Chiefs win ugly but playoff hopes still look pretty

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Dec 13, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford (55) sacks San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 10-3. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs are the hottest team in the AFC after winning their seventh straight game. Last Sunday the Chiefs had their hands full with the poor weather conditions and an inspired San Diego Chargers team that had nothing to play for but respect. Yet, despite these obstacles found a way to win what would be considered in all facets an ugly football game.

This is a testament to the kind of team the front office has put together. There is enough talent on this roster to pick up the slack when a particular unit isn’t hitting on all cylinders. Kansas City hadn’t turned the ball over in their first five wins they accumulated on their streak but these last two games they’ve committed a total of four turnovers.

This is a trend that Kansas City should avoid carrying into the postseason if they want to advance at all and I think Andy Reid’s on it. I heard some comparisons of this team to the ’97 Chiefs team that lost the Broncos in the playoffs. Can’t say I disagree a whole lot with this comparison other than we have a Rich Gannon-esque quarterback (thank God) and not Elvis Grbac. I along with most of you feel that team was good enough to win a Super Bowl with Rich Gannon.

The Chiefs team could seriously be contending for a Super Bowl in four short weeks which is insane to even fathom seeing how they started. No matter who you match them up with you can say that Kansas City has a fighting chance because of their defense and an improving offense.

Right now the Chiefs currently are ranked eighth in offensive of scoring, seventh in rushing, and 27th in passing. You’d have to consider with Kansas City being ranked eighth in offensive scoring that the passing stats are flawed by good defense and special teams providing them with above average field position consistently.

Defensively the Chiefs are ranked eighth overall, seventh in run defense and 15th in pass defense.  These stats have kind of went an opposite direction of last years stats as we were a great pass defense and struggled against the run. Coincidentally injuries have played a part in the stats reversing. Last year it was the absence of Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry, and Mike Devito that caused a decline in the run defense. This year the run defenders have managed to stay healthy and it’s the injury to Philip Gaines that has softened the pass defense.

The pass rush however continues to balance out what flaws the defense does have and Justin Houston’s recent absence may have ended up being a blessing in disguise allowing a younger player in Dee Ford get some valuable playing time as they possibly head into the post season. Ford had his best game Sunday against a mangled Chargers offensive line finishing the day with seven total tackles including three sacks.

Ford is a talented pass rusher who just hasn’t seemed to put it all together but a game like this could have given him a surge of confidence to finally be the player Kansas City expected him to be. This would be huge for the Chiefs if Ford could give them another wrinkle to add to their defense in the post season.

Not much has changed in the current playoff picture for Kansas City as they still hold the fifth seed that would match them up with the AFC South winner which is currently the Colts. This could certainly change as Indianapolis is falling apart and the Jaguars of all teams seem to be playing the best football in the division. The Broncos loss moved them down to the three seed at the moment and it’s certainly possible that we could be seeing a preview this weekend of a wild card matchup between the Broncos and Steelers. I don’t think Denver wants to play Pittsburgh or the Jets in an opener as both would be a touch draw for the team.

Next: Onto Baltimore