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NFL Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs: 5 Things to Be Concerned About Going Into the Bye

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Kansas City Chiefs: 5 Things to Be Concerned About Going Into the Bye

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The Kansas City Chiefs are not overrated. If everyone in the world thinks you’re overrated, then you’re not by definition. It’s no secret Kansas City’s schedule has been weak to this point as it seems like a required disclaimer anytime someone mentions they’re 9-0. Even most Chiefs fans would agree that while they have a perfect record, they are far from a perfect team.

Regardless of the competition, Kansas City’s turnaround has been nothing short of amazing. Yes, they have a lot of room to improve especially on offense, but every team has their weaknesses. Even the Denver Broncos, who many see as a better team than the Chiefs, have their shortcomings. People are often so blinded by the offensive fireworks that they tend to forget Denver allows 27.3 points per game, more than double the 12.3 per game Kansas City surrenders.

What about the level of competition? Well, the Broncos have beaten the same number of winning teams as the Chiefs (both beat the 5-4 Dallas Cowboys). The fact is, no team in the NFL is by far and away the best. There are a handful of teams in the conversation, but nobody decisively separates themselves from the pack.

Kansas City is definitely one of the teams in that conversation but like everybody else, they have plenty to work on. The bye week is coming at a perfect time for KC with their highly-anticipated matchup in Denver coming up in Week 11. Every team in the league has their concerns, and the undefeated Chiefs will have two weeks to work on some of theirs.

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5. Their NFL-Leading Pass Rush Has Slowed Down

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Kansas City averaged five sacks per game in their first seven contests, but has managed only one in their last two games.

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4. The Jacksonville Jaguars Were the Only Team Not In the Game Toward the End

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Every other KC opponent was within one score in the fourth quarter with the exception of the New York Giants, who were within a field goal with less than two minutes to go in the third.

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3. Their Passing Game Needs a Lot of Work

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The young offensive line has improved a lot since Week 1, but both Alex Smith and the receivers don’t seem to be moving forward with them. Smith hasn’t broken 250 yards passing since Week 4, with two games throwing for 128 yards or fewer since then. As far as the pass catchers, nobody has broken 400 yards receiving yet nine games into the season.

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2. They Only Beat the Buffalo Bills Because Both Teams Couldn’t Lose

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The Chiefs picked a great time to have their worst game of the season. Buffalo outgained Kansas City 470-210, but sloppy play from the Bills’ offense gifted KC 14 points. At the Kansas City one-yard line, Jeff Tuel threw a mind-boggling ill-advised pass directly to Sean Smith, who returned it 100 yards for a TD.

Instead of taking a 14-point lead, the Bills allowed the Chiefs to tie the game with that play. Then in the fourth quarter, T.J. Graham failed to secure a reception that Marcus Cooper slapped out of his hands and Tamba Hali scooped up and returned for another defensive TD to give KC the lead for good. This was the fourth game of the season that the Chiefs could’ve either won or tied with no offensive scoring.

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1. Third and Fourth-String QBs Are Moving the Ball Against Them

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The Chiefs have faced three straight teams with either third- or fourth-string quarterbacks in Case Keenum, Jason Campbell and Jeff Tuel. The trio of backups threw for four TDs with two INTs and averaged 279 total yards. Considering Tuel and Keenum were making their first NFL starts, you would expect better from the league's best defense. The secondary will need to figure something out in their time off, because Peyton Manning and company are going to be a massive leap forward in competition.