If you believe in Karma the Kansas City Chiefs 17-13 road win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon, completely removes their opening season loss to the Tennessee Titans at home. In getting this hard fought, and at times improbable victory, the Chiefs began the second half of the season winning an ugly game in a hostile environment.
When the season began I think most Chiefs fans felt the chances this team would win at Buffalo in consecutive years simply wasn’t in the cards. Entering the fourth quarter, you’d have to believe the chances of that occurring were unlikely at best.
But funny thing about the NFL, the game can change on a single play and down the stretch the Chiefs made more big play than the Bills.
I’m not even sure where to start.
The Chiefs defense was torched on the opening drive by Bills Quarterback, Kyle Orton. Add that with the fact, KC’s offensive line was simply woeful for much of the game. Yet Quarterback, Alex Smith, found a way to remove the game manager moniker, that’s been stuck on his number 11 jersey since he came to the Chiefs, guiding his team from a ten point fourth quarter deficit.
In facing a 13-3 deficit in the games final stanza, Smith made a key third down throw to Wide Receiver, Dwayne Bowe, that set the table for Jamaal Charles fourth down 39-yard touchdown scamper which cut the Bills lead to 13-10. After a pair of three and outs by both teams, Fullback Anthony Sherman, recovered a special teams fumble that led directly to the game winning 8-yard touchdown run that pushed the score to 17-13 late in the fourth quarter.
Then the defense, working with a short field to defend, shut the Bills down on four consecutive plays inside the 20-yard line (three of them by cornerback Ron Parker), that virtually sealed the win for Kansas City.
Yes the Chiefs had to convert one first down, which they did on a terrific third down pocket escape and pass by Smith to Tight End, Travis Kelce, that put the game out of reach for the Bills.
Now if we dive deeper in this game we can point to numerous defensive plays by Kansas City, multiple Bills turnovers and some strange play calling by the Bills coaching staff on both sides of the ball. In fact, while we’re at it how about some questionable calls by the official that all went the Chiefs way.
So what do we make of this victory by Kansas City? This is one tough football team. P>They didn’t play their best in all three phases of the game on Sunday but they made plays when it was critical for them to do so. The hero on defense was the aforementioned Parker.
Forget the three balls he knocked down in the Bills final red zone drive. Instead it was the turnover he created when he stripped Bills running back, Bryce Brown, of the ball in route to the end zone. It was perfectly executed that resulted in a touchback for the Chiefs. Had he held onto the rock the Bills would have pushed their lead to 20-3 and that would have been ball game.
Parker might be the unsung hero of this defense this year, but the man who deserves all the credit for this win is the quarterback for the Chiefs. Smith showed why he’s a franchise quarterback. He made key plays down the stretch, despite getting sacked six times. But he never quit on his team, nor would he let them lose this game.
The Chiefs, with this victory, keep pace with the Denver Broncos and keep moving up the Wild Card food chain They’ve now won four games in a row, and six of their last seven games puts them on pace for ten wins or more. Suddenly, they’re one of the hottest teams in the NFL.
The beauty about this streak for Kansas City is their ability to win close games on the road and blow teams out at home. The Chiefs are living right these days but they have a locker room thats beginning to believe they can only beat themselves on Sunday afternoons.
Andy Reid obviously deserves a lot of credit for the teams change of fortunes after their 0-2 start. The Chiefs aren’t sitting at 6-3 right now had he not begun his off-season workouts by preaching to his team the importance of finishing games.
I’m not saying the Chiefs have that Super Bowl look or feel just yet but I’d hate to play this team in January. Right now, in the month of November, they seem pretty hard to beat. They should have lost this game but they found a way to win it Reid style.
If the players continue to adhere to their head coach, they just might break that playoff losing streak that has gripped this franchise for nearly two decades.
Photos: Alex Smith & Ron Parkers (Kevin Hoffman USA Today Sports)