Kansas City Chiefs: Can They Get Back To Their Winning Ways?

In their first nine games of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs were a defensively dominant franchise that appeared to be completely rejuvenated from last season’s forgettable failures.  In their first nine games, the Chiefs never allowed an opponent to score more than seventeen points per game, which was an impressive feat for a team that had only won two games last year.  Yet, despite the Chiefs miraculous defense, there was something to be said for a passing game that was meek and methodical thanks to quarterback Alex Smith.  On top of that, seven of the Chiefs nine victories were against opponents who now have records below .500.  While the Chiefs shouldn’t panic because of their two game losing streak, it is at least an omen that this team needs to be more complete and well balanced if their hope to be competitive down the stretch.

While quarterback Alex Smith has been a solid contributor and game manager for this revitalized Chiefs team, he lacks the tenacity and confidence to allow his team to score big at the most opportune moments.  Luckily, Smith had a supremely reliable defense that was, until recently, seemingly unbeatable.  Unfortunately, Smith’s lack of production finally caught up with him, as his conservative approach was ineffective against the Denver Broncos.  Although the Chiefs only lost by ten to the offensively high octane Broncos, Smith’s miniscule passing yardage per game (206 yards per game, 26th in the NFL) and his unimpressive accuracy (he has completed 59% of his passes this season) were finally costing his team critical wins.  Although Smith appeared display more offensive gusto in the Chiefs loss to the San Diego Chargers when he completed 68.4% of his passes for three touchdowns, he needs to maintain this type of poised confidence if he hopes to lead his team valiantly to the playoffs.

Surprisingly, even with Smith’s lack of offensive production, the Chiefs defense had almost always been able to bail him out not matter how dire the circumstances appeared to be.  Even when the Chiefs nine game winning streak was snapped by the offensively dominant Broncos, the Chiefs defense still held its ground against one of the best passers in the game.  However, in their recent devastating loss to the Charges, the Chiefs once prominently gifted defense was finally demolished at the hands of Phillip Rivers.  With that being said, the Chiefs uncharacteristic slip ups on defense were attributed to two critical injuries to linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.  As a defensive veteran, Hali had been key in garnering a hand full of the Chiefs many turnovers as he has forced four fumbles along with one interception on the season.  On top of that, the Chiefs also had to contend with the loss of their third year linebacker Justin Houston who was just starting to become an ample contributor as he had forced one turnover and garnered 44 combined tackles on the season.  While the Chiefs stout defense isn’t necessarily decimated because of these losses, it’ll be hard to replace these essential defensive athletes and will undoubtedly change how effective this defense will be in the future.

While it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs losing out the rest of the season, they’ll need to step up against the Denver Broncos at home if they hope to clinch home field advantage come post seasons play.  More importantly, the Chiefs need to prove that they can handle the more dominant opponents in the league to prove that they are worthy of their 9-2 record that is now being questioned because of their easy schedule up to this point in the season.  Without quality wins against division opponents, the Chiefs will once again succumb to another disappointing season.

When all is said and done, the Chiefs have the talent and the capabilities to be one of the best teams in the league.  Despite their recent defensive injuries, the Chiefs still have an impressive secondary that is still proficient enough to get the job done.  If Alex Smith can emulate his performance from his most recent outing, the Chiefs can easily become the Cinderella story of the NFL once again.         

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs, NFL

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  • Kansas City Rob

    Are you kidding me? Alex Smith can hardly be blamed for either loss. This team is designed for solid defence and sound offence. 41 points given up at home inexcusable. In addition it seems easy to forget 2-14 last year. This teams future is bright, they may not get their this year, but will no doubt be close.

  • PunjabiPete

    Don’t be offended, but reading your post it seems clear you are not an Alex Smith supporter. Which is fine, but sentences like “While quarterback Alex Smith has been a solid contributor and game manager for this revitalized Chiefs team, he lacks the tenacity and confidence to allow his team to score big at the most opportune moments.” – While I will agree with you that some of his throws have been off, it seems like you ignore the fact that the wideout must also CATCH a ball thrown to him. The San Diego game was 100% not on Alex Smith at ALL.

    I have no problem if you want to bash Alex Smith. I support him, but not everyone does, and I understand that. But to put a bunch of blame on him for things NOT under his control (while he threw high a few times, this is the NFL, dammit, and a decent WR would have worked harder to catch a ball rather than bat it down when it hits his hands) is inane. That being said, I think if we could come out with the offense from the Chargers game and the Defense from the Raiders game, we got a good shot at beating the Broncos. Here’s hoping.

  • redchiefs

    Total BS to blame Alex Smith here. He’s been very good to even superb at QB last weekend. The O finally came alive, the replacements on the right side of the O line played better than the starters, the O scored 38 pts. This is a team game and it’s true the D has been the major factor up to the Bye Week, the last two weeks the O has opened it up and scored points and the Defense has failed, last week the Defense failed completely. Special teams has struggled after the Bye Week too. Bad article, totally biased, you get a thumbs down.

  • DXW

    Once they start playing against bad teams again, they’ll start winning again. Of course, this also means their season will be over after the wildcard game, but them’s the breaks. There’s always next year.

  • Dock42

    Who is this guy? Tries to make a story out of statistics and has no substance. This person clearly has not watched one Chief game but feels he can offer an opinion.
    Alex smith brings the perfect amount of experience, consistency, leadership to this new offense – that has only been together 8 months.
    I dunno, Alex looked pretty tenacious against the chargers. Again. This joker didn’t even watch the game I’ll bet.

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