A month ago many of us were predicting the demise of the Kansas City Chiefs after their 1-5 sluggish start. Include me among the naysayers. Suddenly, they’ve become legitimate and are clearly a part of the wildcard chase. The schedule lightens significantly with 7 games to play.
The Chiefs were finally able to beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton were the QBs the last time this happened. Sad to say, but both of those castoffs were better on that day three years ago than Manning was Sunday in Denver. He was dreadful. Manning, who set the all-time NFL passing record, was benched after throwing 4 interceptions and getting one offensive first down. It was the worst performance of his storied 17 year playing career.
The Chiefs win Sunday marks only the second time in 16 tries that they beat a Manning-led team. He’s one of the all-time greats to play the position, but he’s finished. Peyton Manning is damaged goods. He has bad ribs, a bad neck, a bad shoulder, a bad foot and an arm no longer capable of throwing a 10 yard pass.
Denver still has a firm grip on the division only because of its potent defense. The Broncos played without two of their best players and still made the Chiefs offense look pedestrian, limiting them to 5 field goals. The Chiefs had great field position all day and couldn’t pull the trigger. They left way too many points on the field.
The best offensive play of the game with the Broncos came on Charcandrick West’s 80 yard catch and run for a touchdown. He has been the savior of the offense since taking over for Jamaal Charles.
The Chiefs vs Broncos game was about the defense from the get-go. It saved the Chiefs season. A spectacular effort from the defense forcing five Denver turnovers. Remember, this same bunch was awful in the first four games of the season giving up an average of 31 points a game. Since then, the Chiefs are yielding only 14 points per outing.
In this space a week ago, I indicated the Chiefs had a good chance of stealing a win in Denver. I had no clue it would be that easy to get their third win in a row.
Now we can really shoot from the hip and tell you why the Chiefs are going to make playoffs as a wild card team. The schedule is a big part of it. The Chiefs play only one team with a winning record. They own the tie-breaker with the Steelers and get Buffalo at Arrowhead on Thanksgiving weekend.
The quarterback continues to make me uneasy about the offense. Let’s hope that Andy Reid continues to script 50 screen passes every game, but it’s still on the Chiefs defense to carry the team. So despite Alex Smith, the Chiefs will win their remaining home games and will beat San Diego and Baltimore on the road. Bingo! Add them up. 10 wins and a lockdown as the No.5 team in the tournament.
I’m telling you, the Chiefs are ripe for some late season magic and maybe will even win a game in the playoffs. Why not? A minor miracle, but it’s also very doable.