Seven weeks ago the Kansas City Chiefs were overachieving despite a lack of production from their lackluster offensive leaders Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs were 3-2 after disappointing back-to-back losses, and their critics and fans alike were wondering if this team could contend in the AFC West with such a nonexistent offense—but that was eight weeks ago.
It's now Week 13, and my how things have changed in the Chiefs household. The offense has matured from looking like the picture of Alice Coopers vision of youth in "18" to that of The Who's empowered ballad "The Kids Are Alright." Where youth and inexperience once reigned supreme, those characteristics have been replaced with maturity and resilience.
The defense is still holding up their end of the bargain, ranked 13th in points allowed (21 per game) and seventh against the run (1,061 yards allowed,) but it's the offense that has kept this team leading the AFC West in every week of the 2010 season. They're ranked fourth in the NFL in points scored (25.9 per game) and made strides every week in becoming a more complete, playoff-ready team by scoring an average of 40 points per game in their last three games. That's the most points by any team in the AFC West in the last three games.
This article chronicles ten key factors to the Chiefs rising up in recent weeks and staying hot when they could have easily fallen prey to the pitfalls that all young teams on the brink face.