‘4-0 with room to grow’ has been the slogan of the week for the Kansas City Chiefs. The motto fits well as KC has plenty of room for improvement. Not that the fans are complaining, but the last three wins were very competitive matchups deep into the game, and could have gone a different way if not for very strong fourth-quarter performances.
Most of the room to grow lies with the offense as it’s tough to ask more of the Chiefs’ defense. They have surrendered an NFL-low 10.3 points per game, lead the league in sacks, trail only two teams in takeaways, and have scored two TDs. The offense on the other hand, is middle of the pack in most statistical categories due mostly to an inexperienced offensive line and several new pieces still trying to build chemistry with one another.
But while the offense stalls sometimes in the first three quarters, they’ve come up big during crunch time. It wasn’t always done with a lot of flash, but they’ve been getting the job done.
Up 17-16 against the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City had three and outs on three-straight drives. The Chiefs got the ball back with 3:50 left, but Dallas had all three time outs. In an obvious running situation, the offensive line stepped up in creating lanes for Jamaal Charles as KC took all but 16 seconds off the clock.
The next week, leading 23-16 with 11:36 left in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the offense marched 73 yards down the field on a scoring drive to put the game out of reach. Just as important as going up two scores was how they took 8:15 off the clock, all but ending the game.
In last Sunday against the New York Giants, Kansas City actually used some flash cramming it down the G-Men’s throats for two TDs after Dexter McCluster’s game-breaking punt return for a touchdown.
The Chiefs have outscored their opponents 34-10 in the fourth quarter this season, and their crunch-time play is the primary factor to their undefeated record. They have a very tough test on the road against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday that could very well require another strong finish.
As a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in almost 20 years, there haven’t been a lot of clutch performances around Kansas City ─ hopefully the fans are enjoying the show.