Chiefs defense will have to stay great to make playoffs


Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey (97) is congratulated by nose tackle Dontari Poe (92) after sacking San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) (not pictured) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Hey Kansas City Chiefs fans, happy hump day to you all. Many of you are catapulted into have a good week by last Sunday’s throttling of the Denver Broncos. This was not something many Kansas City fans foresaw happening but that’s what makes this sport so great. Football is a game of improbability, just when you think you got something figured out there’s a twist in the plot of your team’s story.

First off, kudos to Alex Smith in getting in what was perhaps his first road win against a good team as a Chief. A month ago, the Chiefs were coming off their fifth loss in a row which was to the Minnesota Vikings. This was just another game that many Kansas City fans feel the Chiefs should have won but didn’t. The team was sitting at 1-5 and I had written this season off. We had every right to not believe this team could turn it around as they were losing to what looked like bad teams at the time.

Now, all of a sudden, a loss to the 1-3 Bears doesn’t look so bad with them playing much better and improving to a 4-5 record. The 2-2 Vikings team that the Chiefs lost to are now leading their division with a 7-2 record. What once was viewed as a low-quality victory over the Texans looks better now after the team improving to 4-5 with a win over the division-leading Bengals.

Kansas City has played a hard schedule and it’s time to recognize that this team (at least on defense) may actually be as good as we thought going into the season. The win over the Broncos in my view saved their season and put them right back in the hunt for a wild card spot.

The win still had much left to be desired from an offensive stand point. I couldn’t really celebrate the victory like a normal Chiefs win in Denver because I still have lots of doubts about this offense. The Chiefs defense will have to play lights out football like they did this past Sunday just about every week if Kansas City is going to make a run for the playoffs because of the inept offense.

Smith played timid and took the safest option on every throw he made minus a few exceptional long balls to keep the defense honest. In Smith’s defense, in his last meeting against the Broncos he threw under 200 yards and two interceptions so he was likely going to play extra safe than usual this time against Denver.

I, like all of you, am a loyal and hopeful Chiefs fan that would love nothing more than to see this team making the playoffs. Because of Smith’s style of play in rarely driving the ball down the field and almost always going with the shortest and safest option I still have my doubts that Kansas City will actually get in the post season.

For the Chiefs to make the playoffs it would require a few things, below is the short but rather lofty checklist.

  1. To be safe, win 10 games (6 of their last 7)
  2. Play with the lead in the fourth quarter, Alex Smith doesn’t fare well in late comebacks
  3. Defense needs to play at it’s highest level six of the seven games to take the pressure of the offense
  4. Stay healthy

Kansas City has dug themselves enough of a hole that requires a lot of things to go their way to win a majority of their final games. Can the Chiefs make the playoffs at 9-7 or 8-8? I’m sure it’s possible since there isn’t a lot of good teams in the league this year but shooting for 10 is a much safer bet.

Onto San Diego:

Kansas City is traveling this week to San Diego which in German has a unique translation (you know the rest). This is a Chargers team that shouldn’t be overlooked despite their 2-7 record. This is a tougher game than some might be realizing simply due to Philip Rivers being able to win with guys you’ve never heard of. See below.

Despite his comical tantrums and meltdowns that keep this team out of the post season, Rivers can just as easily steal your joy. This is why this is a dangerous game for the Chiefs, Rivers knows that Kansas City has regained some hope and would like nothing more than to rain on our little parade this Sunday.

The front seven for Kansas City is going to have to be able put pressure on Rivers and even with the Chargers having a bad offensive line that’s not an easy task. Rivers has one of the quickest releases in the game so the coverage is going to have to play just as well as the pass rush.

The player I fear having a big day is tight end Antonio Gates, he always seems to match-up well against our defense. Whether it’s a linebacker or a safety covering him it doesn’t matter, Gates usually has success. We can only hope that Sutton is putting together a master plan to eliminate the Rivers to Gates connection and make other role players beat us.

If the Chiefs can beat San Diego this weekend, that will not only put them back at a .500 record but put the pressure on other AFC West teams to keep winning. The Broncos play against a hot Bears team and the Raiders play against a Detroit team that regained confidence after beating Green Bay. Things could get even more interesting this weekend.

That’s what’s on my mind, Addicts, what’s on yours?