Take away some key dropped balls, some touchy feely holding penalties and a big time fumble and they rise to 10-0. Granted the Broncos played a solid game Sunday night but they made mistakes that the Chiefs didn't exploit.
As easy as the three touchdowns Peyton Manning threw Sunday night, he could have had the same number of interceptions. The Chiefs defense missed two of them as they passed through their open waiting arms.
The Anthony Sherman fumble killed a huge momentum swing for the Chiefs. After that misfortune, the 10-0 lead that resulted from that fumble put the game out of reach for Kansas City.
Still Kansas City did manage to keep the score even the rest of the game by matching the additional 17 points the Broncos posted by games end. Thus had they not missed out on golden opportunities by dropping so many balls, including one to running back Jamaal Charles near the goal line, perhaps the outcome would have been different.
Depsite the loss there's still enough people around the league believe the Chiefs deserve high respect. In that same breath, others feel Head Coach, Andy Reid, must let the reigns go in regards to his starting quarterback.
He must let Alex Smith needs to let his starting quarterback take more shots down the field. But can his receivers get open? Or more directly, will they catch the ball?
Reid may have to switch things up with his receivers. That could mean giving some chances on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers to Junior Hemingway, A.J. Jenkins and newly acquired wide receiver, Kyle Williams. They certainly can't do any worse than the low numbers Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery continue to post game in and game out.
They may not be any better than the current starters but perhaps they can catch the balls thrown to them. Because Smith is getting a bad rap covering for the multitude of dropped passes he endures each game.
For now, the Chiefs have to do some rethinking in regards to their passing game and Reid is the only man that can make those adjustments. The running game has to be more productive and that means carving up more playing time for back-up Knile Davis who had some nice moments against the Broncos.
He is the perfect change of pace back for Charles. Though his touches were few, he was one of the most productive players on the field Sunday night. He deserves more touches.
On the offensive line, the Chiefs have to trust that Geoff Schwartz can fill in beyond admirably for the injured Jon Asamoah. In my book, he's a far better pass blocker than Asamoah and he could be the glue that holds the Chiefs line together the remainder of the season.
On the flip side of the ball, the Chiefs have to stop worrying about getting sacks. Where they failed big time Sunday night against Manning was their inability to push the pocket back into the quarterback.
This weekend against San Diego and a week later in the Broncos re-match, they need to concentrate on pocket collapsing and the sacks will eventually follow. They tried so hard to get to Manning that had they just accepted the fact his quick release was nearly impossible to stop, they should have just pushed the pile backwards and taken their chances.
All in all I'm hardly down on the Chiefs. They have time to make some changes and if they are the right ones, they still hold the easiest path to winning the division and maintaining home field advantage in the AFC.
That drive for AFC supremacy begins on Wednesday when the Chiefs hit the practice field to get ready for the visiting Chargers.
After all, who doesn't like a good comeback from a team that stands 9-1 at this point of the season?
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Can Andy Reid make enough tweaks over the final six games?
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