The Kansas City Chiefs are 5-3 after a 24-10 win over the New York Jets, yet all is not right in Arrowhead land. Despite winning the game by two touchdowns, the Chiefs left plays on the field and allowed too much yardage for many to be properly satisfied with the victory. Somehow, the afternoon was not dominant enough.
Of course, the effort was superb when you recognize this is the NFL, and a 14-point win is quite resounding.
This year, 133 games have been played to this point. Of those games, 56 have been decided by a margin of 14-or-more points, meaning that 42.1 percent of all 2014 NFL contests have been blowouts. The number is high and for many, validates the notion that Kansas City did nothing of great significance against New York. Still, we need to look closer.
Of those 56 blowouts, only 39 were won without the benefit of a special teams/defensive touchdown, dropping the percentage down to 29.3 of all games. This is still a large number, almost a third of the total games. Then we dig a little deeper.
In those 56 games with a margin of 14-or-more points, only four times has a team won without a special teams/defensive touchdown or the aid of a turnover, giving us a whopping three percent of all games this season. Incredibly, the Chiefs are responsible for two of those contests (Dolphins and Jets).
Most blowouts are a result of great field position and lopsided drive statistics. Kansas City crushed the Jets without getting either, save for De'Anthony Thomas' 78-yard kickoff return. The Chiefs jumped out to a commanding 14-0 lead and never let the game feel close. It was not perfection, but it was efficient.
Can Kansas City play better? Absolutely. The Chiefs surrendered 22 first downs and 364 yards, including 139 rushing. At times, Andy Reid made puzzling play calls late in the game and down near the goal line. Furthermore, the pass rush bogged down for most of the game sans Justin Houston, who continues to be the another breed of human.
Unlike against the Rams and Patriots, the Chiefs failed to provide the kill shot, leaving the Jets an opportunity to come back on multiple occasions. Incredibly, the defensive effort in its own territory has gone overlooked, with Kansas City stonewalling New York multiple times. Football is about points scored and points allowed at the core, and the Chiefs were above-average in both categories on Sunday.
With the smoke clearing, Kansas City finds itself a winner in five-of-six and three straight. More importantly, the Chiefs sit in a playoff spot for the first time all year and have momentum on their side with a trip to face the Buffalo Bills up next. Kansas City is halfway through its slate and looking good with winter about to rear its frozen head.
The Chiefs have areas to clean up and details to improve upon, but times are good. Considering the quality of this team, times are better than they have been in a long, long while.