What a difference a week (and a win) makes for our Chiefs. Kansas City was practically left for dead by NFL pundits, and many Chiefs’ fans. We all know that there is still a lot of work to do, but the way the Chiefs performed against Baltimore gives us hope.
Offensively, the boys put on their best show so far this season, and it was all the more impressive because they did so against the vaunted Ravens defense. Wasn’t it hilarious to hear All-World linebacker Ray Lewis whining that he couldn’t do anything due to Chiefs’ double teams? Too bad for Ray that several replays showed him getting knocked on his butt by a single offensive lineman.
It seemed to me that Johnnie Morton must’ve finally gotten tired of people claiming the Chiefs have no quality receivers. He played with a passion that I haven’t seen since he arrived here. The same guy who failed to stretch out for a pass because he heard footsteps several weeks ago, made several great grabs along the sideline and showed some fire for once! Chris Horn also played another good game.
I’ve got to hand it to the coaches too for their utilization of Jason Dunn. He is a monster, and capable of good things in the passing game. By using him, the Chiefs can take some pressure off of Tony Gonzalez who has seen constant double coverage. Jason was wide open on his touchdown reception, while Gonzalez was blanketed by two or three defenders.
While I’m discussing coaching moves, why have the Chiefs run so few screen passes to Priest and Derrick Blaylock? The mobility of our offensive line, plus the shiftiness of our backs, made these plays game breakers the last few seasons.
Priest may not have done much in the passing game, but he showed his greatness on the ground with 125 tough yards, and 2 touchdowns. No real long runs (like he craves) but his consistent effort helped Kansas City to a two-to-one advantage in time of possession.
Defensively, Gun’s boys continued their improvement. Would it shock anyone to know that Kansas City is now ranked 8th in the conference in total defense? Their points allowed per game is still high, (27.5) but they are obviously better than last year, and this number will only get lower.
A special teams note: Get well soon Steve Cheek! Jason Baker cost the Chiefs 7 points with his line drive punt late in the 2nd Quarter.
There is no question that the Chiefs are getting better. The real question is whether or not they will improve enough to make the playoffs.
I believe that the early season adversity this team has faced is just the motivation our boys needed. Personally, I am more optimistic by this start than I would be by another 9-0 start. The Chiefs are hungry and desperate this season, as opposed to fat and happy like they were last year. I’m not saying the Chiefs will make the playoffs, but if they do, look for them to make some noise for the first time in more than a decade!
Priest-O-Meter 2004 Projections:
1904 rushing yards & 24 TD’s