The Chiefs hold on to win for the first time since December 26th. It feels like Christmas, doesn't it?
Individually and as a team, the Chiefs had season highs in a couple of categories.
While this was against a winless team, the Chiefs still showed a lot in Sunday’s 22-17 victory. Not many people expected the Chiefs to come away with a victory, even at home.
What did we learn about the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday? Find out and let me know what you think.
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Let’s just get this one out of the way.
The Chiefs were 2-14 in 2008 and had the third overall pick in the 2009 draft. The Chiefs were 4-12 twice since 2007, but had the fifth overall pick.
It seems like teams have to go very close to winless in order to secure the number one overall pick. The Chiefs are no longer in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes and Chiefs fans must accept that.
If the Chiefs can work on a few things to improve on, they will win a couple of more games this season and fans must settle with a different player in the draft.
Ryan Succop had the game of his career on Sunday after going five-for-five and nailed two field goals from 50-yards out. Succop also had a field goal from 54-yards away, making it the longest of his career.
Succop had five field goal attempts coming into Sunday’s contest against Minnesota with a 40% success rate. He made five field goals alone this week and is now 70% this season on field goal attempts.
The question now is, can Succop remain consistent after playing like an elite kicker today? He has been up and down throughout his career and has not been successful from long-range. It looks like he got it together this week and hopes to carry it over.
During the first half, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley got into a shouting match with Matt Cassel, which required Le’Ron McClain to get in the way to calm down the mood.
Cassel had struggled getting the ball to the end zone in the first half. Cassel turned things around by leading an active and aggressive offense in the second half.
He had his best game as a Chief, completing 18-of-29 passes with a season high of 260 yards passing and one touchdown, earning him a quarterback rating on 102.7.
Cassel’s one shining moment arrived in the fourth quarter when he found Dwayne Bowe wide open for a 52-yard touchdown catch and run to end a two-play drive.
Cassel also got Steve Breaston more involved this week and has shown that the chemistry with his newest key receiver is continuing to develop. If things continue to go well in the Chiefs passing game, it can only get better when Jonathan Baldwin makes his debut.
Cassel threw at least one interception in the last five games, dating back to January 2nd of last season. Cassel was successful in minimizing his turnovers after throwing four interceptions in the first three games of the season. This Sunday, Cassel had no interceptions for the first time since December 26th, which was the last time the Chiefs won.
The Chiefs defense limited two explosive players in the league in Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
After giving up 89 points in the first two games, the Chiefs have given up 30 points in the last two games and gave up a season-low of 10 points.
The Chiefs defense came away with a gutsy performance as Peterson ran 23 times to gain only 80 yards.
Although Donovan McNabb had two touchdowns and the highest quarterback rating of the season, he could not escape the pressure applied by the Chiefs defense. The most notable pass rusher for the Chiefs was Tamba Hali after sacking McNabb twice.
Derrick Johnson, Brandon Carr and Tyson Jackson also stepped up and made big plays to help the defense frustrate McNabb and Peterson.
While the Chiefs may not have Eric Berry, they have unexpectedly played well against two of the league’s most well known offensive players.
I hate to turn off the optimism, but let’s be realistic. The Chiefs beat a team who had the same record as them by only five points. Cassel is thankful and lucky that the defense held the Vikings on fourth down
While they improved in many areas, they cannot be taken seriously until they repeat their performance against a more preponderant team.
A win is a win, but for teams, like the Chiefs, there are still a lot of concerns and holes. The Chiefs won the AFC West and don’t look like reigning division champions right now.
While wins don’t come easy, most reigning division champions would have had an easier time handling a team like the Vikings. The Chiefs had a couple of opportunities to punch the ball into the end zone early on.
For now, Chiefs fans need to enjoy this victory, but understand that Cassel has a lot to prove. If it wasn’t for the busted coverage on Bowe, would the Chiefs have ever had a touchdown?
It is time for the Chiefs to get back to practice and get ready for Indianapolis.