There’s a lot of hype around the Dow Jones index nearly hitting 20,000. It’s seen as a psychological milestone. The Chiefs are now at a similar high water mark, earning a division title, No .2 seed in the AFC and a bye week.
However, there are those skeptical of buying on a high point. It’s risky to buy the stock market at an all time high, and it’s risky to believe that the Chiefs are among the top 2-3 teams in the NFL. We’ve been hurt before, we’ve seen crashes. At some point, you have to believe and you have to enjoy the ride. The bye week break should help the Chiefs immensely, giving Justin Houston, Spencer Ware and others time to be at their healthiest when they play up to three games for a Super Bowl title.
It’s all within reach so sit back and appreciate it.
The Chiefs gave Spencer Ware the week off to get healthy for the playoffs, and West delivered in a winning effort (116 total yards, two touchdowns). It seems like West was hurting for part of the season, and he’s finally healthy and ready to contribute.
I’ve been relatively critical of Conley. He’s had a number of opportunities to contribute in the last two seasons, and hasn’t consistently delivered. I don’t blame him for not having a monster season when targets (rightfully) go to Jeremy Maclin, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill instead. Last week against San Diego was one of Conley’s best games as he converted a fantastic catch on the sideline and earned a first down on comeback route by dragging a defender over the line. His stat line wasn’t insane (four catches for 55 yards) but, it was exactly what you’d hope for out of a No. 2 WR in this system.
We saw it coming. Peters was taking the ball away at a record pace for the first few games. We asked, “Why would you throw at him?” QBs responded and stopped targeting him as he went without an INT for 11 weeks, by the longest stretch of his career. Chargers QB Philip Rivers didn’t get the memo, and Peters got his hands on the ball this week (an INT and two passes defensed). We can now talk about Peters as an All Pro shutdown CB. Teams don’t throw his way, and they pay when they do.
Dirty Dan did it again. His interception in the end zone against the Chargers was a pivotal play this week and resulted in this neat picture:
The Chargers were driving and down only seven points right before halftime. Sorensen’s athletic play, coming from across the field to out jump the receiver was nothing short of spectacular. Sorensen added two passes defended and six tackles on the day. We wondered before the season who would step into the third safety / nickel LB role, where the Chiefs have rotated veterans in with success every season under Reid and Dorsey. Sorensen is thriving in the role this season, and making a case to stick around as a key cog in the Chiefs defense.
Others who are peaking at the right time: Chris Jones, Alex Smith, Tyreek Hill, Eric Murray, Cairo Santos
Chiefs run defense
Allowing 129 yards rushing isn’t great. Allowing 129 yards rushing to the Chargers, without their top three backs on the field? That’s pretty frustrating to watch. Many will point at the run defense and say this is the reason they are going to lose in the playoffs. I’m not going to go that far. This team has won some key games this season while giving up yards on the ground.
Six carries, nine yards and zero catches on one target. Knile couldn’t get ANYTHING going this week as the No. 2 running back. It’s hard to see a role on this team for Davis once everyone else is healthy. We’ll always have this play.
Others struggling: Demetrius Harris, Terrance Smith
Wilson only had one target against San Diego but it was a big one. He took a screen pass 42 yards to set the Chiefs up inside the five yard line. In this offense, Wilson won’t get too many opportunities to make a play. If he does, something has gone terribly wrong. That said, he needs to make the most of the touches he does get. In Week 17, he did just that. Wilson is a role player on this team. If each role player does what Wilson did with every opportunity they get, this team will win the Super Bowl.
With DJ out for the season, the Chiefs needed an inside backer to step up. Wilson has certainly made his case to be part of the solution. He had 13 tackles (11 solo, two assists) against San Diego and a pass defended. He still needs to be more consistent about getting off of blocks and getting into the right gap, but he’s gone from the practice squad to pretty competent starter when the team needed to replace two injured inside backers.
Other guys who are who we thought they were: DAT, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry