Last season, two teams tied for worst in the league with a -24 turnover ratio ─ the Kansas City Chiefs, and Andy Reid’s Philadelphia Eagles. At season’s end, Reid lost his job in Philly, and all the coaches and quarterbacks lost their jobs in Kansas City.
Reid and the Chiefs have clearly learned their lesson as they own a +9 ratio through three games, and have yet to give the ball away. The Tennessee Titans are the only other NFL team with no giveaways.
The biggest reason why KC hasn’t made the big mistakes is the performance of Alex Smith. The former San Francisco 49ers QB is not going to put up MVP numbers, but the impact he has made for the Chiefs has been enormous nonetheless.
Particularly in Weeks 2 and 3, the offensive line performed terribly; but despite the heavy pressure, Smith didn’t make any dumb decisions. One giveaway could have been the difference in close games against the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, and the veteran QB’s discipline is a big reason why the Chiefs are 3-0 instead of 1-2.
Smith hasn’t tried to force anything mainly because he hasn’t had to thanks to the surprisingly good Kansas City defense. Everyone knew this squad had the talent to be much better than it has been, and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton has them running on all cylinders.
Sutton’s leadership and aggressive style has completely turned this crew around. In all of 2012, the defense managed just 13 takeaways, 27 sacks and one TD. Through three games of the 2013 season, they have already compiled nine takeaways, 14 sacks and two defensive TDs. Forcing big mistakes and not making them yourself is how you win in the NFL, and it’s why the Chiefs have already topped their win total from last season.