So much for continuity. The only narrative established last Sunday is that, for at least one game a year, every year, the Kansas City offense is sure to play like it's never seen a football before.
I like to imagine that's Alex Smith, smiling after one of the best performances of his life, "Hey, you guys! Last week sure was awes..." Boink.
We have a lot of discussion each year when that game happens. After this latest incarnation, my running hypothesis is that the Chiefs rely on their offensive game plan too much. So when things aren't working, we have no means of quickly adapting. I think this is a similar phenomenon to Smith out-thinking himself, as observed via analogy in a recent FanPost by acptulsa. It's not until the offense has no time to think that something unpredictable can happen.
Against San Diego in Week 1, the Chiefs began to run a quicker tempo. Last year, when the Chiefs were 1-5, Alex Smith was given more control at the line. The offense as a unit responded well to both changes. So what can we do to get more of that?
Answer: play really bad football for four more weeks until there's no other option.
Just kidding. It doesn't appear the Texans had the Chiefs figured out, so much as the Chiefs had themselves figured out. Super_G tallied up Kansas City's negative plays and the yardage they cost. The Chiefs lost more yards than we gained. That's a special kind of historical accomplishment.
When you make that many negative plays, no scheme in the world is going to earn you the win. Meaning this probably isn't a total Andy Reid thing, but more of a we-fumbled-three-times-and-didn't-recover-any-of-them-and-there-was-that-nonsense-holding-call-too thing.
So are the Chiefs [still] better than the Houston Texans? Probably. But is every team in the NFL better than the Chiefs when they play like that? The recipe for beating Houston last year was winning both the sack and turnover battles. The Chiefs last week lost both.
Let's be honest: the Kansas City Chiefs should probably be 0-2. While stealing wins is of fundamental importance to playoff positioning and, eventually, a shot at the Super Bowl, playing bad and winning one week and following it up by playing worse and losing is not a recipe for a 12-4 season. And without a 12-4 season, the Chiefs have to go on the road again in January.
Yes, every Super Bowl-winning team steals wins, or gets a few late comebacks, or has injury luck, or fumble-recovery luck, or wins on missed field goals, etc. But they also play well enough to put themselves in positions where missed field goals matter. The Texans missed a field goal last Sunday. It didn't matter.
This Sunday, Kansas City hosts the tough New York Jets, who are about to embark on a very difficult four game stretch that could see them, like the Chiefs last year, as a superb 1-5 team. The Jets probably view this game as their best chance to get a win over the next month (at Chiefs, Seahawks, at Steelers, at Cardinals), especially with how the Chiefs offense is playing...
Tables are fun. Here are some tables.
Tables are even more fun when you include the next opponent and then a third team, just for the lulz, which is featuring a different stringed quarterback each week.
The Jets are coming into Arrowhead with the most Yards and Points per Drive of any team through Week 2. The Patriots are cruising with whoever they feel like starting at quarterback, and their rankings for all stats do not include their Thursday trouncing of the Texans.
You might be wondering why the Chiefs' Points per Drive is actually decent. This is because they have benefited from awesome special teams play. Better-than-average field position from the best punt return game in the league through two weeks, plus Cairo Santos nailing 50-yarders, means the Chiefs can put points on the board even when they are not moving the ball as well as other teams. Other than that Santos penalty on the out-of-bounds kickoff, the special teams play of the Chiefs has been perfect.
This is a usual trend for Kansas City, but this year it is a bit more pronounced due to the particularly rough start to 2016's campaign for the offense.
There it is. A nice, fat 32nd. The Chiefs have six total points in the first half this year. The Jets and Pats combined have 80.
Some of this gives me hope, because it is clear the Chiefs have been a much better team than they've shown through two weeks. But a repeat of last year could bury them yet again at 1-5. Like New York, Kansas City faces a tough four week schedule ahead (Jets, at Steelers, at Raiders, Saints).
With fantastic special teams play, you can win the field position battle regardless of what else is going on. It takes an offense failing to move the ball at all, or turning it over when it does, to lose it. That's the Chiefs.
Let's not wait until November to turn this around.