These 2013 Chiefs are full of guys who you do not want to play poker with. They keep winning small pot after small pot with nothing more than a pair of tens... however, based on the large stack of chips in front of them, and your empty pockets, that it seems those lucky hands were more than just luck.
As Matt Damon said in the movie Rounders "Why do you think the same five guys make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker EVERY YEAR? What, are they the luckiest guys in Las Vegas?"
When you're 9-0 there is more than just luck that comes into play.
"Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect."
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
When it's a 3rd and 6 these Chiefs won't throw that 10 yard out, not when the screen and slant is readily available. They give off a feeling that when they punt, it is part of the plan (hint: it's field position).
Knowing that Dustin Colquitt will put the opponents inside the 20 (maybe 10 or 5) gives these coaches the ability to not force a play when the momentum is not on our side. Yet when it is needed, they respond with a drive as if it were written that way. Witnessing numerous 4th quarter drives that go over 10 plays, when they need it, leads me to believe these are part of a pattern and not just how it turns out.
Forcing the opponents to long fields also helps the defense because it means that opposing offenses must typically go 8-10 plays for a TD.. that gives a lot of chances over the coarse of a game for a good defense like ours to "get lucky". The down sides to opposing teams needing long drives are giving up lots of yardage, having your defensive guys tired and limiting your offenses ability to get into a rhythm. That's also where depth and stamina come into play. KC has done well when it comes to injuries and guys like Poe, Houston and Berry are playing a really high percentage of snaps. It's not like we have Gilbert Brown or Levon Kirkland out there coming off the field on 3rd downs.
On offense, the lack of being able to get into rhythm is offset by the lack of need to force a throw or to put up 35 points. Also, throwing way more than we run in the first half and then seeing Jamaal up the middle in the 4th time and time again has me thinking this is more than an accident. It is a tactic.
Of coarse that offensive approach wouldn't even be feasible if the defense couldn't hold up its end. But we all know that it can and KCs defense hasn't given up more than 17 points in 9 games (where the great SEA gave up 21 in the fist half against the Bucs) and leads the league in many important statistics.
Put these factors ogether and you see that KC plays a TEAM game... one where the offense, defense, returners, kicker and punter all come into play... not just relying on a qb or long bomb here and there to win games.
Which brings me to the The Rope-A-Dope. For those of you who do not know what that is, I will point you to youtube where you will get a masters lesson from Muhammad Ali.
Rope-a-dope; a method of tiring out a boxing opponent by pretending to be trapped on the ropes while the opponent expends energy on punches that are blocked...
Think of this next time you see screen after screen or slant after slant. Our lack of explosiveness isn't due to lack of talent or ability, but it is designed to factor into the ability to run late in the 4th quarter.
It is even occurring on defense. Not lost on a few KCs fans here are the lack of sacks lately. But if you rewind the game you will see a defense that doesn't blitz Eric Berry and others like they did in the first few games. In fact most of the time Houston yesterday was merely containing the edge and not really going all out. As a result KC gave up about 500 yards, but only 13 points.
So, is Sutton holding back these blitzes for when we play _enver? A loss against the Buffalo Bills wouldn't hurt nearly as bad as a loss to the Broncos. Because a 13-3 record won't mean much to KC if _enver goes 14-2 and we have to go in the first playoff game on the road. So if we lost to Buffalo not using some blitzes that help us win the Broncos games, then the loss to Buffalo wouldn't have been in vain.
Also, they could have thought a simple cover 2 against Tuel would be sufficient for the win and no need to tip our cards to those Broncos.
I am not saying that KC is going to go from 2-14 to a Superbowl. But how many people, in week 9 of that year, would have gave a chance of winning to those wild card Giants going up against that 18-0 Patriot scoring juggernaut?
When you put all these together... The apathy towards punting early but longer drives when its needed to close games, the passing overwhelmingly outnumbering running early and turning to Jamaal Charles late in the game after the opponents teams defensive line is tired from chasing screens all day in addition to the lack of exotic blitzes that were so commonplace during the first 6-7 games of the season has lead me to conclude these Chiefs are playing Rope-A-Dope to perfection.