Kansas City Chiefs: Are They for Real?

Rodney LayContributor IIIDecember 21, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 05:  Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action during the game against the Denver Broncos on December 5, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

There is a saying in the National Football League that claims you are what your record says you are. Thirteen games into the season, the Chiefs are 9-5. There are a grand total of eight teams in the NFL that currently have a better record than the Chiefs. Twenty two teams have a record that is worse than the Chiefs.

So, are the Chiefs one of the elite teams in the National Football League this year? Are they for real?

Watch ESPN and the NFL Network, read the papers and the magazines. The analysts are having a hard time agreeing that the Chiefs are a 9-5 team. San Diego was anointed at the beginning of the season to take the West in dominating fashion, and everyone is having a hard time letting go of that one. The Chiefs were prophesied to come in last, maybe winning six games at best.

I have never been one to predict a team’s record, let alone tell everyone who I think will be in the playoffs or who will play in and win the Super Bowl. This year in the NFL proves easily that evaluating a team's record is the wisest approach to take when deciding their ability.

If you were betting with the experts this year, the gifts under the tree might be rather sparse—if indeed you had money left to buy the tree. The list of “playoff caliber” teams that will miss the post season is significant: Cowboys, Packers, Texans, Chargers, Vikings, and the 49ers. The list of under performing teams is even longer.

Now, back to the original question: are the Chiefs for real in 2010? How many articles have I read that contain that question? I have lost count. I am not writing this article with the intention of answering that question. At 9-5, leading the division by a game with two games to go, the easy answer is YES!

The reason that I am writing this is to point out that the question is ridiculous and a waste of time. At the end of the season, twelve teams will play in the playoffs. Two of those teams will end up in the Super Bowl. Are the ten playoff teams that do not make it to the Super Bowl for real?

There is only one really sensible observation about the Chiefs team in 2010: they have put together a great coaching staff, and they have drafted well. Those two things are making a difference, one that has resulted in the Chiefs sitting on top of the Western Division of the AFC. A difference that gives the Chiefs control of their own destiny when it comes to making the playoffs.

Are the Chiefs for real?

They are 9-5. They can only lose the Western Division by tripping over their own feet, and they continue to win when the experts say they cannot win.

Are the Chiefs for real?

The wisdom that says a team is exactly what their record says they are speaks volumes.