This piece was published in the October 2015 issue of the Prep News
As I anxiously hurried into Arrowhead on Thursday night, I could not help but remember that this could be my last prime time Chiefs game for a while. I did my best to soak in the unbelievable atmosphere resonating from the stadium at night. I will remember everything from the Tomahawk Chop to Eric Berry’s bone-chilling introduction.
As for the game itself, there is not much to talk about. Or, rather, not much I want to talk about. Many people feel the need to blame a single person for the loss, which always seems to be either Alex Smith or Andy Reid. In reality, the game was a total offensive meltdown. It was a fluke. For instance, Jamaal Charles has had two games in which he has lost two fumbles or more in his entire career. The proclaimed “game manager” Alex Smith threw two interceptions. He is tied for ninth in interception percentage in comparison to 179 other quarterbacks with at least 1500 pass attempts since 1945.
The Chiefs will not have five turnovers again this year. However, the offense was stagnant, and that is still cause for concern.
In Week 1’s game against Houston, the offense looked unbeatable with Travis Kelce showing potential to live up to his “Mini Gronk” title. Alex Smith looked like he was ready to have a vertical threat in Jeremy Maclin and live up to the projected career season.
As for our defense, the only hole thus far has been Jamell Fleming. Peyton Manning was 9-13 when targeting Fleming. When all-pro cornerback Sean Smith returns, the Chiefs defense will be a top five defense in the league barring major injuries. We saw two polar opposites in the first two games. Some people are overreacting to both games.
The AFC West is wide open this year. Peyton Manning seems to be, finally, decreasing as his arm becomes weaker and weaker. However, he is still Peyton Manning. So until anyone proves they can overtake the Broncos, the AFC West belongs to them. The Chargers offense seems to be pretty good, once again, but their defense is extremely average. The Raiders seem to be growing with second year quarterback Derek Carr and stud wideout Amari Cooper, but they are still the Raiders, so they will find a way to be terrible, once again.
The Chiefs seem to be the most balanced team with a top five defense and top 15 offense. However, the team has some uphill battles, including, their grueling schedule, which is tied for seventh hardest in the league. The Chiefs need to learn not to beat themselves as they have exhibited in the 2013 playoff game against the Colts and the Thursday night game against the Broncos, which have been arguably the two biggest games in the Andy Reid era. Although this team has the potential to win the AFC West, they have to prove they can take down Peyton Manning and the Broncos.