5 Week 12 Thoughts On The Chiefs


It’s that time again, Addicts! Raider Week is upon us. We have a short window to celebrate Sunday’s impressive win over the defending Super Bowl champions. The Kansas City Chiefs held their ground and defeated the Seattle Seahawks 24-20 over the weekend.

The team is now four games above .500 with six left to play. Coupled with a Denver loss, the Chiefs also have a share of first place in the AFC West. We’re just two days away from their next tilt in Oakland. I think 36 hours is more than enough time to bask in the glow of knocking off last year’s Lombardi winner.

Let’s jump right into my thoughts on the team this week:

1. The Chiefs’ playoff probability have changed drastically since Week 3.

Remember how bleak things were in the Kingdom after the Chiefs dropped their first two games? Since 1990, only 12 percent of the teams starting 0-2 went on to make the playoffs. The odds are much more favorable today. Again using 1990 as a marker, teams starting the season 7-3, qualify for the postseason 84 percent of the time. A 10-win campaign is a strong bid for one of two wild-card berths in the AFC. To get there, the Chiefs need only win half of their remaining games.

2. Last year’s playoff loss to the Colts was a blessing in disguise.

Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In hindsight, Kansas City’s historic playoff collapse, in year one of the new regime, may have been the best thing for this football team. I’ll bet you think winning that game might’ve been more beneficial, but hear me out. The Chiefs wilted after a 9-0 start. They came apart at the seams down the stretch, dropping six of their last eight games (including the wild-card round).

In the biggest games, Kansas City came up empty (going 0-6 in games against AFC playoff teams). Indianapolis orchestrated one of the greatest comebacks in postseason history and Andy Reid and Company had to spend the entire offseason with a bitter taste in their mouths. Fast forward eight months, and you have a squad that’s beaten five teams with five or more wins. The Chiefs are winning the games they could not just one year ago. They say experience is the best teacher, and that appears to be true for Kansas City in 2014.

3. The Chiefs are good enough to overcome their mistakes.

Kansas City used to rely upon mistake-free football to win games. The team’s now good enough that they can overcome a few gaffes here and there. That was no more evident than in Sunday’s game. Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce both turned the ball over at key points in the game.

It’s rare to have inferior numbers in virtually every significant statistical category, lose the turnover battle and still come away with a win. Seattle possessed the ball for nearly 12 more minutes, had more rushing/passing/total yardage and were +2 in turnover differential. They still came out on the losing end. Kansas City’s been able to do it with clutch performances at crucial points in the game. They’ve gotten late scores when necessary and snuffed out several drives with the game hanging in the balance.

4. Donnie Avery’s presence has been missed.

Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Stop laughing for a second, I’m serious about this. The seven-year veteran from the University of Houston has been missing from the lineup for seven weeks now. In the first quarter of the season, Alex Smith had seven touchdowns, three interceptions, and 891 passing yards. He turned in two of his highest-rated games during that four-game stretch.

Since then, he’s thrown just four touchdowns and has averaged only 181 passing yards per game. Avery’s a below-average No. 2 receiver, but his speed helps stretch the field and the mere threat of getting behind a safety helps draw coverage away from the middle of the field. Avery’s still recovering from a sports hernia, but he can’t come back quickly enough to help an ailing passing game.

5. Andy Reid’s recently stayed out of the offense’s way.

Every week we hear broadcast teams drone on about how the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t had a touchdown catch go to a wide receiver. Reid’s fielded the league’s 12th-ranked scoring offense in spite of that fact. He’s done that mainly by playing to his offense’s strengths. The Chiefs have an elite backfield and lately he’s been riding it to victory.

As a top-five run defense, Seattle presented a challenge to the NFL’s fourth-best run game. Big Red either didn’t know that or didn’t care. Between Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, De’Anthony Thomas and Alex Smith, the Chiefs ran 30 times on Sunday. They did so at 6.3 yards per clip and all three touchdowns were on the ground. It’s the second week in a row where Charles has had 20 carries. Old dogs apparently can learn new tricks.

What thoughts do you have about the Chiefs heading into Thursday night’s game with Oakland? Is Kansas City at a disadvantage being the traveling team in a truncated week? Might this be a letdown game for Reid and Company? Use the comment section below to weigh in. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.

Until next time, Addicts!