Nobody was harsher on Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach, Andy Reid, than yours truly after his refusal to play more smash mouth football against the Denver Broncos. Had he done so the Chiefs would be tied with the San Diego Chargers for first place in the AFC West.
But to his credit, he used my advise (yes I know he didn’t ask) to perfection on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins by playing old style in your face offense. The results meant 174 yards rushing on the ground, enough room for his franchise quarterback to find passing lanes that eventually wore down the Dolphins defensive front seven that produced 34 points.
The hero Sunday afternoon was second year running back, Knile Davis. He carried the ball 32 times for a career high 132 yards rushing and added a nifty 21-yard touchdown run to open up the Chiefs scoring on the day.
McKnight had never found the end zone in his brief NFL career but on Sunday he was terrific against the Dolphins hauling in a pair of red zone touchdowns from quarterback Alex Smith. I don’t know why I feel this way but McKnight reminds me of Todd McNair. He looks like a back that can get the job done when called upon.
Regardless, this was the best Chiefs game I’ve seen since the Chiefs dismantled the Washington Redskins last December. In this contest, they went to Miami with better talent, coaching and a hungry man’s appetite to want this game more than the Dolphins.
The Chiefs offense certainly had some hiccups on Sunday but led by their franchise quarterback, the aforementioned Alex Smith, he magnificently completed 19 of 25 passes for 186 yards and threw a trio of touchdowns on the afternoon. Despite a relentless sack attack by the Dolphins, Smith made enough moves in guiding the Chiefs offense to its first victory of the season.
On the other side of the ball, KC’s defense returned serve by sacking Dolphins Quarterback, Ryan Tannehill four times. We also saw the emergence of first round draft pick, Dee Ford, who made a couple of key plays in the game.
If this defense can raise their sack meter and take on the attitude of their offense, I like their chances against New England Patriots next Monday night at Arrowhead.
It wasn’t a shock Kansas City was able to go on the road and defeat the Dolphins. To me though, the fact Reid changed it up offensively by trusting Davis to carry the ball that many times, get tight end, Travis Kelce, more involved offensively and use a journeyman low mileage veteran like McKnight tells me he can flat out coach and motivate his troops. Further, he did it with a patchwork offensive line.
At some point this team has to find an image of their own but on Sunday, they gave a very gritty performance that left no doubt the Chiefs outclassed the Dolphins to win their first game of the season.
In the NFL, things change in a heartbeat. But those that make the changes, like the style Reid implemented on Sunday versus a week earlier, could go a long way towards building a team that more fits his winning image.
If that happens, suddenly the Chiefs could be a factor in the AFC West in 2014.
Photos: Knile Davis (Brad Barr USA Today Sports) & Donnie Avery/Travis Kelce (Steve Mitchell USA Today Sports).
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Will this win carry over to next week against the Patriots?
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