Stock market rallies are dependent upon volume for confirmation. The trend may appear good on the surface as the market rises, but if the rally is driven by only a few stocks — or light trading — many will believe it’s not real.
Once technical analysts see enough volume and breadth to confirm the direction of the market, they see it as confirmation that the surface trend has staying power.
With Patrick Mahomes lighting it up and getting the team off to such a fast start, the Kansas City Chiefs have been among the most talked-about teams in the NFL. Some may have not believed the Chiefs (and Mahomes) were elite because of the small sample size. But with each week, Mahomes and the team have eliminated doubts and added different kinds of wins to their resume.
This week, it was the Chiefs defense that stepped up with a near-complete shutdown of a good Cincinnati Bengals offense. They even added a defensive touchdown! The Chiefs have proven enough over the first seven games to confirm their trend. If you weren’t bullish on the 2018 season in Kansas City, you should be now.
And as you’ll see in this week’s stock report, there are plenty of positives in each category.
Bobsitivity: The much-maligned Chiefs defensive coordinator Chiefs might be showing he’s smarter than he’s usually credited. Sutton’s defense was downright dominant on Sunday night, showing that they can help win games — not just hold on for dear life. The defense allowed just 10 points, 174 passing yards and 65 rushing yards. We’re not used to seeing an opponent completely shut down like that.
The Chiefs have started to get more production out of their young players, have shown they can influence games with their pass rush, and even come up with turnovers in recent weeks. Is it possible that it wasn’t Sutton’s scheme that has been the biggest problem, but rather that they just needed personnel to step up?
Brett Veach: Veach’s honeymoon with Chiefs fans appeared to be ending. His defense-heavy draft hadn’t yielded contributors, and the ‘dynamic’ inside linebackers hand-picked by the Chiefs general manager were showing their limitations. All isn’t forgotten after a good week, but we might just be seeing the plan come together.
The rookies are earning their way on the field and filling roles they were drafted to fill. The defense has been good enough to get to 6-1 without Eric Berry, and with Justin Houston missing time. The offense has been dominant enough to carry the team, and cover up for weaknesses. This team is a contender, and the GM deserves credit as his players live up to potential — even if it takes a few weeks.
Linebacker Dorian O’Daniel: The single most significant development from this week’s game is the emergence of number 44. O’Daniel was in for 42% (25) of the defensive snaps against the Bengals, and he made the most of them. Andy Reid singled out Dorian’s contributions this week, and it was obvious to most fans that O’Daniel belonged on the field. He seems competent in coverage, which is a big upgrade. But his closing speed and hitting ability really stood out this week. He appears to be developing into the player we hoped he would be, and the guy that fills the biggest need on the team.
This man just dusted two OL... pic.twitter.com/Qm1gBEt5GR— Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina) October 22, 2018
Kareem Hunt: It’s not just that he’s been productive, or that he’s provided a balance to the passing offense. Instead, it’s the way in which Hunt goes about his business that is the most impressive. The physical gifts that make him a special back — including speed, hands and elite balance (which may be most important of all) — only take a player so far. Hunt is proving that he has the attitude, durability, and heart of a guy that can carry a team when his number is called.
Spencer Ware: After doing nothing with his opportunities last week, Ware’s stock was down. Now it appears there’s some volatility in the stock of a backup running back in this offense. Ware broke through with a 34-yard run and a 22-yard reception against Cincinnati, averaging 7.4 yards per rush and 10 yards per catch. When the Chiefs run for nearly 200 yards, there is plenty of credit to go around. Ware certainly earned it this week.
Others trending in a bullish direction this week: Ben Niemann, Eric Murray, Demarcus Robinson, Demetrius Harris, Sammy Watkins, Jordan Lucas, Breeland Speaks
Offensive line depth: Another week, and another lineman goes on injured reserve. Mahomes makes this group look better than they are, but eventually, they are going to run out of guys to plug into the lineup. A tip of the hat here to Jordan Devey, who tried to finish out this game with one arm.
Since Jordan Devey’s injury has been identified as a pec injury, it’s now less than speculation, so ... On #Chiefs last drive of fourth quarter he snaps ball with right arm and then doesn’t use it to block and doesn’t look like natural arm swing while running. He’s No. 65 pic.twitter.com/Brn1RCf5U9— Lynn Worthy (@LWorthySports) October 23, 2018
Defensive back Josh Shaw: It’s not that Shaw has been terrible, but he is going to need to make his case for sticking around — especially with Daniel Sorensen coming back. I’m not sure he’s done enough.
Quarterback Chad Henne: I’m clearly struggling to find guys to complain about this week, so I’ll go with Henne here. My fantasy teams aside, I would have liked to see Henne get in the game in the fourth quarter this week.
Counting: Seriously, Chiefs? TWO 12-men-on-the-field penalties on ONE drive this week? Let’s get back to fundamentals. Like counting to 11.
Others trending in a bearish direction this week: nobody, really.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes: At this point, we know who Mahomes is, and it’s glorious. It’s hard to imagine his stock going any higher than it already is. (But whom am I kidding? We all know it will).
In the next few weeks, the schedule eases up, and the Chiefs won’t need anything extraordinary from Mahomes in order to keep the season on track. But at this point, he’s routinely extraordinary.
Speaking of extraordinary... I agree with Matt Lane. On this play, how in the world can he physically do that?
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill: Don’t listen to Tyreek when he focuses on the easy touchdown he dropped. He’s just being humble. Like Mahomes, Hill is on the flat list only because he’s on a plateau, looking down at the rest of the league. The Chiefs have elite, All-Pro-level players at quarterback, running back, tight end and (at least one) wide receiver. Hill is the most dangerous player in the game — and the most exciting. He’s right up there on the plateau with Mahomes and the rest.
Linebackers Anthony Hitchens and Reggie Ragland: They seemed to play a bit better this week, but not enough for me to be bullish on them just yet.
Others who are who we thought they were: Travis Kelce, Mitchell Schwartz, Eric Fisher