The Chiefs Are That Good. Here's Why!

In the wake of the Chiefs 28-2 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, people naturally asked whether the Chiefs are that good, or the Jaguars that bad. ESPN clearly decided the latter, dropping the Chiefs 1 spot in the weekly Power Rankings despite having the largest margin of victory for the entire week. A closer look at the game reveals some indications, however, that the Chiefs really are one of the best teams in the league.

First up: logic.

One of the reasons pundits and fans have assumed the Chiefs aren’t that good is that Alex Smith didn’t have a stellar day. His QB rating wasn’t over 100, and he didn’t throw for that many yards…his yards/attempt were below 7. The Chiefs didn’t score any offensive points in the second half, and Colquitt still punted 9 times.

That’s not the whole story, though.

When you have a 21-2 lead, why continue to pour on the points? Instead, a smart coach dials it back and goes extremely conservative. In the second half, that’s what we did. Alex Smith took deeper drops to ensure he wouldn’t get hit on a blitz. There was no need for any up-tempo no-huddle offense to prevent defensive substitutions or wear out the defense. The offense went completely vanilla to give future opponents less tape on our best plays. The Chiefs certainly stopped calling plays that set up large-yardage mismatches. The entire second half was nothing more than another preseason game for the Chiefs, or perhaps a live-tackling scrimmage. Despite that, the Chiefs still easily won the field position battle.

Second: defensive dominance.

The Jaguars didn’t get past their own 36 yard line until there were just over 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Sure, there were drops. Sure, Blaine Gabbert had some rust from being injured through most of the preseason.

But the Jags didn’t come close to that level of futility last year in their 2-14 effort, even with Maurice Jones-Drew out of the lineup.

The Chiefs had four pro-bowl players on defense last year: Tamba Hali, Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson, and Justin Houston. One could make an argument that Flowers deserves consideration. To that, we added Sean Smith, who is still improving and could play at a pro-bowl level; Mike DeVito, who is solid and an upgrade over Glenn Dorsey; and Dontari Poe has clearly improved enough to be considered for the Pro Bowl this year. There is no reason to doubt, and every reason to believe, that this defense will be in the top 10 by the end of the season.

Third: the offense was deadly when it counted.

Check out these play-by-play lines:

1-2-JAC 2 (6:29) 25-J.Charles left end for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
1-3-JAC 3 (1:40) (Shotgun) 11-A.Smith pass short middle to 88-J.Hemingway for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
1-5-JAC 5 (9:09) (Shotgun) 11-A.Smith pass short left to 17-D.Avery for 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Notice anything in common? In all three cases, the Chiefs scored on first down. In the red zone. Close to the goal line where the defense had much less territory to cover.

But the Chiefs still made it look extremely easy.

Look at the scoring drive, where the Chiefs turned a solid lead into a legitimate rout:

1-10-KC 43 (11:08) 25-J.Charles up the middle to JAC 49 for 8 yards (37-J.Cyprien).

Timeout #2 by KC at 10:26.

2-2-JAC 49 (10:26) 11-A.Smith pass deep middle to 22-D.McCluster to JAC 28 for 21 yards (27-D.Gratz).

1-10-JAC 28 (9:52) (No Huddle) 25-J.Charles up the middle to JAC 27 for 1 yard (51-P.Posluszny).

2-9-JAC 27 (9:13) (No Huddle) 11-A.Smith pass short right to 25-J.Charles to JAC 23 for 4 yards (27-D.Gratz).

3-5-JAC 23 (8:30) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 11-A.Smith scrambles left guard to JAC 14 for 9 yards.

1-10-JAC 14 (7:49) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 32-C.Gray up the middle to JAC 5 for 9 yards (58-J.Babin).

2-1-JAC 5 (7:09) 25-J.Charles right end to JAC 2 for 3 yards (97-R.Miller).

1-2-JAC 2 (6:29) 25-J.Charles left end for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

This was a fairly quick march down the field. In 57 yards they converted four times, but faced a third down only once, and converted it easily.

The Jaguars are an NFL team. Even 2-14 teams can get defensive stops. Even 2-14 teams make goal-line stands against good teams. The Jaguars were completely unable to even slow the Chiefs down in the red zone.

Of course, there is always the possibility that this was the best game the Chiefs play all season, and the worst performance by a Jags team all year. Teams tend to regress to the mean from extremely outstanding performances. It will take a few more games to see exactly how good the Chiefs are, exactly how bad the Jaguars are. If the Chiefs end up 6-0, and the Jags end up 5-1, this game would look completely different than if the Chiefs end up 2-4 and the Jags end up 0-6 with MJD ineffective and Gabbert benched.

I don’t think that is likely. There was nothing out of character in the win over the Jaguars. Justin Houston and Dontari Poe, two of the Chiefs’ rising players, improved their pass rush over last year and combined for 4.5 sacks. Sean Smith improved the pass defense. Eric Berry played like a pro-bowler. Derrick Johnson showed why he is one of the best Linebackers in the league. Alex Smith scored at will in the first half, and then protected the ball and his body in the second half when the game was out of reach for the Jags. Dustin Colquitt constantly gave the Jags poor field position. Jamaal Charles had nearly 5 yds/carry. And they did this on the road.

These are what you can expect from the Chiefs almost every week. Think how much better they will play at Arrowhead.

To recap: the Chiefs were able to coast the entire second half, the defense absolutely dominated, and the Chiefs were able to score at will in the first half. It cannot be denied, however, that these three successes all came against an NFL team. In the NFL, even doormats can move the ball, score, and make defensive stops at times against powerhouses. This deeper look indicates that the Chiefs really are a good team.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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