Merlin’s Third Quarter Chiefs Review
Wow, what a third quarter we just witnessed. A 3-1 quarter puts the Chiefs in great playoff position. Let’s just take a moment to recap the wackiness. First Marcus Peters rips the ball away to set up the winning FG to beat Carolina. Then, the Chiefs pull off a 2-minute drive against an elite Denver defense AND hit a two-point conversion AND doink a FG off a goalpost to win in OT. Not to rest on their laurels, the Chiefs pull off a fake punk that goes for a 55-yard TD and a pick-two to turn a one-point deficit into a one point lead to beat Atlanta. Folks, you can’t write a believable script like that. They are not the Kansas City Chiefs, they are the Kansas City Thiefs (yes, I know it’s misspelled, work with me here, artistic license).
Taking Stock: The Good
In Denver, he singlehandedly destroyed the Broncos in the first half. A healthy Justin Houston means a ton to the Chiefs playoff hopes.
The Defensive Line
Both starting DE’s are on IR. Dontari Poe has been hobbled with a back issue. When he is out, the Chiefs are playing with second and third string lineman and they are holding up well. At times, the Chiefs are rolling with a line made up entirely of players that were not on the opening day roster. Kudos to John Dorsey and his staff. They are doing a great job.
A player who I thought was going to fade into obscurity, he came back from the practice squad with a new found aggression. He is still going to be limited in range, but he is now attacking the ball and giving the Chiefs good play.
Bob Sutton and The Defensive Coaching Staff
Injuries have ravaged the defense. Sutton and his staff have done an excellent job rotating players in.
Heart and soul of the defense. The Chiefs can’t afford to lose him, but can they afford him?
Taking Stock: The Bad
Can the 2015 version come back? The Chiefs need as many weapons as possible.
Will your back hold up or are your days as a full-time player done?
Again, can you put together a healthy season? Heck, how about a healthy month?
Taking Stock: The Forgotten
Might as well book this one. His cap number is too high next year. He will have to take a big pay cut if he isn’t just cut outright.
See Jamaal Charles.
Big time talent, but getting pushed aside with the emergence of Tyreek Hill. He needs to step up. The combination of Conley and Hill could be deadly.
Tight Ends Not Named Travis Kelce
Talk about a lack of production. TE is rising up my list of draft needs.
Chiefs Draft Needs
Speaking of draft needs. This is what I am thinking right now.
Primary needs: CB, TE, ILB, OLB
John Dorsey keeps investing in Cornerbacks and that needs to continue till the Chiefs have 3 solid corners they can rely on. Travis Kelce needs a running buddy. The Chiefs need to prepare for DJ’s retirement. Tamba Hali is a warrior, but he is near the end of the road and a third pass rusher to rotate in with Houston and Ford is needed. If Poe isn’t on the team next year, NT jumps into this tier.
Secondary needs: QB, OG, WR, S
Many fans want the Chiefs to draft a QB in round one. They might, if the right player falls to them, but don’t count on it. Depth at OG, WR and Safety will help. You can never predict Dorsey. For all we know. These could be his first four picks.
The Fourth Quarter
Three straight home dates with the Raiders, Titans and Broncos are followed by ending the season at San Diego. That’s three division games and a total of four conference games. This is the critical last push for a playoff berth, division title and playoff seeding. In terms of importance, I would rank them 1] Raiders, 2] Broncos, 3] Chargers, and 4] Titans. The Chiefs have a 3-0 division record. Wins against the Raiders and Broncos would ensure that the Chiefs own the tiebreaker over each team, respectively. A 4-0 record would mean a division title and a first-round bye, plus a home game at Arrowhead. A loss to the Raiders would mean the Chiefs are two games out with three to play. This makes it difficult for the Chiefs to win their division. The Raiders close at the Chargers, home for the Colts and at the Broncos to finish the season. A loss, even in the least important game, the Titans, would put things up in the air for the division title but, should assure the Chiefs of a wild card berth. Chief fans could very well be rooting for the Broncos to beat the Raiders.
That’s my guide to the Kingdom. I could have gone on and on with the good. It’s been a magical season. Seasons like this are rare. If the magic continues, the Chiefs could be Super Bowl bound!