The Kansas City Chiefs have turned a corner toward dominance

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 2: Quarterback Alex Smith
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 2: Quarterback Alex Smith /

The Kansas City Chiefs are overcoming all odds en route to becoming one of the NFL’s powerhouses.

The Kansas City Chiefs are 26-4 in their last 30 regular season games. Think about that. By comparison, over that same period of time, the New England Patriots sport a record of 22-8. This team is finding ways to win football games, in large part by overcoming obstacles that killed them in the past. Lets take a look at what the Chiefs have done on the way to becoming one of the league’s dominant forces.

Defeating Powerhouse Teams

In this 30-game stretch, the Chiefs have wins over the Denver Broncos, who would go on to win the Super Bowl. They defeated the 12-4 Raiders twice, beat the NFC Champion Falcons on the road, and then beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots in Foxborough on opening night. They also beat Carolina on the road when they were the defending NFC champs. The Chiefs have beaten each of the Super Bowl participants from the last two seasons, and beat each of them on the road. These are some impressive victories over some of the league’s finest.

Shutting down Top-10 Offenses

In this stretch of games, the Chiefs have defeated seven of the leagues top-10 offenses from a year ago. With wins over the Saints, Falcons, Redskins, Patriots, Raiders, Colts, and Chargers. This team has found a way to overcome the kind of teams that shredded them early on in Andy Reid’s tenure. I’m sure we all well remember how easily Peyton Manning had our number, or maybe a certain loss to the Colts in January of 2013 that we shall not describe. The Chiefs have found a way to go toe-to-toe with the league’s top offenses and come out victorious.

Continuous offensive success

This is a stat that really only applies to the first four games of this season. The Chiefs have had offensive success for a game or two throughout Reid’s time in Kansas City. What they have now done is put together solid offensive showings for four weeks in a row, a full quarter of the season. When you sustain success for that many games, it becomes a trend, not merely a fluke.

In the past the Chiefs have found ways to really show up against top flight offenses such as the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders in back-to-back weeks a year ago, only then to lay an egg and put up 17 at home versus the Titans. It has not always been pretty, but the Chiefs are finding a way to sustain success on the offensive side. Alex Smith is completing 76 percent of his passes for 1,067 yards, 8 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. The Chiefs are going to win a lot of games if Smith can keep this up.

Avoiding trap games

This is a particularly important stat in my mind. If you are truly a championship caliber team, you do not lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Tennessee Titans at home, as the Chiefs did a year ago. Take for example the first two weeks of last season. When the Chiefs overcame an enormous deficit for a wild win in Week 1, many though the team had turned a corner. Then they proceeded to go on the road in Week 2 and lose to Brock Owseiler and the Houston Texans.

This time around, the Chiefs again came away with a huge win in Week 1 over the New England Patriots, and after starting slow the next week, they battled back and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles. Of these first four games, the last three are what I would consider to be trap games. The Chiefs started slow in each of them, yet they battled back and found a way to come out on top. Championship caliber teams find ways to beat some of the league’s best, and take care of the lesser threats. The Chiefs are doing just that.

Putting teams away

This may be the most impressive trait the Chiefs have displayed thus far. They are winning the fourth quarter. In years past, one thing that has plagued the team was an inability to finish a team off after grabbing a lead. Look no further than last year’s loss to Tennessee for an example. This season however, the Chiefs have overcome that trap. In each of their four wins, the Chiefs have been leading or tied heading into the fourth quarter and have put their foot on the gas from that point. (Though Monday night was a little too close for comfort.)

Down the stretch in these games, Alex Smith has made some clutch plays that have proven to be the dagger in any comeback attempt. Even in Week 3, when Smith was not at his best, it was Kareem Hunt who picked up the slack and put the Chargers away. This is one of the final pieces Kansas City needed to figure out in order to become a true contender.

These are just five examples of what the Chiefs have done to turn the corner from a good team to one of the league’s dominating forces. There are many other factors that have played into this, such as Andy Reid’s masterful play calling. The point is, Kansas City is finding ways to win football games. A record of 26-4 in 30 games is unprecedented in today’s NFL. Lets enjoy it, the Kansas City Chiefs are the best team in the National Football League.