What to make of these Chiefs


What are we to think of these Kansas City Chiefs? After an underwhelming first game victory against Houston, this team went 4.5 games looking as if they were ill equipped to take on even the slightest challenge.

The give up and quit in this team appeared to be high after just a mind blowing, embarrassing defeat at the hands of the lowly Chicago Bears and a mind-numbing loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Follow those defeats were the victories over the third-string QB-led Steelers, the God-awful Detroit Lions in London, and a rather compelling victory over what is easily stated, an awful Peyton Manning-led offense.

All of a sudden, fans are talking playoffs despite a record that after nine games is still below the 500 mark. The schedule, as has been stated by just about anyone, lightens up going forward. What do we make of the Chiefs?

The first ting that needs t0 be noted, many of the teams at the front of the schedule are very good teams, and many of the teams at the back end of the schedule are not very good. There are winnable games on the schedule, and if this team, especially the defense, plays the way it did against Denver, can win many of the games.

However, what can’t be ignored, is the way this offense is performing, especially in the red zone, this team can lose to almost anyone left on their schedule. Nothing, despite what we feel about this team, is guaranteed, in either direction. We’ll take a look at some bright and not so bright spots.

Charcandrick West the past few weeks has appeared to be a very good NFL back. He’s certainly better then the train wreck that Knile Davis was as a back in this offense (For the three people that read my early season work on possible surprise cuts, he made the list.

Davis was never a good fit for this scheme, and it showed. For all the Davis love, he’s not a very good running back. West certainly appears to be a solid replacement for Charles, averaging over four yards a carry. He’s also shown, or at least flashed potential in the pass game. Again, something Davis struggled with. If we look back on this season, West may be the best surprise for the offense of this season. With the possibility, and growing probability that Jamal Charles is with another team next year, West has at least given the Chiefs enough to believe he can shoulder a majority of the responsibility in the future.

Marcus Peters has been everything you’d want out of a first round draft pick and then some. His past issues are well documented, so we won’t rehash them here, but credit apparently needs to be given to the personal department of the Chiefs for doing their homework and getting it right, at least initially.

The kid has been solid. Already with four interceptions and 40 tackles, Peters has proven to be the dynamic corner his potential flashed while at Washington. With the return of Phillip Gaines next season, the Chiefs appear to have a solid duo at the position for years to come. The fact a rookie is able to play at his level, without the defense having to roll the coverage to get help, certainly is a huge positive, and with the Chiefs issues with drafting in previous seasons.

Another bright spot on the defense has been the play of defensive lineman Jaye Howard. A member of the waiver wire squad picked up before the 2013 season, along with current backup cornerback Marcus Cooper, Howard’s play this season has been nothing short of really good.

Stepping in to fill the void of nose tackle with the issues of Dontari Poe, and has certainly been a wrecking crew at the defensive end position in the Chiefs 3-4 defense. Along with cornerback Sean Smith, Howard headlines the large contingent of Chiefs set to be free agents after this season.  It will be curious to if the Chiefs are able to keep Howard in the fold after this season, as his play certainly is dictating a large contract this offseason.

The biggest concern continues to be the play of quarterback of Alex Smith coupled with the offenses continued inability to score touchdowns. Cairo Santos’ leg, if this season trend continues, Santos leg may completely fall off. And while I’m obviously not serious about that, this teams inability to score touchdowns is, and quite frankly, could easily prove to be its downfall. Eventually, this team is going to need touchdowns to win a game, regardless of what the schedule says.

If this offense can’t succeed at that, they will lose, and this team has no room for error. If this team wants to ensure they really make the playoffs, this team can lose no more then 1 game down the stretch. That’s a tough task.

Lets see what happens down the stretch.