Is this the best version of the Kansas City Chiefs we have ever seen? Last night, I was at my neighbor’s house watching the game and there was another mutual friend over. He is a Green Bay Packers fan, and thus an unbiased party. His comment was: “The Chiefs have always had a really good offense but a bad defense. Or, they have always had a really good defense but not offense. For the first time, I think they have found the right mix.”
I couldn’t agree more with this statement.
The Chiefs have absolutely found the right mix. The defense is not setting the world on fire right now, and that’s okay. The offense is good enough to bail them out. Conversely, when the offense falters on a drive, the defense is there to get a quick three-and-out and send the opposing team back to their sideline. It is really a great thing that head coach Andy Reid has built in Kansas City.
Here are my game observations:
First, I made the comment to my neighbor (and fellow Chiefs fan) last night that I though wide receiver Chris Conley was the most underrated player on the team. At the time of this writing, the full extent of his injury has not been revealed. It seems like every time the Chiefs need a huge conversion on a long third down, Conley is the go-to guy for the pass play. His hands are strong and he absolutely knows how to work the sideline. I have been very impressed with him this season.
Tyreek Hill has truly developed into that No. 1 wide receiver we all hoped he would be as soon as we heard the news that former Chiefs general manager John Dorsey sent Jeremy Maclin the text message that sealed his fate. When Dorsey cut Maclin, Hill moved into that starting wide receiver position, and he has embraced it 100 percent. While he did not score a touchdown on offense — though his 82-yard punt return to the house, which I will break down later this week in “Anatomy of a Touchdown” was glorious — that huge reception he made on the sideline during third-and-forever was indicative of someone who has been playing the game for much longer than one and a quarter seasons. He is something special.
Kareem Hunt continues to impress me. Game after game, while he may start slow — mostly due to the fact that the defenses are now keying on him — he really is able to make things happen in the second half of games. He quietly went over 100 yards once last night, continuing to be the No. 1 rusher in the NFL. On top of that, his longest attempt was 23 yards. I don’t remember which run it was that went for nearly a quarter of the field, but that just shows how good Hunt actually is. The Chiefs are fortunate to have him.
How about Harrison Butler? Don’t know who that is? I don’t blame you. But, he is our kicker who was signed off the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad about two weeks ago. Since missing his first field goal, he has been absolutely perfect on every field goal and extra point since then. Chalk this up to another job well done for special teams coordinator Dave Toub and Andy Reid.
The defense really needs to tighten things up. It is really a good thing the offense is playing as well as they are. The Chiefs secondary continues to get burned on the deep ball, and gashed by the running game. Perhaps it is the absence of Dee Ford, but they are having an extraordinarily hard time getting their pass-rush to the quarterback, and that gave Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson all the time he needed to burn the Chiefs deep on more than a few occasions last night. They have to get better.
I would like throw a huge shout out to the Chiefs offensive line for their performance last night. Yes, I know all-universe defensive end J.J. Watt went out during the Chiefs first series with a broken leg in what amounted to be the most dramatic, and highly-televised injury in the history of television. With the cameras backstage waiting for Watt to come out of the X-ray room, and the helicopter coverage following his ambulance to the hospital, I wasn’t sure if I was watching an NFL game or a WWE match. It was ridiculous. But still, the line played extremely well. Smith did not get sacked one single time, and heading into this game, he was the second-most sacked quarterback in the NFL.
Let’s talk about Alex, shall we? Last night he threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns. That is the first time in his career he has had two games of over 300 yards in the same season. You can say what you want about him, but he is playing at the level we all hoped he would, and far above what most thought he was capable of. He is the leader of this team, and is actually leading the early-season MVP conversation. Let that sink in for a second.
This team is good. There is no denying it at this point. Have they gotten lucky here and there? Sure, but what team doesn’t? The bottom line is, they make plays when the plays have to be made, and they find a way to win every week.
This is our year. I can feel it. I’m on to Pittsburgh.
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