John Dorsey deserves great credit for Chiefs’ success


What a vitally important win that was for the Kansas City Chiefs. After a four-game winning streak had brought the Chiefs back to .500, and with the best schedule in the NFL ahead of them, it wasn’t unreasonable to expect Kansas City to challenge for a playoff berth. This Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills was crucial in defining the position of the Chiefs amid a mess of 5-5 teams in the NFL.

Rex Ryan and his Bills also had postseason aspirations heading into the game at Arrowhead. Sitting at 5-5 also, the Bills would have been hoping for a victory against their fellow wild card rivals. This is what made the win so substantial for Andy Reid and his Chiefs. Not only are the Bills a very good team with a quality defense and offensive weapons in the name of Sammy Watkins and Shady McCoy, but they are one of many sides chasing an AFC wild card spot.

Among the AFC franchises battling for January football, the Chiefs held a tiebreaker over all of them bar the New York Jets coming into Sunday’s game. They can now add Buffalo to that list, meaning a 9-7 record will most probably be enough to progress to the postseason. Like the Chiefs, the Houston Texans seem to have turned their season around based on a defensive resurgence, meanwhile the Bills are in reverse and the Jets are tough to work out. If the Chiefs sweep AFC West rivals, the Oakland Raiders, then they will be in a dominant position to clinch a wild card spot with such a good divisional record.

As I was watching the match up with the Bills, what struck me, however, was not the growing confidence of the side, or the growing probability of post season football. Rather, it was the strength in depth that Kansas City now enjoys. General manager John Dorsey has developed a fantastic roster with quality laden throughout. The Chiefs are  absolutely stacked on defense.  The defensive line, linebacker and safety all illustrate the strength in depth of this Kansas City roster.

Perhaps wide receiver, you may argue, is a little short on numbers, especially when you consider that after Jeremy Maclin, the next best receiver is Travis Kelce or whoever happens to be playing running back. Speaking of running back… that is the position that shows the great job that Dorsey has done more than any other.

It was surprising when Cyrus Gray was released in the Summer, and some doubted the depth the Chiefs’ possessed behind Jamaal Charles. Once Charles went down, preseason star Charcandrick West stood in his stead, and performed excellently, rushing for 373 yards on the year. Last week, West left the game with a hamstring issue, and in true “next man up” fashion, Spencer Ware, who was listed as a full back in the off season, took up the mantle.

With last season’s backup, Knile Davis, struggling for form and fitness, Ware took his chance, rushing for 96 and 114 yards in consecutive games, at an average of 7.35 yards per carry. They are outstanding numbers, and display the wonderful work of Dorsey acquiring these players as depth over his three years at Arrowhead.

In no other game this year has the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster depth been tested as much as Sunday’s victory over the Bills. Along the often maligned offensive line, Kansas City lost not one, not two, but three starting offensive linemen. First to be lost was left guard Jeff Allen, who was playing in place of the injured Ben Grubbs. Second, Eric Fisher went down, who was then joined in the locker room by the concussed Mitch Morse. The change in fortunes of the offensive line have coincided with the return of Fisher and Allen, and the injuries are a major blow for Kansas City.

However, such is the job that Dorsey has done, that even in an area where the Chiefs’ are weaker, the mixed up offensive line still performed well enough to open running lanes for Ware and keep Smith on his feet. The victory against the Bills did not go how many anticipated. It was much higher scoring than expected, and the Chiefs’ offense had to turn up at crucial points in the game. Give great credit to John Dorsey for creating a roster that has excellent depth and can handle multiple injuries and still come up triumphant.

It was not just the offensive line that had to endure injuries on Sunday. It was a true heart in mouth situation when Justin Houston limped off in the first quarter. Houston looks to have suffered a knee sprain, and his return will be of up-most importance. However, what was so impressive was the adaptation of the Chiefs’ defense in Houston’s absence. Sean Smith and Marcus Peters were getting scorched by Watkins, McCoy was running dangerously, and the Chiefs had lost their best defensive player.

However, due to a bit of John Dorsey magic, Kansas City has developed an extremely talented defensive roster. Dezman Moses replaced Houston and performed well, and Tamba Hali opposite from him, upped his game, including a wonderful strip sack. Defensive linemen Jaye Howard and Dontari Poe were their destructive selves, and Derrick Johnson was superb, especially against the run in the second half. It is down to Dorsey that the Chiefs’ can absorb so many injuries to starters and still beat a good Buffalo team to remain in the play off hunt.

So many injuries will catch up with any team eventually. Just look at the poor old Baltimore Ravens. However, Dorsey has built a roster that has the capability to handle such crucial injuries. Andy Reid has coached this team to 6-5 and given them a shot of post season success. However, it is perhaps Dorsey that deserves the most credit for the Chiefs’ turnaround this year.

So, do you agree Chiefs’ fans? Are you as impressed with Dorsey’s work as I am? Are you now a believer in Andy Reid’s Chiefs, or are you concerned that the number of injuries may scupper any post season hopes down the stretch? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading, and as always… GO CHIEFS!!!