Oct 26, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 34-7. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Throughout Sunday’s opening drive, the Kansas City Chiefs looked like a team that just hit the snooze button before kickoff. Thirty-four unanswered points later, they looked like a playoff threat.
Aside from the offensive line, every unit fired on all cylinders.
Alex Smith authored a robotic passing performance. Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis looked every bit the part of a two-headed monster. Dwayne Bowe and Travis Kelce took turns in deflating defensive egos.
On the other side of the ball, the secondary blanketed St. Louis’ wideouts, and the pass-rushers doubled as incoming missiles.
When asked about the key to his success, Justin Houston, whose three Week 8 sacks boosted him into the league lead, said:
"It’s more of a team effort. Like, today our DBs did a great job covering – between the DBs and linebackers, they gave us plenty of time to put pressure on the quarterback. Anytime you make the quarterback hold the ball the front four can get pressure."
Dee Ford, who notched his first career sack (.5), claimed the defensive mindset didn’t waver after the group’s lackluster opening:
"You don’t change anything, that’s called hitting the panic button. You don’t do that, you correct what went on and evaluate that drive and move on from there. You continue to play and settle down. Coming into the game, spirits are very high, it’s chaotic, it’s kind of hard to settle and get everything going and hone in on the things we practice. It’s clockwork."
Charles was bottled up throughout the first half, with glimpses of daylight coming few and far between.
However, he humiliated the Rams in the second half.
Recalling his 36-yard touchdown, Charles noted:
"Yeah, that was a blessing. I thank God for that, my linemen and also Dwayne Bowe downfield. It was great team ball. If we continue to play team ball, we will continue to win games like that."
As expected, despite a 24-of-28 passing performance, Smith didn’t bask in the glory.
Kansas City’s quarterback added:
"Yeah pretty efficient as far as completions. Really, it felt like the ones that were not completions, very easily could’ve been. There was a little play there to Knile (Davis) that kind of came up (short) and that early third down to (Travis) Kelce was very close to coming up there. So, there’s still room for improvement, took a couple of sacks that you wouldn’t like to take."
Finally, Andy Reid complimented kicker Cairo Santos, whose two field goals included a crowd-pleasing 53-yarder.
Reid commented, “Those kickoffs, dang, and he’s just a little shooter too. Maybe we need a holder all the time. He has been killing them. He’s doing a nice job.”