The Kansas City Chiefs are getting some good Karma on this eight game winning streak. They gave up a desperation Hail Mary touchdown bomb and still won by 20 points on the road at Baltimore.
Let’s put this one in the Andy Reid folder of most conservative games won by Big Red in KC. There have been a good number of them in the last three years. Not complaining. It’s a fact. Playing it close to the vest led to a turnover free game for the Chiefs. They keep capitalizing on their opponents mistakes. The Ravens were guilty of three major miscues in the first half and – BINGO – the Chiefs turned them into touchdowns.
I keep asking myself, “How good are the Chiefs?” I really don’t know. Sometimes I think in this league of parity, they can compete with anyone. Other times, I get the feeling they play down to the competition. Still, they’re setting some kind of record nearly every week. This week we had two more scores from the defense Sunday including the 73 yard fumble return by Tyvon Branch and Marcus Peter’s 90 yard pick-six put the Chiefs in the category of the only team to accomplish that in the same game.
Records aren’t what the Chiefs are chasing. They need to find a way to win a playoff game. The Chiefs have been invited to the postseason only four times in the last 18 years. They haven’t won a game in the tournament since 1993 when Greg Norman was still winning golf tournaments.
Defensively, the Chiefs can hold their own even without their star linebacker, Justin Houston. The offense has been only so-so in the last three outings. The QB continues to be an excellent ball protector. He completed 21 of 25 passes against Baltimore but he also chose not to throw the deep ball. It was partly by design. The Chiefs battered O-line can hold a block for about as long as it takes to snap your fingers. Protecting the QB has been an issue the last two seasons for the Chiefs. Smith has been sacked 43 times in 14 games; the most by any QB in the league. Last year he went down 45 times but he doesn’t get a pass. He’s the QB who makes $17 million a year.
The Chiefs haven’t lost a game for 66 days after that debacle at Minnesota when they were shut-out for more than 3 quarters. With Denver losing at Pittsburgh, the Chiefs have quietly pulled to within a game of the Broncos in the AFC West. The schedule now clearly favors the Chiefs with home games remaining against Cleveland and Oakland. In the meantime, the Broncos face the hard-charging Cincinnati Bengals this week. The improbable run by the Chiefs have put them in a position to dethrone Denver as division champs.
A playoff game at Arrowhead next month is very much in play with a little help along the way. Don’t sleep on these Chiefs!