The Armchair Quarterback’s Guide To The NFL: Week 8

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Oct 6, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) makes adjustments at the line against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. The Chiefs beat the Titans 26-17. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Armchair Quarterback Take Of The Week

The Kansas City Chiefs Are For Real

The Kansas City Chiefs are 7-0 and the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL. Normally that distinction would be accompanied by Super Bowl expectations and widespread respect amongst NFL fans nation wide. However, that isn’t really the case with the Chiefs. The overwhelming consensus is that the Chiefs are “a really great story”, but not legitimate title contenders.

Granted, the Chiefs are, in fact, a great story. They were an absolute dumpster fire last season. The pitiful 2-14 record and first pick in the NFL draft don’t even do justice to the train wreck that was the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs. They tied a record held by the 1929 Buffalo Bison (I didn’t make that up) for longest streak without holding a lead in regulation (8 games). Stop and think about that, not even having a lead in 8 consecutive games. At least the Jaguars have had a couple of leads. The Chiefs had a fan revolt and flew banners over the stadium, they were so fed up with the poor play of Matt Cassel that some cheered when he got injured which caused Eric Winston to jump in front of a camera and call all Chiefs fans “sickening and disgusting”, and to top it all off there was the horrific murder/suicide by one of their players.

So of course it’s a “great story” when the very next season they start 7-0 and are the last unbeaten team in the league. However, NFL fans would be foolish to dismiss this team as a “fluke”. Yes, they have had a relatively easy schedule. Yes, their offense hasn’t been very exciting. Yes, they don’t have a future Hall of Fame QB that will carry the team on his back to Super Bowl glory.

That doesn’t mean that this team should be bypassed when discussing the best teams in the NFL this season.

The main reason that the rest of the NFL should be taking notice of the Chiefs is their defense. You can make a strong case for the KC defense being the most impressive unit in the NFL through seven weeks.

The Chiefs defense is holding opponents to a mere 11.6 PPG. They have yet to allow a single team to score more than 17 points. The point totals allowed in their seven games are 2, 16, 16, 7, 17, 7, and 16. The average points scored by those seven teams are 10.9, 24.1, 28.6, 17.2, 20.7, 17.5, and 17.4. That means that the Chiefs have held their combined opponents to over 55 less points than they are averaging, or almost 8 points less per game. In other words, those seven teams are averaging 19.5 PPG, but KC held them to 11.6.

Let’s compare that with the widely respected Seattle defense. Seattle has allowed 35 more points through seven games (5 points per game) than KC. The general opinion is that this is because Seattle has faced better teams. If you do the math, Seattle’s opponents average a combined 20.4 PPG, but Seattle held them to 16.6.

So KC has held their opponents to 7.9 PPG under their average and Seattle has held their opponents to 3.8 PPG under their average.

Kansas City and Seattle are tied for the most forced turnovers with 19.

Kansas City has 35 sacks through seven games. They are on pace for 80 on the season, which would shatter the long standing record of 72 held by the 1984 Bears. Seattle has 23 thus far.

Seven games is a big enough sample size that it is now impossible to not give the KC defense credit for being one of the elite units in the game.

In the past ten seasons there have been exactly ten teams that held their opponents to to an average PPG under 15. Six of those ten advanced to their conference title game. Two of them went on to win Super Bowls.

I can already hear what some of you are thinking.

“That’s great Lyle, their defense is really good. It’s their offense that isn’t good enough to make them a viable contender.”

That’s a fair argument, but let’s take a closer look just to see how valid of a case there might be.

Remember those 6 teams that held their opponents to an average PPG under 15 and went on to make it to their conference title game? The average offensive PPG of those six teams was 22.8.

The Kansas City Chiefs are averaging 24.1.

Besides the Broncos, what team is putting up SO many points that KC can’t compete with them? The number three scoring team in the NFL is the Cowboys and KC already held them to a season low of 16 points. What about the other teams that are viewed as Super Bowl contenders.

The Packers are averaging 28.0.

The Seahawks are averaging 27.3.

The Saints are averaging 26.8.

The Colts are averaging 26.7.

The 49ers are averaging 25.1.

The Chiefs are averaging 24.1.

The Patriots are averaging 21.7.

The Bengals are averaging 21.1.

Can you really make an argument that KC’s offense has no business in this group when they are basically a field goal away from everyone not named the Broncos?

