Chiefs Won't Rest on Their Laurels

They're the best team in football according to ESPN and CNNSI. To all Chiefs fans, they're the best team in football but wins in September and October only matter if success builds into November and December. Because January is the month you win championships.

Not many die hard Chiefs fans are surprised that Kansas City stands 5-0. The schedule makers did them some favors with back to back home games against San Diego and Pittsburgh to start the season and two winnable road games at Houston and Baltimore.

Last weekend was a true test of the Chiefs season and a possible preview to the rest of it. With two more road games beginning this weekend in Green Bay and the following Monday Night in Oakland, Kansas City is poised to set themselves up for home field advantage in the playoffs and the AFC West title.

The Chiefs have not been to the post season since the 1997 season when they had home field advantage and lost to the Broncos 14-10 in the playoffs at home. A year later the team resting on their success from 1998, turned on each other and were the most embarrassing team in Chiefs history.

My point you say.

The Chiefs have won nothing five games into the season. Nothing but five football games they should have won. They were the better team each week. They had better talent, better schemes, better coaches than any opponent they've faced to date. That won't change the next two weeks.

The Packers are not a very strong defensive team. The front seven has to commit to the rush or they don't get pressure on the quarterback. The Chiefs offense should shred the Packers defense both on the ground and through the air.

The following week, the Raiders who might likely be 2-4 when the two teams meet are finished and impose nothing more than a moderate challenge to the Chiefs. Kansas is far superior to the Raiders at every position. They're run is over. With this game being the Chiefs only Monday Night appearance this season; they want to make a statement to the rest of the NFL. They also want the Raiders to know there is a changing of the guard in the AFC West.

At yesterday's news conference Chiefs head coach addressed the topic of being overconfident or even looking ahead. He's had teams that started hot and flopped. He learned from that team in Philadelphia and made sure his Super Bowl team in St. Louis would not falter.

"As of October 7 we're 5-0 and we know what we have to do to keep getting better. The great thing about our squad and organization is their willingness to work when it wasn't going well, when we were losing games like last Sunday more than two or three times in a row the last couple of years, to find a way to win them. It's definitely influenced by their work ethic, their attitude and how we come back and go to work."

This team understands that. They've taken nothing for granted this year. In fact Kansas City has yet to play a complete game in all phases.

Trent Green and the rest of the offense are struggling. You can blame the offensive line, because out side of the first game of the season, they've not pass blocked very well. John Tait has had problems and center Casey Wiegmann seems to be a split second off. Those things can be corrected.

The Chiefs showed what they could do in the third quarter of the Broncos game. With Denver scoring a quick touchdown, Green and company scored in short order. Green engineered a five play drive covering 73-yards that took less than three minutes. That's the offense that they need to run.

The difference is that they mixed the ball up with run and pass. Too many times this season the Chiefs have tried to run the ball too often early in games. In that drive they passed, play faked and still ran the ball and Denver was powerless to stop them.

Fans can look ahead all they want. But anyone in the media who thinks that Vermeil does not have his team grounded and focused, is nuts. He knows and his players understand that there is major room for improvement.

No one is resting on their success. If Kansas City can put it together offensively and the defense keeps opposing teams from scoring touchdowns and then Dante is well Dante; then Kansas City might be able to print playoff tickets after the next two games.

If Kansas City is 7-0, then they will be in the drivers seat for the AFC Title and home field advantage.


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