Sunday's loss to Indianapolis was no moral victory.
Let's not church it up. Losing to Indy was a loss, plain and simple. Despite what the national media would have you believe, they overlooked some glaring holes in the Colts game that ultimately the Chiefs failed to exploit.
Scott Pioli was brought to Kansas City to win Super Bowls, and losing to a team you could have and should have beaten is not something the Chiefs or their fans should feel proud about after this loss.
That's not to say the Chiefs and their fans don't have reason to wave their red and gold flags when looking at the season in its entirety. The Chiefs are still tied with five other teams for the best record in the AFC, and have a comfortable game and a half lead in the division.
On Sunday we learned that the Chiefs have one of the top defenses in the NFL after visibly frustrating the unshakable future Hall of Famer that is Peyton Manning. Holding possibly the best QB of all-time to no touchdown passes is no moral victory – it is a statement.
And that's where this Chiefs team is: poised to make statements. They have added a plethora of offensive weapons, and paired it with a special teams unit that has the potential to change the game on the drop of a dime, the time to stop hoping for wins and start expecting them has come.
Regardless of who or where the Chiefs play, this defense has proven that they are strong enough to hang with any offense you can throw at them.
The Chiefs are allowing an average of 14.2 points per game that is good for third fewest in the NFL. And it's not as if the Chiefs have been playing patsies either.
The Defense has been the star of the team now the offense needs to get their act together.
In all, none of their opponents have eclipsed the twenty-point mark, and all but one (Colts) were held to 14 points or less. With two of the four offenses the Chiefs have faced (San Diego 1 and Indy 3) being ranked in the top three in total offense; I don't see many teams left on the Chiefs' schedule that team is going to be decided underdogs - as they were at Indy.
But as they say, "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch". In this case, it may be three.
The Chiefs' passing game has been absolutely atrocious in all but the victory against the 49ers. Even in that game it took a reverse pitch flea flicker to get the offense going. We can argue all day as to who deserves the majority of the blame, but at the end of the day, Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe, and Chris Chambers are simply not getting the job done.
And after four games, the Chiefs $63 million quarterback has a QB rating of just 74. Cassel's 650 passing yards are good for fifth from the bottom in the NFL. But when you consider he's the only quarterback in the bottom five that has started four games or more, this stat is even worse than it initially appears.
But let's be honest, Cassel in no way should be the scapegoat for this rapidly declining, stagnant passing attack. His top wide receivers Bowe and Chambers have been vacant in the passing game and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is doing little to help the cause.
Luckily for Cassel, the Chiefs traded up into the third round to draft tight end Tony Moeaki, but the fact that the Iowa product is already a stand out NFL blocker, he's nearly doubling the Chiefs two best wide-outs in receptions. That's a big red flag for this offense.
By this point you have already heard the rumblings of a potential quarterback controversy and you are sure to hear more of it – but defer that argument for another day – maybe after the Houston game.
Still with that potential bomb on the horizon. The Chiefs despite being one of the worst statistical passing attacks in the NFL stand 3-1 and are tied for the best record in all of football. Behind a stellar rushing attack and a surprisingly dominant defense, the Chiefs have put themselves in a position to expect to be the owners of one of the six-playoff spots in January.
Part of being a Super Bowl caliber team is believing that you are a Super Bowl caliber team, and the "moral victory" is not a concept that Super Bowl contenders subscribe to.
The Chiefs are not a legitimate contender for a title just yet. But until they start acting like the big dog on the block, they are going to be stuck playing the role of underdog for quite some time.