The Kansas City Chiefs are real Super Bowl contenders

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: De'Anthony Thomas
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: De'Anthony Thomas /
ArmchairAddict1 /

The Kansas City Chiefs went into Houston and took down the Texans in a 42-34 victory on Sunday night. While the final score looked close, this was a game that the Chiefs controlled from wire to wire. The Texans lost two of their defensive stars early in the game and the Chiefs just calmly and systematically picked them apart throughout the game.

It wasn’t all perfect, the defense gave up some big plays to Deshaun Watson and then lost Chris Conley for the season with an achilles injury. However, the Chiefs showed they can win a game in yet another way. They are the NFL’s only unbeaten team at 5-0 and the teams that they have beaten and the way they have played has made a statement to the rest of the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

I was hesitant to say that throughout the first quarter of the season. Yes, the Chiefs were off to a hot start and looked great but you simply cannot judge a team’s potential off of a two or three game stretch. However, I think we’re beyond a hot start now. The Chiefs have looked like a Super Bowl contender for five straight weeks, and it’s time that we as fans embrace it and enjoy the ride.

I know, I know, this all means nothing until the playoffs, where the Chiefs have simply not performed to date. However with the early favorites (at least according to the media and so-called experts)—the New England Patriots, the Oakland Raiders, and the Pittsburgh Steelers—now a combined 8-7 and all having at least two loses, the AFC looks like its Kansas City’s for the taking—assuming they can at least split the season series with the 3-1 Denver Broncos.

A Chiefs team with this many offensive weapons, a talented defense, and a home field advantage like Arrowhead will be a prohibited favorite if they are still playing like this come playoff time.

These haven’t been fluke wins. The Chiefs haven’t gotten lucky. They have won three road games already, including primetime wins against New England and now Houston. The Patriots and Texans are both legit playoff contenders in the AFC, as are the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins in the NFC. They have won lower scoring games and shootouts.

The Chiefs have also survived key injuries on both sides of the ball. They lost two of their top six defensive backs in Eric Berry and Steven Nelson. They have been without two of their top three pass rushers in Dee Ford and Tamba Hali. They have been without three starters on the interior offensive line in Mitch Morse, Parker Ehinger, and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. They even lost their kicker Cairo Santos and still have found a way to beat good opponents.

The Chiefs had a Super Bowl caliber defense and special teams last year but it was the offense that just didn’t have enough fire power to get the job done. That has not been the case through five games this season. The Chiefs are averaging an incredible 32.8 points per game (best in the NFL). Yes, the defense and special teams have contributed some to that, but this is largely about the offense. There are two clear upgrades over last season. Those being the addition of Kareem Hunt and the improved play of quarterback Alex Smith.

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We all know about Kareem Hunt at this point and just how special the start to his career has been. He’s setting records for best starts of all time and actually entered the game Sunday night the NFL’s leading rusher BEFORE he added another 107 yards to his total. Hunt simply does not go down on first contact. He ALWAYS fights for extra yards and that’s usually after he has made a defender or two (or three) miss. He is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and is on pace for about 1,950 yards rushing and just shy of 2,500 all purpose yards. For a point of reference, Priest Holmes career highs were 1,615 yards rushing and 2,287 yards from scrimmage. Hunt has been absolutely dominant so far.

While Hunt’s performance has been truly brilliant, it is still probably second to just how fantastic quarterback Alex Smith has been. Smith has played like a man on fire all season long. He is confident, accurate, he’s taking chances, and he’s using his legs when needed. I could keep going but you’ve all seen it with your own eyes anyway. The drafting of Patrick Mahomes seems to have been the final push Smith needed to set his conservative ways aside and play with a little bit more edge that is needed to make plays where he often played it safe previously in his career. What is really impressive is that so far it has not lead to ANY turnovers.

Smith comes out of the Sunday night game ranked first in the NFL in completion percentage and yards per attempt. He’s also third in the NFL in passing yards and tied for second with 11 touchdowns. He’s been FANTASTIC.

Look at Smith’s numbers next to Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers (who are both having great seasons).

Alex Smith: 76.6%, 8.8 YPA, 278.2 yards/game, 11 TDs, 0 INTs
Tom Brady: 68.2%, 8.7 YPA, 340.4 yards/game, 11 TDs, 1 INT
Aaron Rodgers: 66.7%, 7.2 YPA, 273.4 yards/game, 13 TDs, 3 INTs

I don’t know if Alex Smith will keep this up all season but if he does the Chiefs are the clear favorite to win the Super Bowl. Period. I understand he doesn’t have the track record that Brady and Rodgers do but Brady and Rodgers don’t have the complete team around them that Smith does.

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I know the Chiefs have broken our hearts before. I don’t care. The Chiefs are clearly the best team in the NFL right now. It’s time to truly get excited about this team’s potential to finally get to AND win the Super Bowl. Years like this don’t come around very often. This is what we always HOPE our year will be like but this year it is actually going BETTER than we hoped it would.

Your favorite team has a real chance to make a Super Bowl run.

Embrace it.

Enjoy it.

There’s no guarantees that another run like this will come around again.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!