5 Signs Kansas City Chiefs Are Becoming Super Bowl Contenders

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5 Signs Kansas City Chiefs Are Becoming Super Bowl Contenders

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off of a very encouraging 45-10 beatdown of the Washington Redskins, and are one victory away from clinching the No. 5 seed in the AFC. Granted, it was against a pretty big mess of a team, but the Chiefs’ dominant performance is still something for Kansas City fans to get excited about.

Coming into the game, the Chiefs were riding a three-game losing streak with all losses coming to division foes. The skid all but ended their hopes for an AFC West title, considering they have two games to make up on the Denver Broncos, who have a very weak remaining schedule. With the Chiefs all but locked into the No. 5 seed, it’s not very likely they’ll get a playoff game at home, but there are still plenty of reasons to believe in this team.

Since 1999, only the 2003 New England Patriots and the 2009 New Orleans Saints have won the Super Bowl as No. 1 seeds. It’s all about getting hot at the right time and if Sunday is any indication, Kansas City seems to be heading the right direction. Even in their three losses, the Chiefs showed big improvement on the offensive side of the ball, albeit with a major drop-off from the defense.

In Week 14, the defense bounced back in a big way against a solid Redskins offense, while Kansas City’s offense continued their progress until the starters were pulled in the fourth quarter due the rout. With a new coaching staff and over half of their roster turned over, the Chiefs have done a great job building chemistry, finding their identity and trying to reach their potential. Here are five reasons why Kansas City is becoming a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Aaron Charles is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on twitter @aaroncharleskc or add him to your network on Google

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5. Offensive Line Improvement

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City’s young offensive line has been very inconsistent this season, but has come up big recently. In their last two games, the line has not allowed a single sack, while leading a rushing attack that has averaged 176 yards per game.

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4. Road Performances

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

With a 5-1 record thus far, Kansas City has no trouble winning on the road. Their best defensive performance (0 points allowed vs. Jacksonville Jaguars), highest-scoring game (45 vs. Redskins) and best victory (over 8-5 Philadelphia Eagles) have all come in away games this season. The Chiefs are just as good on the road as they are at home, which will be very important in a postseason that will likely be entirely away from Arrowhead Stadium.

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3. The Pass Rush Has Returned

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Through their first seven games, Kansas City averaged a league-leading five sacks per game, but then fell off with just two total sacks in their next five games. The pass rush came back with a bang against Washington, compiling six sacks without the team’s sack-leader Justin Houston in the lineup.

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2. The Special Teams Advantage

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Averaging the best starting field position in the NFL, Kansas City’s special teams have been solid all season, but have been huge in the last two weeks with three returns for touchdowns by three different return men (Knile Davis, Quentin Demps and Dexter McCluster). Coordinator Dave Toub is one of the best in the business, and his contributions could be a big difference-maker come playoff time.

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1. Alex Smith and the Offensive Progress

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jamaal Charles has been great all season and with the progress Alex Smith has made of late, the Chiefs offense looks like one of the best in the league. Smith has been finding a way to put the ball in the end zone with nine passing TDs in his last four games, which equals his total from his first nine contests. On top of that, Smith has the fewest interceptions among quarterbacks who have started all of their games with six. Kansas City is averaging 37 PPG over their last three games (30 per game minus special teams TDs), and the play of Smith is the primary factor to their big improvement.


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