When you play a desperate team anything can happen. For the Kansas City Chiefs, they faced a New York Jets team with their backs against the wall. Even though they entered the game with a single victory, they put on a good show at Arrowhead on Sunday afternoon.
That meant they weren’t going to lie down and give KC an easy victory. In fact, the Chiefs had to work for this victory. After Kansas City ran out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the Jets led by Quarterback Michael Vick, made a game of it for the remainder of the AFC contest.
This game was really a tale of two halves.
The Chiefs were lights out moving the ball offensively in the first quarter. They posted a pair of touchdowns on a short yardage run by Jamaal Charles and a tipped Alex Smith pass that fell into the hands of Anthony Fasano near the goal line.
The Chiefs won’t complain on how they get into the end zone. The Jets however showed some guts crawling back into the game by scoring a late second half touchdown cutting the Chiefs 14-0 lead in half.
However, after a 78-yard kick-off return by De’Anthony Thomas, Smith found, Alex Kelce, for a terrific 12-yard pass to Tight End, Travis Kelce. That gave the Chiefs a 21-7 lead that almost put the game out of reach.
As close as that sounded in the second half, the Chiefs defense needed to step up to secure the win. Which to be honest was in question based on their defensive breakdowns in the second quarter. However, after halftime they made the adjustments that allowed the Jets to score a meaningless field goal over the final two quarters. Still it wasn’t always easy as KC’s defense made several stops on fourth down preventing the Jets from closing the scoring gap.
Overall this victory goes down as a solid effort by the Chiefs. Still after their first quarter point eruption, they really didn’t do much outside of the short field touchdown they executed late in the second quarter.
The Jets did a good job of forcing the Chiefs to think pass more than run the ball up by a pair of touchdowns. It worked effectively enough it gave the Jets offense several extra possessions to score points but KC’s defense played a stellar second half.
The Chiefs, depending on the outcome of the Denver Broncos road game at New England, could be one game back of the division leader should, Peyton Manning, have a rough day against the Patriots. Adding the importance of today’s Chiefs victory comes from the San Diego Chargers embarrassing 37-0 loss on the road against the Miami Dolphins.
When you consider the Chiefs began the season with a 0-2 mark, they’ve won five of their last six games to improve to 5-3 that currently finds them in second place in the AFC West. In reality, their overall record isn’t all that surprising at this stage of the season.
Based on the fact they endured a brutal six-game stretch to start the season, they are in the very place I thought they’d be at the midway park of the regular season. Still if they’re going to be a playoff team, they need to beat up on opponents who have lesser talent than the Chiefs.
In two of their next three games, road games against the Buffalo Bills and division rival Oakland, they have a chance to begin thinking about playoffs should they win both contests away from Arrowhead.
However if they lose one of those games it could derail their playoff destiny in getting into the post-season. That’s because Sandwiched between those games is a home game match-up against the defending Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks.
But that’s looking ahead.
The good news is the Chiefs are not one of those teams that peak beyond the next game. Instead, they worry about just one opponent and doing what it takes to get a victory. That means before we can talk about playoffs, momentum, or an AFC West championship, they need to travel to Buffalo next week to attempt to defeat a very pesky Bills team.
Every Chiefs fan understands the big picture for this team is the playoffs and winning a Super Bowl. Yet the coaching staff and the players aren’t too concerned about that just yet.
Still with three straight wins over the San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams and the aforementioned, Jets, this team has found a winning formula that has seen the Chiefs win five of their last six games.
Yet for Chiefs fans who like to peak ahead at schedules and possible playoff scenarios, the way Kansas City is finding success on the field, they can start to think about all that other stuff.
Photos: Anthony Fasano (Denny Medley USA Today Sports) / Tamba Hali & Justin Houston (Justin Olson Warpaint Illustrated)