Building Legacy: A Chiefs changing loss

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This loss was so horrific that some Chiefs fans threatened to break ties with the teams on twitter. Instead, Chiefs fans should be encouraged by this game… and the loss. The headlines are all demonstrative: The Denver Post said the “Broncos Steal a Win Late….” USA Today said, “Chiefs Fumble Away Their Chance to Flip the Script on the Broncos.”  Sports Illustrated said, “Broncos Stun Chiefs in Dramatic Fashion.”

This was as dramatic a loss as I have ever witnessed for the Kansas City Chiefs, since Super Bowl I against the Green Bay Packers… and oddly enough that’s who they face next.

As a Chiefs fan, you may not like this, but that was a great game. Ask any Broncos fan and they will tell you the same. Great game! Plus, there’s no reason to believe that the game in Denver won’t be just as great… and that it will have a different outcome.

Now, ask yourself if great games happen between insignificant teams?

Was that a devastating loss? No. It was only the second game of the season and it should have no outcome on the long term placement of the Chiefs in the playoffs… as long as the team continues to grow and adjust just like they have for the past two and one half years. A devastating loss is one that takes you out of the playoffs or one in which you lose players to injury.

That makes this game even greater: the Chiefs lost no one to injury… they played like crap for a large part of the game yet by all accounts dominated the Broncos on several fronts… but still nearly won the game.

Certainly the Chiefs need to clean up their special teams. It’s the first time I can recall… in the Dave Toub era… that another team came out better on special teams. However, that was mostly due to penalties the Chiefs committed on returns. Clean that up and the starting field position will be much more favorable.

To many this may sound like a lot of koolaid guzzling or that someone must be slipping me money under the table from the organization (I could only wish). So, I’ll say that I’m aware that the offensive line is still the one spot where a lot of progress needs to be made.

Changes that should help the Chiefs in their second match up with the Broncos:

  1. Donald Stephenson should get better and better. I can’t wait to see how good he looks in game two. He was by no means perfect in this game but still looked impressive. His overall score at Pro Football Focus (PFF) after two games is +4.1, second among all tackles in the league.
  2. Marcus Peters is the next coming of Jesus. It’s easy to see how he will “save” his team in at least one game this season (he nearly did that in this game). When Sean Smith returns from his suspension and is paired with Peters (and more importantly replaces Jamell Fleming) the Chiefs defense is going to take that… one giant leap for mankind… as previously mentioned.
  3. While it was obvious that Dontari Poe is not yet Dontari Poe… by November he should be back to his old self and help to create an even better push up the middle.
  4. In the meantime, Jaye Howard is playing at a Pro Bowl level. I recall scouting him and loving his “hand-work” in the trenches. He’s not only put on weight and strength but not lost any of that quickness with his hands and makes even quicker work of many of the interior linemen he faces. It’s exciting to watch his tape now. Howard’s overall score at PFF is +7.5, and he is ranked second among all interior defensive linemen in the league.
  5. If Eric Fisher can return to 100% of his healthy self then he should be a sizable upgrade at right tackle over Jah Reid. The speed of Von Miller was a big concern going into that game and it became an even greater concern once the game clock started. By November, Fisher should help out there plenty.

This was a test.

Did the Kansas City Chiefs pass the test? No, but they were close.

From a coaching standpoint, I thought the game turned around for the Broncos when Bob Sutton had his defense play soft when the Chiefs went up by 14 points. That can’t happen again. Didn’t the playoff loss to the Colts teach him that lesson already?

Plus, Andy Reid must wake from the Groundhog Day he keeps recreating with his “genius” play calling. It seems that at times he wants to out think “The Thinker” — a bronze statue by Rodin. Until he can deal with his own internal game calling issues then none of what I’m saying here will matter one lick.

I do believe that when another offseason comes and goes… if John Dorsey can acquire another talent on par with Jeremy Maclin, then this team will be headed for real greatness. Could that player be WR Chris Conley? M a y b e. However, a game like this can clarify where the team is at, as a whole, and it seemed clear to me on Thursday that one more dynamic wide out was needed. Just as we used to say when Dwayne Bowe was the only decent WR in the house. Only this time, Jeremy Maclin looks like a true number one. Now they just need to find the Reggie Wayne to his Marvin Harrison.

The Kansas City Chiefs are building a legacy and the goal is greatness. A loss like the one on Thursday can be a life altering, changing of the guard, game. I believe it was. When November arrives and the men in red and gold ascend to the mile high city, we’ll find out much, much more about whether or not this is the year they climb that mountain and come out on top.

What do you say, Addicts? Do you believe this can still be the year of the Chiefs? Or has this one game drained all the life out of you?