The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Miami Dolphins 34-15 on Sunday, moving them to 1-2 on the season. Here are five things we learned about the Chiefs in the game.
Joe McKnight can be a fun weapon. It was hard not to think of Dexter McCluster when seeing No. 22 flash across the screen but it was Joe McKnight who had six catches in Sunday's game against the Dolphins and TWO of them went for touchdowns. Yes, Joe McKnight had two receiving touchdowns for the Chiefs. McKnight looks very natural catching the ball. He can be a real weapon for the Chiefs if they can figure out how to get him on the field after Jamaal Charles' return. McKnight's big game leads us to ...
Chiefs can survive with Jamaal Charles on a short-term basis. Are they beating the Patriots or 49ers of the world without Charles? Maybe not. But there are enough weapons to play competent football without Charles. Between McKnight (6 catches, 64 yards, one TD), Knile Davis (32 carries, 132 yards, one TD) and Travis Kelce (3 catches, 36 yards, 1 TD) the Chiefs had enough playmakers to put up five touchdowns. The good thing is that Charles probably won't be out much longer. He was reportedly close to playing in this game.
Chiefs o-line and pass protection are an issue. The line played better in Week 2 against the Broncos but regressed in Week 3 against the Dolphins. Smith was sacked five times against Miami. Don't put the entire blame on the offensive line though. Some of it is on Alex Smith, too. On some plays the blitz was obviously coming but Smith couldn't get the ball out in time. It's like the safety -- why wasn't there an option to quickly get rid of the ball? That's on Smith or Reid because you know that's coming and you know the line is struggling. All said ... the line does seem to be making some strides, especially in their run blocking. And I don't want to sound like I'm complaining too much about Smith after this game. He was part of the solution.
Knile Davis' fumbling issues remain a bit of a concern. I say this in case the Chiefs need to roll with Davis over Charles another week. Davis fumbled a ball in the game but quickly picked it back up. With three minutes left in the game and the Chiefs trying to nurse a 12-point lead, Davis fumbled and lost it. (Yes, it was an unusual strip but still.) His fumbling is still a concern. "He does need to keep it high and tight," Andy Reid told reporters after the game. "He's always trying to get that extra yard and sometimes that's where the ball gets loose on running backs."
The Chiefs season is still alive. The Chiefs do play a tough opponent next in the Patriots. But that game is at Arrowhead and it's on Monday night. Have you seen Arrowhead at night? It can be magical. I am not ready to write the Chiefs off yet. Here is the Chiefs 2014 schedule.
Week 1: Tennessee Titans (L 26-10)
Week 2: at Denver Broncos (L 24-17)
Week 3: at Miami Dolphins (W 34-15)
Week 4: New England Patriots (Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m., ESPN) - MNF
Week 5: at San Francisco 49ers (Oct. 5, 3:25 p.m., CBS)
Week 6: ByeWeek 7: at San Diego Chargers (Oct. 19, 3:05 p.m., CBS)
Week 8: St. Louis Rams (Oct. 27, 12 p.m., Fox)
Week 9: New York Jets (Nov. 2, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 10: at Buffalo Bills (Nov. 9, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 11: Seattle Seahawks (Nov. 16, 12 p.m., Fox)
Week 12: at Oakland Raiders (Nov. 20, 7:25 p.m., NFLN) - TNF
Week 13: Denver Broncos (Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m., NBC) - SNF
Week 14: at Arizona Cardinals (Dec. 7, 3:05 p.m., CBS)
Week 15: Oakland Raiders (Dec. 14, 12 p.m, CBS)
Week 16: at Pittsburgh Steelers (Dec. 21, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 17: San Diego Chargers (Dec. 28, 12 p.m., CBS)