QB Matt Cassel
The Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the biggest surprises in the National Football League this season. With a record of 7-4 (more wins than the last two seasons combined) and lead of the AFC West, the Chiefs are looking for their first playoff berth since 2006.
The following slides will show why the Kansas City Chiefs have had success this season and why they will win the West, putting the "red" back in the “red-sea.”
League Leader in TD Receptions, Dwayne Bowe
Over the course of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs ground game has been unstoppable, averaging over 173 yards per game after 12 weeks! The one-two punch of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones has been absolutely devastating for opposing defenses.
Along with the phenomenal rushing attack, the passing game that has emerged since week six. In that time the Matt Cassel/D-Bowe show has been a force to be reckoned with. Cassel, quietly becoming one of the league’s most reliable arms, has thrown 18 TDs to just one interception.
The man receiving the majority of those touchdowns, Dwayne Bowe, one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL. Since dropping a sure-touchdown pass in week five against the Colts that would have put the Chiefs back in the game, he has been a force for DBs to stop with four 100+ yard games and 13 touchdowns. With a line that is holding for Cassel and pushing for the RB-tandem, this is becoming a tough offense for anyone to stop.
LB Tamba Hali
This defense has not been a brick wall.
The Chiefs are 18th in the league in yards per game with 342 and 24th in the league in passing defense. This is a large improvement from last year, in which they ranked dead last in just about every category.
The strong point of this defense is the fact that they do not give up a lot of points and (with the exception of the “Invesco-Field Nightmare” of week 10) are able to keep the offense in the game, if they are struggling. The “bend-but-not-break” philosophy is working well for Romeo Crenell in his first year as Defensive coordinator.
With strong leadership from veteran LB Mike Vrebel, strong play from the team’s leading tackler Derrick Johnson, pass rush from LB convert Tamba Hali, and a shutdown corner in Brandon Flowers, look for this young defense to be more trouble for offenses in December and January.
Week 1 Chiefs vs. Chargers
The Chiefs have five games left, three at home and two on the road. Thus far this season, the Chiefs are undefeated at home after 5 games.
The 12th man of Arrowhead will be a major help when division rivals Denver Broncos (week 13) and Oakland Raiders (week 17) come to town. The toughest game on the remaining schedule will be against the powerhouse San Diego Chargers. While the Chargers have had outstanding late-season runs over the last three years, the Kansas City Chiefs are much improved from last year and will give the Chargers a run for their money.
Oh, and the Chiefs have already beaten the Chargers this season!
Head Coach Todd Haley
What did Todd Haley put in the water in Kansas City? Whatever it is, it’s working.
In his first year as head coach, the Chiefs had a ghastly record of 4-12. The blame for this cannot be placed solely Haley. The blame goes to the former Head Coach Herm Edwards. With under-developed players, an uninventive playbook, and terrible drafting, the team struggled through three rough years with a combined record of 15-33.
Todd Haley did not have a small task on hand when he took this job, but he has really come through. This season, his team has more wins this year than the last two years, and with three more wins, will surpass the year before that as well!
A brilliant draft back in April, that gave Kansas City such big names as Eric Berry, Toni Moeaki, and Dexter McCluster is something that Chiefs fans have not seen since the Schottenheimer days. While Haley is looking like the Coach of the Year right now, he has to give some credit to the coordinators. I have already talked about the offense and the defense and the reason that they are playing so well is offensive coordinator Charlie Wiess and defensive coordinator Romeo Crenell. With these additions to the coaching staff, the team has come into its own and is starting to look like a serious contender.
The "sea of red" at Arrowhead
Does anyone remember the glory days of the 1990’s? Marty Schottenheimer and the boys would put together a show every Sunday like non-other. The atmosphere was thick, the air cold, and the seas red as the Chiefs held their home turf as sacred as a holy land.
It was a pleasure to come out, show my colors, and be the twelfth-man in Arrowhead. Where did it go? After some problems on the field after Marty left and some rough seasons, the spirit was lost. I say that the magic was lost but NOT FORGOTTEN. With a 5-0 record at home this season—including a week one Monday night win at Arrowhead—and a newly renovated Stadium, this gridiron is as strong as ever. The magic is alive and well as Todd Haley and the Chiefs look to take it to the playoffs.