The 2013 K.C. Chiefs: A Great Enigma

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How much more puzzling could one team get. So great a defense… and a not so great offense… all under one roofless stadium. How can an offense look so lethargic for three straight quarters, then out execute the opposition enough down the stretch, just enough to bring home a win? And then follow the exact same script one week after another?

I hope you’ve gotten every moment of enjoyment out of these 6 and 0 wonders as you possibly can because there doesn’t appear to be a mid-season fix for these Chiefs.

Because of their offensive inadequacies, their fate is to be vanquished to the dungeon eventually but not until they pass by the throne room to have a good look at the crown first. And what is holding them back beside the Denver Broncos?

Themselves: specifically, their offense.

Ten years ago another great enigma flourished here in Kansas City. A dazzling offense with a hall of fame tight end and a hall of fame left tackle surrounded by players with speed and agility and a will to win. And “win” they did, going 13-3.

However, their offense gained 5910 yards and their defense that gave up 5707, approximately a 12 yards per game difference. Oh, those 2003 Chiefs could score points but, barely enough points to cover the number spread because of points their defense was giving up.

They eventually lost to a Peyton Manning led team (the Indianapolis Colts) 31-38 in the playoffs. The irony… is lost on me because this year’s team appears ready to suffer the same fate as the 2003 team faced (losing to a Manning led team) and… because it’s not funny at all.

Compare the 2013 Chiefs to the 2003 squad: this year’s team is gaining 20 more yards per game than they are allowing. A measly 5 yards per quarter advantage. Of course if you remove the Chiefs 4th quarter dominance you can see that during the rest of the game Chiefs fans spend in an animated state of “oh-crap, what-the-H, & I’ve-seen-this-horror-story-movie-before.”

Can you say “re-enigma?” Not to be confused with “enema” although these cardiac Chieftons have made the latter sound more comfortable than the former.

History Repeats Itself

This season’s defensive success might even possibly be tied to that season of defense-less play in 2003. That season had such a negative effect on the organization that from 2004 to 2012 their next 6 out of 8 first choices in the draft were defensive players (Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe, Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, Eric Berry, Jonathan Baldwin and Dontari Poe).

In 2013 all of these high defensive draft picks are having a major impact with the exception of Glenn Dorsey, who’s now playing nose tackle in San Francisco.

Now, it appears the Chiefs are in need of some offensive firepower. God forgive if Jamaal Charles should have an injury. However, Charles’ presence on the Chiefs roster may also be traced, in part, to the 2003 season.

Head coach Dick Vermeil coveted defensive help that year because it was obvious the team had to improve on that side of the ball. So, who did the self-proclaimed draft day cardsharp GM Carl Peterson draft with the 27th pick of the first round in 2003? A running back: Larry Johnson. Year’s later JC was nearly released because he didn’t fit into HC Todd Haley’s ideal of a RB. When LJ began to falter JC took over and hasn’t looked back since.

Priest Holmes, Trent Green, Tony Richardson, Dante Hall, Eddie Kennison, Will Shields, Brian Waters, Tony Gonzales, Willie Roaf, Casey Weigmann and diaper dandy Larry Johnson. Those are all names of offensive players from 2003 that I came up with off the top of my head. Many of you could probably add a name or two to that list.

Now, can you name one player from the defense that season?

In 2013, without Jamaal Charles on the roster… this team would reflect a “complete” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde transformation: passive by day and monster by night.

I’m sure you don’t have to be told that the Chiefs offense is Dr. Jekyll in this scenario… way too passive… and needs a potion, while the defense is one of the scariest defenses in recent memory.