I’m still not sure how much faith the Chiefs Kingdom has in its football team, even on the heels of a 6-game winning streak.
The playoffs appear to be a lock right now. The four remaining teams on the schedule have a combined record of 14-34. Three of the four games will be played at Arrowhead. There is a strong possibility that the Chiefs will win out, giving them 11 victories for the second time in Andy Reid’s 3 year run in KC. For many fans, talking Chiefs playoff football is somewhat dicey.
The history is there and it’s not pretty. The playoff drought has been well documented. No wins since 1993 and that covers an NFL worst string of 8 consecutive losses over a 22 year span.
The playoffs were a near certainty during the Marty Schottenheimer regime. The Chiefs went to the postseason six years in a row. The one-time Arrowhead mystique and magic disappeared when Schottenheimer unceremoniously ended his 10 year stay here. The Chiefs were nearly unbeatable during the 1990’s. Schottenheimer put together an amazing 62-18 overall record. There was never a losing season at Arrowhead under Schottenheimer’s regime.
Since his departure, the Chiefs are barely a .500 team at Arrowhead. 67-65. This makes Schottenheimer’s record even more remarkable.
Sunday’s game with the Raiders might have been one of the most bizarre in the history of the series which has been going on for more than 5 decades. The QB is now getting a lot of play nationally.
Alex Smith never will be mistaken for a gunslinger but he has certainly enhanced his reputation as a protector of the football. He now has over 300 passing attempts without an interception. The Chiefs offense had a grand total of 232 yards against the Raiders yet Smith had a 123 passing rating. He is clearly a manager of the game – and a good one. While the Chiefs are averaging 32 points per outing during this winning streak, the defense has been the catalyst for everything. It’s that way for most good teams.
Dick Vermeil’s teams were highly entertaining when they would score in the high 30’s but then give up 45 a game. We don’t forget easily around here. The playoff game two years ago against the Colts is still fresh in our minds. The Chiefs had a 28 point lead and gagged it away.
The offense did nearly everything right but the other side of the ball was a disaster. That is not the case with this team. The Chiefs have an opportunity to survive in the tournament because of their defense. This ball hawking unit has been decimated by injuries in the front seven. Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali, the two ageless linebackers, have been wonderful mentors and examples of how the game should be played. The brash and sometimes wreckless young draft pick, Marcus Peters, has been a delight to watch. I really like this defense giving up only 13 points a game during this winning streak.
The amazing thing about the extended winning streak is that the Chiefs have managed to keep it alive without their best players on each side of the ball. No Jamaal Charles and no Justin Houston. This might be a flawed team, but it’s also a bunch that is capable of restoring some glory in the Chiefs Kingdom.