Who Wears the Crown: Identifying the Chiefs' Best Player at the Midseason Mark
The Kansas City Chiefs just may be the worst football team in the league this season, so sifting through the mess that is 2012 was quite a task.
Offensively, the Chiefs rank 30th in scoring but Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe have both put together spectacular seasons so far.
Linebacker Justin Houston has averaged a sack per game, even though the Chiefs' defense is ranked last in league.
Here at the top five players in Kansas City at the midway point of 2012.
No. 5: Romeo Crennel
The Kansas City defense that Romeo Crennel is running may be the worst in the league but Crennel deserves a spot here because he finally benched quarterback Matt Cassel.
Cassel has been a starting quarterback for the better part of five seasons, and it is evident that Cassel does not have the skill set to play quarterback at a high level.
In his four years at the helm, Cassel has drawn the ire of the Arrowhead faithful. The Chiefs have been a quarterback starved franchise for the better part of twenty years and now fans might get a chance and young franchise signal caller.
This is not an endorsement of new starter Brady Quinn, but it appears that the Chiefs are mercifully ready to move on from the Cassel era.
NO. 4: Dontari Poe
The Dontari Poe draft gamble appears to be paying off.
Poe was thrust into action when injuries hit the Chiefs' defensive line and coaches are now having a tough time taking him off the field.
Poe is not making a gigantic statistical impact yet but it's easy to see that Poe seems to be improving every week.
He played in 88 percent of the snaps in a Week 5 loss to Baltimore.
Poe is looking to solidify the nose tackle position and it looks like he is well on his way.
NO. 3: Justin Houston
In the past, the fate of the Kansas City pass rush has rested squarely on the shoulders of Tamba Hali. That has all changed with the emergence of linebacker Justin Houston.
The former Georgia Bulldog has six sacks and 17 solo tackles on the season. He also had a huge 4th quarter safety against the Saints in Week 4.
Houston has also down well in pass coverage when needed.
His improved play should free up his talented counterpart as the season rolls on and if Hali starts getting one-on-ones, he will become an absolute terror in the backfield.
No. 2: Dwayne Bowe
Playing for a contract has really motivated Dwayne Bowe this season. Bowe's physicality has caused nightmares for opposing defensive backs, and Bowe is doing his work without any talent to speak of at the quarterback position.
Bowe has three touchdowns in six games and 427 yards on the season. Bowe also has had three games in which he has got more than 12 targets and its clear than when quarterbacks look his way, he produces.
Despite his success, Many are speculating the his time in Kansas City may be coming to an end.
Bowe has been the only legit threat at wide receiver in Kansas City in what seems like decades, so losing him makes no sense whatsoever.
Chiefs' brass has placed the franchise tag on the embattled wideout and there have been reports that Bowe might even be traded soon.
This would a fail of epic proportions and Scott Pioli has to find a way to keep Bowe in red and gold.
No. 1: Jamaal Charles
Jamaal Charles is obviously the best player on this team by far.
The Texas product is also one the premier players in the league. After a devastating knee injury ended Charles' 2011, many wondered if the speedy back could return to form this year.
Charles has 591 rushing yards in the first six weeks of 2012 including a stellar 233 yards in the Chiefs' only victory this season. He also had 50 receiving yards
Another Jim Brown record could be broken too if Charles continues on his torrid pace. The NFL requires backs to have 750 carries to qualify for career rushing marks, and Charles is 114 totes away from overcoming some elite company.
Charles 5.9 yard per carry average would place him above greats like Jim Brown, Gale Sayers and Barry Sanders.
What is amazing about Charles' season so far is the fact that he his doing most of his work while its clearly obvious that he has not fully recovered from his previous injury.
Many times in 2012, Charles has looked gassed early in games and its easy to see that he is still working himself into football shape.
Considering Charles numbers thus far, that is scary prospect for the rest of the NFL.