Nov 15, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) fumbles the ball under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Jaye Howard (96) during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
This is how it goes.
A team gets on a win streak and thoughts go to daydreaming of playoff victories. I am no exception. I have to reel it in and take a hard look at what is and isn’t going well for the Chiefs since the midseason point. It can’t all be gravy.
For this team, as the fourth quarter of the 2015 season unwinds, focus has to stay on winning the immediate games in front of you. For me, I have to look at those games, as well as the ramifications that are coming down the line. Thoughts turn to the future. Will Dorsey follow the Packers ethos and continue to build for that future? Is Justin March going to return in Year 2 and make the impact I thought he’d make this season? You get the idea.
So, here are the big things I think about the Chiefs as the third quarter of 2015 ends. They are not in any particular order.
This team is peaking at the right time
You don’t hear this said very often… this team has been on a roll ever since they went to London. There, its done. London changed things for the Chiefs. It showed they could stomp a team when they play on all cylinders. It was the second win of the streak and set them off on the path.
The win in Denver is still the biggest in my book. It unloaded a monkey from the team’s collective back. Buffalo took it up a notch, proving they can take a punch and still come back to win a tight game. It was the closest margin of the streak at eight points. Then, they team had to come back again against a stingy Raiders squad in a pre-pre playoff game. The last quarter of the regular season can build confidence and momentum with some double digits wins. The arrow is pointing up.
Zach Fulton and Mitch Morse could swap positions next season
Fulton moved from guard to center when Mitch Morse got injured and the collective Chiefs Kingdom groaned. But a funny thing happened. He played well. He is strong at the point of attack and plays well with a man in his face. That’s a good combination at center and it shouldn’t be a surprise. Listen to what scout Pat Sperduto had to say when Fulton was drafted.
Morse has shown to be a very athletic lineman in his rookie season. His mobility exceeds Fulton’s by a country mile. In an effort to improve the line and get the five best guys out there, a switch could very well pay off. I like Fulton better at center and it would allow Morse to get out and move more. It plays to both guys’ strengths.
A wild card return trip to Indy is enticing this time around
It is the comeback that haunts Andy Reid. The 2014 wildcard game that slipped away still has to eat at Andy. Now, there’s a likely scenario that Reid and the Chiefs get a chance at redemption. Their mouths should be watering.
The Colts have been up and down this season and are limping into the fourth quarter of 2015. The AFC South is the lowest-seeded division and will finish the season that way. Andrew Luck is not ready to return to the lineup yet. If he does and the Chiefs face him in the Wild Card round, Kansas City should be well prepared. The defense is better seasoned and has more talent than in 2014 and the offense is firing on par with that 44-point performance in the previous wildcard game in Indy.
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