The word “settle” should be written across the top of every dry-erase board in the Kansas City Chiefs‘ practice facilities right now. All it’s possible usages should be foremost in the team’s vernacular, and they should be asking themselves which ones best define them.
Coming off a third loss in as many weeks, all to division rivals, the once undefeated Chiefs need to settle down and look around. At 9-3, they are only a game behind the Denver Broncos in the AFC West, though Denver owns the tie-breaker. The only other team to defeat them this season, the San Diego Chargers, have to win-out to even have a shot at a wild card playoff birth.
When the losing streak began back in Week 11, Kansas City’s defense was the NFL‘s second-best, yielding a measly 12.3 points per contest.The Chiefs’ offense ranked a lowly 27th in the league in average points scored. Here’s a look at where they’ve settled in after the unfortunate stretch.
The Chiefs have played the No. 1 ranked offense (Broncos) twice and have only fallen into fourth defensively; they now allow 17.8 points per outing. Quarterback Alex Smith and company have amazingly climbed 18 spots and are now a top-10 unit, scoring 24.8 per contest.
Kansas City still has the best turnover ratio in the league (+14), and has scored the most touchdowns off of them with six. Dustin Colquitt is landing more punts inside opponent’s 20-yard-lines than any other punter. Jamaal Charles leads all running backs in touches and is second in overall yardage; that’s exactly where he sat three weeks ago.
The Chiefs have dropped from first to fifth in team sacks, but that could be attributed to injuries amongst their sack leaders. LB Justin Houston and DE Mike Devito have missed entire games, and LB Tamba Hali and DE Tyson Jackson have been playing hurt. Now that the dust has settled on the disappointing run, a closer statistical look actually reveals a better overall Chiefs team.
Settling debts and disputes is not something that happens easily in Washington, DC, but ultimately, that’s where it has to happen in any argument of supremacy. Kansas City is traveling there this weekend to try to prove themselves against the Washington Redskins.
The question before the court on Sunday will be this — are the Chiefs willing to settle for their best start in franchise history (tied with the 2003 squad), or do they have a score to settle?
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia.