After a downward spiral of losing three straight games following an impressive 9-0 start to the season, the now 10-3 Kansas City Chiefs looked like they were letting things slip. The Chiefs, at one point the only undefeated team in the NFL, took a hit in the form of a 41-38 loss to AFC West division rival San Diego Chargers sandwiched between two losses to another longtime division rival in the Denver Broncos. They stayed focused and kept improving, however, and have reverted back to being a team to be reckoned with.
The Chiefs at one point had a formidable defense, but during those three losses they were giving up more yardage and points to their opponents than they’d been known to and seemed to have difficulty getting to the quarterback (especially Denver’s Peyton Manning).
The Chiefs offense, since the beginning of the season, had been sporadically effective, though unpredictable — it did help them get those first nine wins in large part, but didn’t seem reliable to count on in a pinch.
That all changed Sunday when the Chiefs put the kibosh on the Washington Redskins with a resounding 45-10 victory on the road and in the snow, no less.
Kansas City’s defense held Redskins running back Alfred Morris to only 12 carries and just over 30 yards. They got an interception off of quarterback Robert Griffin III, kept him to 12-of-26 passing with only one touchdown, and they sacked him five times. They also sacked backup quarterback Kirk Cousins once for good measure.
On offense, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith completed 14 of his 20 passes and got two touchdowns. It’s noteworthy to know that the Chiefs scored outright on their first four possessions. They even did it without left tackle Branden Albert, who was out with a hyper-extended knee. Jamaal Charles got over 150 yards on his 19 carries.
Kansas City left the Redskins in the dust. Well, in the snow, to be more accurate.
Granted, the 3-10 Redskins aren’t having their best season which may end with their head coach Mike Shanahan looking for a new job, but the point is the Chiefs have the talent and ability to make it count when they need to. And beyond the statistics and raw talent, Kansas City has the passion and drive to get the job done.
On Week 15 Sunday, the Chiefs will go on the road again to meet the 4-9 Oakland Raiders, and the odds are in their favor. If they win, or the Baltimore Ravens lose, or if the Miami Dolphins lose, they will clinch themselves an AFC Wild Card spot for the playoffs. After that, Kansas City faces the Indianapolis Colts and then the Chargers again.
The undefeated team from earlier this season that so many critics wrote off to an “easy schedule” is making something of itself. The Chiefs are coming back and proving themselves as a force to be reckoned with and are shaping up nicely as a team despite their three recent losses.
Other teams around the league may want to take note as the final three games of the regular season wind down and the playoffs begin.