One final point, people are using KC’s horrible season last year as a reason to NOT fear this team. I say, it makes them more dangerous. The Chiefs aren’t “cocky”. A lot of their best players have suffered through those horrible seasons and are now hungry to win and willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. They know they aren’t perfect yet and will continue to fight and work to improve. Andy Reid and Alex Smith weren’t here for those bad years, but they both have something to prove after how things ended with their previous teams. They’ve only been together for seven games. Isn’t it possible that they’ll continue to improve as they have more time together? Especially with a chip on their shoulder and a team around them that are hungry for success.

The Kansas City Chiefs are more than just a “great story”. They now have to be viewed as one of a handful of teams that have a legitimate chance to compete for a Super Bowl.

Then again, I am an admitted KC fan, so there’s a slight chance I could be biased.

Now on to the week 8 game predictions……

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  • Roc

    Lmao, thanks Lyle I needed a good laugh and I too am a very mellow person and would love to see the geico lizard lay the smack down on Flo

  • tm1946

    Feel a little sorry for Vike’s fans. After what we went thru last year, to watch a team hold a tryout camp at QB while paying for season tickets….ugh.
    Good effort except for raider’s game. Never pick the raiders to win a spelling bee.

  • Jason Seibel

    Great stuff as always, Lyle! Love the bit about Progressive.

  • kcpauly

    Good read Lyle, I would love for a giant Geico lizard(which I hate as well) to come in and snap that stupid bitch up with its tongue and chew a few times before swallowing her, now it seems like every radio commercial they do she assaults us with her stupid singing, man why did you have to write that stuff, I was having a good day until you reminded me how much I hate that stupid shit…… thanks pal(sarcasm font)
    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chris Schroeder

    Lol! Yeah…. The Chiefs have none chance of comperpting for a Super Bowl. They will make it to the playoffs considering they’re extremely easy schedule, but let’s be serious. I’ve watch the games the Chiefs have played and some of them were extremely close games like one point game against a horrible Texas team in Kansas City who didn’t even have Matt Schaub as quarterback. The Raiders held them to a tie game until there was three minutes left on the clock in third-quarter, where alternately the Kansas City defense was too much for the practice squad offensive lineman to handle. See my point? Any first team defense in the league would give the Raiders offensive line trouble with as many injuries they have. we all know that the Titans came close to beating the Chiefs in Tennessee with her backup quarterback if it weren’t for bad officiating calls that ultimately led to the Chiefs victory. If you asked me the Chiefs have been extremely lucky in most of their games against subpar teams. I don’t see this team has anything but a very lucky team at the moment. Their defense has been good but come on look at who they have been playing against. Wait till Kansas City goes into Denver then they will get slapped with a reality check. That’s a fact!!!

    • RepOurChiefs

      Once again with your predictions!!!.. You said the raiders would “slap” us with reality and yet they got sent back home with an L. Your anger is so misplaced,thats its comical and on the cusp of pathetic.All jokes aside though. The Chiefs have limitations and are just finding ways to win and agreed havent faced anything elite by far(including your team) but the Chiefs arent elite as well so it was pretty much an even playing field. The point im trying to make is this team came off a horrid season and wasnt looking to do anything more than to be competitive so if that was an 8-8 season then i’d called that a success. But whattayakno!!! They just may make the playoffs due to a weak sched and since you say we are a weak team well that breaks even.Who cares if we dont make it to the superbowl.From where they came from to this point..i will take a playoff sighting and you know you would too. No matter how much salt you pour bro..this is a feel good story no matter the team name or state they fall out of. Wish your raiders the best of luck til we war again. #CHIEFSKINGDOM

      • ……ChiefsFan……

        I would argue that if you put Denver in the elite column, you have to place KC there as well. Denver gas serious flaws on D, but their O is elite. The same can be said for the Chiefs, the O and the D just change places.

        I cannot wait for the Denver game. GO CHIEFS!!!

        • RepOurChiefs

          I fully agree. My word placement was for the sake of argument to the cleo psychic clone. Lol

    • ……ChiefsFan……

      You seriously need to give it a rest! The last two weeks were great while you were licking your wounds and sulking in the shameful sorrow that your mouth brought upon you. In all seriousness, you need to get past your whining about our schedule and the officiating.

      Every team’s fans have been saying the same thing about our wins, and you know what? They still lose to the Chiefs who “haven’t beat any good teams”. I guess now we can include the Raiders in the list of terrible teams the Chiefs beat up on.

      Have a nice day ;)!

      • RepOurChiefs

        Couldnt buy a vowel from him 2weeks ago..lol

  • RepOurChiefs

    I really hope I get to fall right out of my chair too!!!!! And I also 2nd the “last hoorah”.