Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe have established themselves as a potent combination this season
The Kansas City Chiefs needed to get a win on Sunday in Seattle to maintain their one game lead in the AFC West, and they went out and did just that. After going 1-4 in their first five road games, Coach Todd Haley got perhaps the best performance out of his offense and defense this season.
The Chiefs' top-ranked rushing offense and emerging passing attack led an offense that put 42 points up on Sunday, while the defense never allowed the Seahawks to get their running game going and intercepted quarterback Matt Hasselbeck twice.
Here's how each of the units graded out for their performances Sunday afternoon.
Quarterback Matt Cassel and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe have turned themselves into the most potent QB/WR combo in the NFL. Coming off a stretch of scoring 10 touchdowns in his last six games, Bowe just went out and turned three of his 13 receptions into touchdowns on Sunday, giving him a league-leading 14 on the season. Cassel was nearly flawless, completing 22 of 32 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns.
If anyone doubts that Jamaal Charles is the best running back in the NFL, they clearly haven’t seen him play since Week 10 of last season. On Sunday, Charles ran 22 times for 173 yards and a touchdown, averaging a ridiculous 7.9 yards per carry. On the season, he has eclipsed the 1,000 mark, and is averaging 6.3 yards per carry, far and away the best in the NFL.
Throw in Thomas Jones' 68 yards and a fun to watch one-yard touchdown plunge by defensive end Shaun Smith, the Seahawks quickly found out what it’s like to face the league’s best rushing offense.
The Chiefs went into Sunday’s game without their best cover man, Brandon Flowers, but the rest of the secondary proved that they could pick up the slack. The young Chiefs secondary played well, with the exception of blown coverage on an 87-yard touchdown pass to Ben Obomanu in the fourth quarter.
Travis Daniels and Kendrick Lewis stepped up and made big plays, each intercepting Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck once. Shaun Smith and Derrick Johnson each had a sack of Hasselbeck, with Johnson forcing a big fumble on his which was recovered by the Chiefs.
The Chiefs have been up and down in stopping the run this season, but they turned in their best effort on Sunday. The Seahawks duo of Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett was held in check, totaling just 22 yards on 10 carries between them. As a team, the Seahawks totaled a season-low allowed by the Chiefs of just 20 yards.
Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop was a perfect six for six on extra points on Sunday, which was about the only thing that went perfectly for the Chiefs on special teams. Succop’s only field goal attempt was blocked, and punter Dustin Colquitt’s first punt of the day was blocked and returned for a touchdown. The return game was held largely in check as the Chiefs were once again without the services of the exciting Dexter McCluster.
The Chiefs continue to show everyone why they enlisted the services of coordinators Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis in the offseason. Crennel’s defense forced three Seahawks turnovers and turned in a solid performance without their best player. On offense, Weis has turned Cassel, Bowe and Charles into probable Pro Bowlers and an offense that now ranks fourth in the league, averaging 25.9 points per game.