side of the ball, Sutton getting back to blitzing more creatively. I am looking forward to seeing what we can do against Oakland and then Indy at home, assuming KC is still playing for something. If not, we may not show the Colts too much in that game.

    • Battlespeed

      Even if we’re not “playing for something” (is there such a thing?) I would fully expect us to show the Colts that we can beat them and beat them good and proper. I’d much rather meet them in the post-season with fear in their hearts rather than hope.

  • sidibeke

    Oh, and I think this team has the potential to go as far as any team does in the playoffs. I am sincerely hoping we get another crack at Denver.

  • KCMikeG

    Great post Lyle! Andy Reid took this lump of talent and has worked and formed it into a force to be reckoned with by all. We will be incredibly difficult to stop if we can keep hitting on all three cylinders.

  • Battlespeed

    The Chiefs got away from full-speed practice and they played at half-speed too. Last week they went back to full-speed practice and the results speak for themselves. I’m pretty sure that when the Chiefs have all three phases functioning at top efficiency there’s only *one* team in the league that matches up with them – and that team isn’t Denver, the Bengals or New England. It’s Seattle.

    • berttheclock

      Aha, two Ted Thompson and Ron Wolf proteges as GMs, both of whom have really rebuilt their respective teams.