No, I'm not ready to declare this team will go undefeated this season, since they still have nine games to play including a home game Sunday Night against the Buffalo Bills. After the Bills come to town, the Chiefs will enjoy their bye week and then face the Browns at home, Bengals on the road and the Raiders at Arrowhead.
They should easily win those three games. Not even a single doubt in my mind that unless they are besieged by injuries. Kansas City just won four games on the road, doubling their road victory total of last year on the seventh game of the season.
They've found every conceivable way to win games; special teams, defense and come from behind victories by the offense. They've blown out teams and they've won close games. The kind of games they'll likely play in the playoffs this year.
This is good practice for a team that needed to learn how to WIN games on the road and at home. The last two years have been mounted with frustration and anxiety. The team simply needed to understand what happens when you play hard for sixty minutes. If the Chiefs had let up for one second on Monday Night, they would have lost the game. They've learned that trick to perfection this season.
The Chiefs defense was impressive last night until they injected their prevent defense late in the fourth quarter. To their credit, they were on the field for most of the final quarter thanks to their sputtering offense and they were tired.
But Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley sealed the win by tackling Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown at the one-yard line with no time left on the clock. It was a demoralizing loss to the Raiders who were for all purposes knocked out of any chance at getting back to the Playoffs and defending their bitter Super Bowl loss.
Their window is shut and the Chiefs appear to have taken over the reigns of the AFC West. They have a five game lead over the Raiders and a two game lead over the Broncos plus head to head and division tie-breakers over both of them. The Chargers are already eliminated.
What this team has done is remarkable. Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil has this team focused despite its offensive and defensive troubles.
We can pinpoint to the offense that Trent Green has not played well and the defense has given up more yardage than the Chiefs offense is able to produce. For most teams, that would mean a record of .500 or worse but not the 2003 Chiefs.
They appear to be getting all the bounces but they also are making the plays when they need to make them. This team is built around taking advantages of the opportunities that their opponents give them.
Dante Hall did nothing last night but the Raiders were scared to kick or punt in his direction. The Chiefs scored their first touchdown thanks to a poor punt by Raiders punter Shane Lechler. His punt from his own end zone only traveled thirty yards and the Chiefs scored a touchdown two plays later on a Green scramble.
The victory on Monday Night was intended to showcase the Chiefs who were clearly the better team. But they stumbled, rumbled and did not live up to the hype of the rivalry. Instead, they did what they had to do and won in a hostile environment.
Yes the Raiders are down but the Chiefs have won at Baltimore, Green Bay and now Oakland. They only have two tough road games left at Denver and Minnesota in November and December.
Last years team would have lost all three of those games not to mention the home win over the Denver Broncos. But not this years group. They are as focused a group as I've ever seen.
The 1969 Chiefs hade the same chemistry but they dealt with injuries to Len Dawson and a brutal opening stretch of the season that had them play their first four games of the season on the road. This team has not had to deal with a serious injury but the schedule makers did them no favors.
They just completed four of their last five games on the road. They have another stretch where they play three of four on the road but that does not faze them at all. In fact, they do what they have to do. They win NFL games.
Chiefs fans no doubt are unanimous today in breathing a sigh of relief. They hear the criticism but they don't care. Nor do the players. Do you know how hard it is to be 7-0 in the NFL? Ask Lamar Hunt who has owned this team for 43 years.
It's near impossible!
Vermeil has the Chiefs prepared every game. Anyone who thinks that he's not the X-factor every week is sadly mistaken. He might be out coached in stretches but overall his game plan, organization and the belief he has in his players is unique and second to none on game days.
Now the Chiefs get the Bills on Sunday night and they can knock out another AFC opponent. It will also be the Chiefs last primetime game of the season. If they can go 8-0 into their bye week, they should be able to start printing playoff tickets and making hotel reservations in Houston for the Super Bowl.
And if they stay focused, the 1972 Miami Dolphins record of an undefeated (17-0) season might be in jeopardy. How sweet would that be for the Chiefs organization and owner Lamar Hunt. Kansas City could finally put to rest the demons of their Christmas Day playoff defeat by the Dolphins back in 1971 at Municipal Stadium.