The Kansas City Chiefs did exactly what they were supposed to do: destroy a bad team. Good teams win games they are supposed to, and great teams dominate games they are supposed to win. The Denver Broncos have been doing that all year and letting everyone know they are the top team, and now the Chiefs are catching on.
While the game against the Oakland Raiders seemed close for a while, the Chiefs’ defense had the Raiders so shut down defensively there was little worry. The Raiders averaged a mere 3.9 yards per play, a figure that would have been last in the NFL by over a full yard. They forced three interceptions and constantly harassed Terrelle Pryor. In fact, he was sacked a full 10 times as the Chiefs’ outside linebackers and defensive line once again dominated. The Chiefs defense has proved to be up there with the Seattle Seahawks as one of the top in the league. In fact, the Chiefs defense has the best DVOA in the league, with Seattle right behind. With so few games played most would still take Seattle’s defense as it has been better for longer, but the Chiefs’ defense is nothing to scoff at.
The worry for this team is on offense. This week they really struggled to move the ball, averaging only 3.5 yards per play. They have shown some good things, but they cannot produce big plays. This is a top team despite their poor offense, not because Alex Smith is coming into his own. If they can improve even just a little they can be legit Super Bowl contenders because of their great defense, but if the offense takes even one step back it may cost them their chance. Andy Reid is a genius with quarterbacks and they do have a lot of talent in Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles, so the Chiefs should improve.
Many will question the Chiefs’ ability to win the big one with Smith as their leader. What they must remember is that every few years it is a defense, not a quarterback that leads a team to the Super Bowl. For the New York Giants in 2007 it was a group of defensive ends, and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002 it was a new defensive scheme they ran perfectly. The Chiefs are certainly capable of replicating those paths to the Super Bowl, but capable and actually doing it are two different things. The defense has to maintain this dominance and Smith and the offense must keep improving. The Chiefs have proved they belong in the conversation but have yet to show they are the favorites.