For the seventh week in a row the Kansas City Chiefs defense was absolutely dominant. The Chiefs beat the Houston Texans 17-16 in a nail biter of a game that moved the Chiefs to 7-0! With the Denver Broncos lost to the Indianapolis Colts last night, the Chiefs are now the lone undefeated team in the NFL.
While I want to stay positive there is a scary trend that has been developing for some time. The Chiefs offense cannot move the ball consistently. One drive Alex Smith looks good throwing the ball then the next he looks panicked and can’t throw the ball more than five yards down field.
If the Chiefs want to seriously contend with the Broncos look no further than last night. The Colts ran the ball decently enough to keep Manning off the field and got enough pressure to fluster him. This is a game plan the Chiefs can and have executed. The difference though is the Colts still scored 39 points. It is going to take at least 30 points to beat the Broncos. While I believe the Chiefs defense is better than the Colts and is right now the best in the NFL, you can only slow down Peyton Manning for so long. Manning struggled last night and still threw for 386 yards and 3 TD. The Chiefs highest output of points this year is 28 in week one against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Andy Reid and Alex Smith have to find a way to stretch the field and complete some deep passes. This week they made some interesting adjustments like putting Dwayne Bowe in the slot. They also tried stretching the defense with deep passes attempted to Jamaal Charles, Donnie Avery, and Bowe. Just the threat seemed to stretch the Houston defense enough to allow Charles some running room. The next step is to complete those types of passes. The quick screens to the outside also helped as Dexter McCluster had a big impact on keeping the defense honest.
The other end of this scary trend developing is that we always leave it up to the defense to make a play. So far the defense has delivered time and time again, but let’s not forget the NFL is an offensive league. Every game the Chiefs are one pass interference or roughing the passer penalty from losing. This defense is the best in the league but they need the offense to do a better job.
Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson were both again fantastic. Both were all over Case Keenum who was making his first career start. At times the Chiefs gave up a few big plays but that is expected when you are as aggressive as the Chiefs are. Let’s also give the Texans some credit as they did a good job spreading the Chiefs out with their big and fast receivers and helping Keenum by getting the ball out of his hands quickly. Late in the game when the Texans needed to throw the ball downfield Hali came up huge with pressure on what seemed like every play.
Tamba Hali is an easy choice for game MVP with 6 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. Hali has been great so far this year. While Justin Houston was racking up the sacks early, part of that was because Hali was getting pressure and being double teamed. Now that Houston and Dontari Poe are getting major attention, Hali is getting blocked one on one and racking up the sack numbers.
Next week the Chiefs finish up their three game home stand with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns looked to be on the rise until quarterback Brian Hoyer went down with a torn ACL. Brandon Weeden has been thrown back into the starting role and has struggled so far. This is a must win for the Chiefs as losing to the Browns at home would be catastrophic. The Browns have a very talented defense and could cause a lot of trouble for the Chiefs offense. Early and often the Chiefs need to go to Charles and throw the ball down field. If Smith can’t complete anything longer than 10 yards downfield again this could be another long day that comes down to defense making a play.
Till next time,