Kansas City Chiefs: Why They Are the Real Deal
The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0 and sit atop the AFC West heading into a big game against the Indianapolis Colts.
They are the biggest surprise this year in the NFL. The Chiefs finished 4-12 a year ago.
They started the season 1-8 in 2009, and the Chiefs did not win their third game of the season until an overtime victory against Pittsburgh in Week 11.
There are experts who think the Chiefs are going to come back to earth the next couple weeks, but I don't believe that to be the case.
Here are five reasons why the Chiefs will continue to play well, and ultimately have a playoff shot come January.
KR/PR Dexter McCluster
Dexter McCluster was a steal for the Kansas City Chiefs when they got him in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Mississippi.
McCluster has the speed and ability to take a return all the way at any time.
He has a punt return of 95 yards this season, resulting in a touchdown.
McCluster is only a rookie and has a promising future ahead of him. The Chiefs have not had a dominant return man since Daunte Hall, and McCluster can be that man. He can change the game at any given moment.
Kansas City Defense
The Kansas City Chiefs defense ranks sixth in the NFL in stopping the rush, giving up 75.0 yards per game.
The Chiefs defense is much improved from a year ago, and they showed they could make the plays down stretch in a Week 1 victory over the Chargers.
Derrick Johnson, a former first round pick out of Texas is leading the team in tackles with 25 in just three games.
Eric Berry is playing well for being the fifth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He is third on the team in tackles. We will see if he is worth the money the Chiefs paid to get him this week against the Colts.
The Chiefs Rushing Attack
The Kansas City Chiefs boast the top running attack in the entire NFL with 160.7 yards per game.
They feature two backs that can take it to the house at any time during the game.
Jamaal Charles has rushed for 238 yards on just 34 attempts. He has taken a back seat to newly required Thomas Jones, but has made the most of his carries.
Charles is averaging an astonishing 8.5 yards per carry, and could be the starting running back on many NFL teams.
Thomas Jones has carried the ball 52 times in just three games for 234 yards. Many coaches thought Jones would fade off this season, entering his 11th year, but that is not the case.
He broke out for 95 yards against San Fransisco last week, and head coach Todd Haley believes Jones can produce.
They are one of the best one-two tandems in the NFL.
The AFC WEST
The Kansas City Chiefs have the privilege of playing in a weak division. The AFC West is by far the weakest division in the entire AFC.
It is hard not to consider the Chiefs a playoff contender when you consider who they play against in the west.
Oakland, San Diego, and Denver are all 1-2. The Chiefs hold a two-game lead on every team in their division.
San Diego is disappointing this year, with Vincent Jackson serving his suspension, and perennial Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson now playing for the New York Jets.
Oakland is Oakland, and they will find a way to get out of the playoff picture.
Denver is the only team that I think will give the Chiefs problems. They are first in the NFL in passing yards per game, and the Chiefs have trouble covering the pass.
Kansas City Chiefs Schedule
It is only Week 4, and it is hard to tell how good a team will be, but the Chiefs schedule is not very difficult.
They have two very tough games against stiff competition, traveling to Indianapolis and Houston in their next two games.
If they can steal a victory in either game, it will be a momentum-builder going into the weaker part of their schedule.
The Chiefs host two horrible teams in Jacksonville and Buffalo, which should be easy wins, and then play Oakland, Denver, and Arizona.
The Chiefs could easily go 4-1 in that stretch, giving them a record of 8-2 or 7-3, depending how they play against the Colts and Texans.
Kansas City is a playoff-contender. They could easily go 11-5 this season, and win the AFC West.