It’s been a long time since I’ve seen football game this good. On Sunday at Arrowhead, the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks dialed it up old school. They went back and forth until the final snap that ultimately produced a 24-20 victory for the men in red.
As a result, with the Denver Broncos embarrassing loss at the hands of the St. Louis Rams, 22-7 on Sunday, the Chiefs are in a virtual tie with Denver in the AFC West. Though the Broncos hold the tiebreaker over Kansas City (based on their head-to-head matchup in week two), both division rivals will meet in two weeks at Arrowhead that could change the power within the division.
Until then we can’t underscore enough how the Chiefs defeated a very good Seattle Seahawks team. Though Kansas City had to hang on for the victory, once they took the lead in the early stages of the fourth quarter, they didn’t allow Seattle to score any more points.
Seattle QB Russell Wilson and Running Back Marshawn Lynch provided much of the offense for the Seahawks. On the ground, the duo combined for 195 rushing yards. In the passing department, Wilson engineered a pair of clutch touchdown passes that guided his team to a 20-17 fourth quarter lead.
Until that lead Kansas City had this game under control scoring touchdowns on both off their initial offensive possessions in the first half. But a turnover late in the second quarter by Tight End, Travis Kelce and another by running back, Jamaal Charles in the third quarter, ultimately cost the Chiefs ten points.
Subtract those miscues and this game was never in doubt for Kansas City. However, that wasn’t the case as the team had to deal with some adversity. Though the Chiefs offense ran all over the Seahawks, scoring a trio of touchdown runs (two by Charles the other by Knile Davis), it was the defense that saved the day.
After the Seahawks dominated time of possession in the third quarter, the defense stood up and delivered when it mattered most in the final quarter. Three times they gave the ball back to their offense on downs.
The first, with Seattle facing a first and goal from the ten yard line, the second when they stuffed Lynch who needed just a yard to gain a new set of downs for his team and the last to seal the victory with less than a minute to go in the game.
It’s true the Chiefs shot themselves in the foot with a pair of offensive turnovers, but without them, perhaps the defense, with their backs against the wall most of the second half, would not have been able to achieve the kind of results that could catapult them to doing it again the rest of the season.
This defense wasn’t suppose to be this good. With injuries mounting, they were missing two cornerbacks in this game Jamell Fleming and Chris Owens, they still withstood everything the Seahawks threw at them.
That’s a good sign for this football team. A year ago had this game played out much like it did on Sunday, it’s certain the Chiefs would have lost this game. But under the guidance of Defensive Coordinator, Bob Sutton, he has his players believing they can stop any opposing offense.
However, defeating the defending Super Bowl champions at home is certainly a big deal for Sutton’s defense, but there is another benefit. In two consecutive weeks, his Chiefs defense buckled down in the fourth quarter and prevented touchdowns in the red zone against both the Bills and Seahawks.
This certainly was a statement game for the Kansas City Chiefs. They certainly could have folded several times in this game. In fact, they did everything at times to give Seattle the victory but they overcome every obstacles in front of them to win this game.
Head Coach, Andy Reid, certainly has his football team believing they can win against the NFL’s best. They’ve already had signature wins against good teams, and they’ve taken care of business against lessor opponents, to close out seven victories so far this season.
It’s a testament to his coaching abilities and overall patience with a team many felt was a sub .500 team when the season began. He’s just four wins shy of matching last years win total. It’s remarkable this team has been able to take to heart Reid’s message at the onset of offseason workouts in regards to finishing games.
We all saw what happened a year ago in November and December but this team is gaining confidence with each victory. In back-to-back weeks, they played two of the most physical football teams in the Bills and Seahawks.
They defeated them both with grit, heart and tenacity. More importantly though, they refused to lose both contests. If that mindset continues, the Chiefs can start thinking about a home playoff game in January.
Photos: Jamaal Charles (Denny Medley USA Today Sports) / Dontari Poe (John Rieger USA Today Sports)