Kansas City Chiefs: Beat Titans, Clinch the Division and Look Ahead To Playoffs

Dustin McMahonContributor IDecember 27, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 26:  Brandon Carr #39 of the Kansas City Chiefs is congratulated by Kendrick Lewis #23 and teammates after an interception during the game against the Tennessee Titans on December 26, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs came into the game vs. the Tennessee Titans able to pave their own way to the playoffs, a feat they had not accomplished in four years.

 With a win against the Titans and an unlikely San Diego Chargers loss, Kansas City would win the AFC West for the first time since 2003, when Coach Dick Vermeil was at the helm.

Week 16’s game was all about Kansas City. Showing up on all sides of the ball, the Chiefs looked like a Super-Bowl contender in the win.

By now, everyone knows that Quarterback Matt Cassel is only 2 short weeks minus an emergency appendectomy. Cassel came into this game and showed us that he is back to 100 percent.

Looking like an MVP, Cassel went 24 of 34 through the air for 314 yards and 3 TDs. Cassel looked calm and cool in the pocket and was able to make plays with his legs when he needed to.

Cassel’s partner-in-crime this season, Dwayne Bowe pulled down 6 catches for 153 yards, including a 75 yard touchdown catch and run late in the second quarter. This game put Dwayne Bowe over 1000 receiving yards for the season and the second time in his career.

The best running back tandem in the game, Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones put up 128 yards on the ground. Charles and Jones didn’t put up the outstanding numbers that we are used to seeing because Matt Cassel’s passing game was so hot all afternoon.

On the other side of that ball, the defense looked like they could stop a stampede.

Last season, Chris Johnson (aka CJ2K) ran for over 2000 yards and the rushing title. Johnson hasn’t been as productive this season, but is still a top-five rusher and an elite player at the position.

The Chiefs defense held Johnson to only 58 yards on the ground and made sure he did not set foot in the end zone.

Late in the first half, after the long D-Bowe touchdown reception, Jeff Fisher and the Titans elected to try to run a two-minute offense down the field instead of clocking the ball and going to halftime down by 17. This resulted in a 54-yard pick-six by Rookie safety Eric Berry, the first touchdown of his career.

Linebacker Derrick Johnson was name the AFC-Defensive player of the week last week after recording 17 tackles against Chiefs in-state rival St. Louis Rams. Johnson grabbed 3 tackles this week, but that was enough to make his total 100 for the season as he continues to have a phenomenal showing at the inside linebacker spot.

 The Chiefs looked like a Super Bowl team this week. They were dominant on all sides of the ball.

After the game ended, all eyes were glued to the Chargers visit to Cincinnati. I watched in AWE as Cincinnati pulled of one of the biggest upsets of the year, beating San Diego and giving Kansas City the division title a ticket to the playoffs.

Not to say that the next game against the Oakland Raiders is unimportant, I am ready to look forward to the playoffs.

I have been asking myself all season whether Kansas City has what it takes to be a contender this year.

Matt Cassel took a few games to get into a rhythm but once he did, he was hitting every note in the glorious victory-song that is the Chiefs season.

As it stands right now, the Chiefs will most-likely be hosting the hot-n-cold New York Jets in the first round of the playoffs.

A month ago, I would have told you that it is more likely that we would see Miley Cyrus win an Acting Oscar than the Chiefs being able to beat the Jets. Oh, how the tables have turned.

Charlie Wies has done an excellent job at play-calling in the last couple weeks, this game included. He was able to confuse the Titans defense and catch them off guard with 7 play drives that included 6 passes.

 That is what has to happen because opposing defensive coordinators will be stuffing the box with 8 players every game that is played.

Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Romeo Crenell has a chance to show the Nation how much improvement he has made this season on this defense.

There have been a couple tough games this season for this young defense but they have shown that they can be a dominant force and a threat to any offense in the league.

Todd Haley, my coach of the year pick, has taken this team from zero to Kansas City hero in just two seasons as head coach.

His real test comes in two weeks when he runs his team onto the field for his first playoff game as a head coach.