INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 9: Dwayne Bowe #82 of the Kansas City Chiefs dives for the first down under pressure from Jacob Lacey #27 of the Indianapolis Colts during the second half of play at Lucas Oil Field on October 9, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 and there were a number of story lines to come out of the game. Now that the Chiefs have won two in a row, there's some optimism beginning to build.
Is Matt Cassel turning a corner? How does Jackie Battle change things now? Is Dwayne Bowe worth big money? Was the Steve Breaston acquisition worth it? Can we be optimistic again? Have the Chiefs really accomplished anything beating Minnesota and Indy?
Those are all part of the story lines to come out of this game.
What to do with Jackie Battle. The top story line to come out of this game, I think. He's been the preseason star for several seasons but has never been given a real shot in the regular season, whether that's his fault or more about the talent ahead of him. He got 19 carries on Sunday which is one less than he received in all of 2010. Averaging over six yards per carry on that many touches is impressive and it now has us wondering if he becomes the main running back in KC's backfield.
Maybe Matt Cassel is taking a similar path as last year. No, this isn't a commentary on how Cassel is now the future of the Chiefs but I'm just pointing out what we're seeing from Cassel. Last year, despite the Chiefs 3-0 start, the early complaints about the Chiefs centered around Cassel. Eventually, he stepped it up and put together a solid season. Are we seeing a similar turnaround for him right now? In October, Cassel is 2-0 with the Chiefs and has five touchdowns to zero interceptions. Yesterday might've been his best game as a Chief. Is Cassel just a slow-starter? Figuring out which way he goes from here will be among the most talked-about topics this week.
Dwayne Bowe keeps doing it. I remember before the season a fantasy football writer said Bowe's 13 touchdowns-in-seven-weeks streak in 2010 was as unrepeatable as it gets. Maybe so, but he's putting together a good start this year catching four touchdowns in the last three games. I've questioned whether giving Bowe a big contract would be the right move but, as Sam Mellinger points out, Bowe is making the decision easier on us. His first two seasons in KC were solid, the third one was miserable, the fourth was incredible and the fifth looks more like 2010 than 2009. Hmm....
So far, Steve Breaston looks worth it. The Chiefs gave him $20-plus million to come to KC and some questioned that after a slow start. But in the last three games Breaston is putting it together and becoming a key part of the offense. 55 yards in Week 3, 91 yards in Week 4 and two touchdowns in Week 5. Early returns suggest Breaston's arrival in KC will be worth the money.
Some optimism returning to KC. It's the bye week which means we'll have a lot of extra time to be talking about the future of the Chiefs this week. Among those topics is the Chiefs schedule, and what they can do over the next few weeks. It's the bye this weekend, then a trip to Oakland before hosting the Chargers on Monday Night Football on Halloween, which is looking like it could be a huge game. The Chiefs started 0-3 and looked horrible doing it so I almost feel like I shouldn't be talking about the division race but I can't help it. The next two games are huge for the Chiefs.
Maybe the Chiefs still aren't good enough. I tuned into sports talk radio following the game and there were more than a few callers that pointed out the Chiefs only two victories came against teams that hadn't won a game yet. That's true, and there will continue to be people who question whether the 2011 Chiefs are headed down inside of up. You know me as a pretty optimistic fan so this isn't my viewpoint but I do recognize that the Chiefs really haven't done much yet this season.