The numbers are there, but it's still hard for me to get my head around them.
When I say "real", I mean Super Bowl real. I mean, I-absolutely-believe-that-this-team-could-beat-any-other-contender real. Everything else is real. The pass rush is real. The offense is real. Even the lucky bounces that a championship team needs along the way seem in place for these Chiefs. One look back at the comeback over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday shows just how fortunate this team was to walk away with a win.
Still it's hard to believe despite what they've shown so far. After all, this was a team that had several holes coming into the season. The weakest link remains the team's offensive line, and games are supposedly won and lost in the trenches. Given that the Bills pass rush ate the Chiefs front five for lunch and were still hungry is not a good thing.
In addition, this team has already lost some significant players. Derrick Johnson is out in the middle. The run defense took a hit without Mike DeVito in the rotation. Jeff Allen was lost from a line that already experienced mass exodus in the offseason.
Yet here they are. They should have won on the road against the San Francisco 49ers. They played the Denver Broncos very close in a game and it wasn't even a great day for the team. They trounced the Pats and took care of business against each and every team they were supposed to. Besides the egg laid against Tennessee in Week 1, the Chiefs look as good or better than any team in the NFL this year.
It's interesting to watch the Chiefs come together as a potential contender when the roster featured so many question marks even a couple weeks into the season. Yet this is what happens for some teams before they make a championship run. The New York Giants have won multiple Super Bowls in recent years on the backs of some unexpected teams. The Packers snuck into the playoffs as the Wild Card in 2010, and then swept their way to the title. The Ravens lost four of five to end the season in 2012, then got hot at the right time to take it all.
In other words, Super Bowl winners don't always look or feel like Super Bowl winners. If the Arizona Cardinals or Denver Broncos take it all this season, there will be a feeling that they were always in that seat. The same can be said of Seattle if they repeat. But the Chiefs are right there in the conversation with the best teams in the NFL, even if they haven't looked or felt the part up until now.