In the beginning of the Super Bowl era, only 30 teams have started out with an 8-0 season. This year, the Kansas City Chiefs got to join those elite NFL ranks, after defeating the Cleveland Browns 23-17 on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium — and the prospect of actually going to the Super Bowl is certainly within their reach.
There are those who would argue that because the Chiefs have not faced any formidable teams yet, their undefeated status is somewhat of a lucky fluke. Whatever the Chiefs have been doing, however, has certainly worked for them, and while they take their victories with a measure of humility and in stride, they should not be underestimated.
Other teams that are in the dogfight for the top league seat include Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks. These teams have really delivered this season and they also are teams with really great quarterbacks.
But, let’s face it, the Chiefs have truly carved themselves out their own niche: brandishing a powerhouse defense and leveraging the scoreboard advantage with an opportunistic offense. None of the other teams contending for No. 1 are winning this way. In other words, Kansas City has kept winning in a very unorthodox and unpredictable fashion. At the end of the day, the teams that keep winning keep coming closer to the prize, and so winning is the only thing that matters as the playoffs loom.
And the Chiefs understand all too well that they should prepare to fend off every team’s very best efforts to take away their undefeated status, starting with the Buffalo Bills this Sunday, and then on to the Broncos, as well as the Colts and the San Diego Chargers.
Say what you will about this season’s Chiefs, but keep in mind that if they can continue to hold their ground with their defense the way they have been — they currently lead the league in fewest points allowed (12.3 per game), they’ve chalked up the most sacks (36) and the most takeaways (20), and their third-down efficiency is to kill for, at 25.2 percent. As long as Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith, along with Jamaal Charles and company, continue to improve with offensive consistency, it should not only keep them rolling forward, it should leave their upcoming opponents guessing.