Coming into this Playoff Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs went from being the worst team in the NFL at 2-14 last season to now playing in Wildcard Saturday for the first time since 2010. By posting an 11-5 record to end the regular season off of a new coach, who most likely will become NFL coach of the year, in one of the best turn-around stories in recent NFL history under Andy Reid.
Kansas City, who made a run to the playoffs this year. This trademark was orchestrated of the new quarterback in Alex Smith, who filled up a huge void in the lapse of pitiful quarterback performances of recent years. Smith, who proved this season to be a great game manager in the offense has improved his vertical passing threat throughout the portion of this season. Though for KC to win in Indianapolis tomorrow (a team where they've had miserable success against throughout their playoff history.) They will have to utilize Pro Bowler Jamaal Charles in the running game. This means he will have to carry the ball up to 25-30+ times atleast to give themselves a chance of winning in a tough road atmosphere. Charles, who has been under used the last couple of games in the 2nd half. Much in part, by only having 6 carries in the whole 2nd Half of the first matchup with Indy at home. (He scored their only TD in the opening drive.) Which resulted in a 23-7 befuddling loss. Another key contribution needed for the Chiefs on offense will be, how does Alex Smith respond to the Colts defensive pressure. Mathis and others on the front-4 was able to penetrate through the offensive line of the Chiefs (which is still one of the youngest in the league). Forced Alex Smith into throwing in heavy coverage, that sometimes were then intercepted. And other times Smith got sacked many, many times resulting in huge losses, that then created the offensive struggles in the first meeting. To become stagment throughout the course of the game. We already now that there is a lack of depth at the receiving spot on this team, giving some of the receiving void on to Jamaal Charles' shoulder. He is in fact the Chiefs leading receiver in receiving yards, which is odd to have since he is their starting tailback.
Well that covers the offensive aspect of things. Now it's time for the defensive analysis. First off, in the last matchup with Indy, Kansas City got very little pass rush on Andrew Luck. Resulting him to throw for nearly 300 yards in the game. Provides a huge concern for KC on passing defense. The Chiefs' safeties who are still very young with Marcus Cooper and Abdullah have grown into big roles this year as key defenders of the air attack on opposing offenses. All of which, needs to be stout in giving the Chiefs any chances of winning their 1st playoff game in 2 decades. And snapping a current 7 game losing streak in the playoffs. Trent Richardson, the Colts starting running back had a better day than most while knifing through the Chiefs interior defense. If bottled up, this will give us a good chance in slowing down the Colts offense. And most importlantly the last goal that needs to attained tomorrow is this. Win or lose, this season was a successful one. Winning 9 more games this year to compared to last year was great and shows signs of improvement in future years under the Reid management. Though even if it was against the stiffest of competition. But stepping back from this in a lifelong fans perspective. Will losing to Indianapolis tomorrow really sustain a huge level of success for the franchise moving forward? My opinion is no. Because that 7 game playoff losing streak will then grow to 8. That 2 decade drought of 0 playoff wins will soon become an even bigger thorn into the franchise's side. That mountain which is already high and steep to climb as it is, will become much more steeper in the long run. A win tomorrow under whatever circumstances and however it is attained will not only give mometum for the team into next week's Wildcard round. But will be a an essential hurdle cleared in the building of success in the future years. And an added boost of confidence for the overall aspect of the team.
Yet, a loss tomorrow will become just another agonizing sting into the hearts and minds of every Chiefs fan. Say what you want if this season was already a success. But a 1st round playoff win will soon start to ease away the pain of the nightmares of recent missed field goals, OT losses that has plagued this fanbase one too many times.