KOUTELAS: Despite record, Chiefs much improved from ’13

The Kansas City Chiefs’ 2013 season was as much memorable as it was crushing. They got off to a roaring 9-0 start, but lost in the Wild Card game to Indianapolis in the second biggest comeback in NFL history.

One thing that the 2013 Chiefs lacked was a signature win. They made a mockery of weaker teams and took care of business but failed to step up on the bigger stage, losing to the Broncos and Chargers twice and failing to capture their first playoff win since 1994.

While this year’s Chiefs team does not have as good a record as last year’s, they have been far more impressive. The season seemed lost after a shocking, disappointing loss in the home opener against the Titans and a close road loss in Denver, but since they have won seven of their past 8 games, despite having a tough schedule.

Along the way, Kansas City has certainly had some impressive wins. The easy victories against the Dolphins, Jets and Rams were all convincing, as well as the blowout during Monday Night Football against Tom Brady and the Patriots. But, to me, nothing stood out more than their hard fought win against the Seattle Seahawks.

While the defending Super Bowl champions’ 2014 season has not been as great as last year’s, the Seahawks are still amongst the strongest teams in the NFL. They boast a pounding rushing attack with Marshawn Lynch, and dual-threat quarterback Russell Wilson who is dangerous both in the pass and run game. Combine that with their stifling secondary and tough run defense, and you have the most physical team in the NFL.

And yet, the Kansas City Chiefs out-physicaled the Seahawks, walking away with a 24-20 win, a signature one at that. Almost everything seemed to be going the Seahawks’ way. Alex Smith threw for only 108 yards and no touchdowns. After Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs receiving corps had the likes of Junior Hemingway, AJ Jenkins and Frankie Hammond Jr. (real household names huh?). The Chiefs even lost the turnover battle 0-2, losing two fumbles.

But after three consecutive stops on fourth down, it was Kansas City who stood victorious.

Currently, the Chiefs are tied for first in the AFC West with the Denver Broncos, who last Sunday lost to the St. Louis rams after scoring only 7 points with Peyton Manning throwing multiple interceptions. Additionally, Kansas City controls its own fate the rest of the way with a shot at the number one seed in the AFC playoffs, which would guarantee them home-field advantage throughout.

Despite the three losses, this year’s Chiefs team is one of the most complete and deep teams in recent memory. Its pass defense, including Sean Smith, Ron Parker and Husain Abdullah has been stifling, allowing the fewest passing yards per game of any NFL team. Dontari Poe and Allan Bailey have been the main contributors of one of the league’s best run defenses as well.

Of course, Jamaal Charles has been Jamaal Charles, but running back Knile Davis has been great as well, combining for possibly the best running duo in the NFL. This, along with newly-found weapon Travis Kelce, has helped make up for the very vanilla group of wide receivers the Chiefs have.

The special teams, headed by the best punter in the league, Dustin Colquitt, and punt returner De’Anthony Thomas has been very solid as well.

Next up for the Chiefs is the Oakland Raiders, who they square off against Thursday night in the worst stadium in pro sports, the Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders are currently 0-10, and have lost their past 16 games dating back to 2013. In fact, they have not won a game in a full calendar year. The Chiefs look to grab their fifth straight win, and their eighth out of the last nine.

Categories: Blogs, Sports

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