Chiefs navigate wild course to playoffs

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Nov 15, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Jah Reid (75) during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

JBOG (Just a bunch of Guys)

Losing five of your first six games is not a good way to start a season in the NFL. Losing the lone true veteran and Pro Bowler shortly after righting the ship is devastating, especially for a unit as young as the Chiefs’ offensive line. Since Ben Grubbs was lost to injury the team has had to shuffle the offensive line like a new deck of cards.

Eric Fisher went back to left tackle. Jeff Allen took over the left guard, at least until he was injured. Zach Fulton stepped in at left guard. Mitch Morse was concussed a short time later and Fulton slid down to play center temporarily. In fact, Fulton, Allen and Fisher have all started at multiple positions in 2015. They are a prime example of  what chemistry and athleticism can buy you. They have gelled together to evolve from “just a bunch of guys” into a solid and versatile unit.

The Chiefs have eight wins on the season to this point. Jah Reid has started at right tackle in seven of them. Thursday, the Chiefs signed him to a three-year extension to compete to keep the right tackle job or provide a quality backup at multiple positions in 2016.

Reid is an underwhelming tackle, but his experience is valuable this season and will be again next season. His extension likely signals the end of the road in KC for both Donald Stephenson and Paul Fanaika, who was a panicked signing that didn’t fit the offensive scheme Reid employs. Don’t be surprised to see the team select an offensive tackle in the first two days of the 2016 NFL Draft. It’s still one of their top three needs.

Run to Win

In the soggy muck of Arrowhead last week, the Chiefs went old-school in a number of ways. None were more refreshing, to my eyes, than the run game.  The team used West and Ware as a 1-2 punch combination that devastated the Chargers. Jab-Jab-Cross.

No drive illustrates the classic philosophy than the Chiefs’ lone touchdown drive. On the nine-play drive, Reid called six run plays. Alex Smith added a scramble for and additional carry.  They averaged 7.7 yards per carry on those plays.

It forced the Charger defense to commit to stopping the run. they chose to drop their lefties and go to a Cover-0, leaving the outside corners in man-coverage with no help over the top. Alex Smith made the pre-snap read and took advantage of what the run game had setup. Wilson beat his man to the inside and opened separation with his speed. With no other read, Smith threw a pass that led Wilson well and Wilson did the rest. Well done on Smith’s part, but he couldn’t have had the opportunity without the run game grinding them into that defensive alignment. Old-school paid off in good fashion to win a close game.

Enjoy the game, Addicts!

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