In the NFL statistics don't lie, Michael Vick led the Falcons in rushing and that meant he was not throwing the ball. Even when he wanted to throw the ball the Chiefs defense limited the Falcons quarterback to 7 of 21 passing for a measly 119 yards. Vick had no opportunity to be successful on Sunday as the Chiefs defense tormented him by putting pressure on him and sacking him four times. To further execute the point the Chiefs defense held the high-powered Falcons offense to a combined 222 yards.
Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham called a magnificent game on Sunday as he constantly shifted his defensive line to the right side to attack Vick. With the Falcons quarterback a left handed passer, the line moved toward his strong side and Kansas City was able to prevent him from completing passes. When he tried to do bootlegs, the Chiefs had someone on the outside ready to stop him. That has not happened this season.
A couple of young players made huge contributions this week. Cornerback William Bartee, a Cunningham favorite, did an outstanding job covering the Falcons in man to man coverage. His tight coverage led to the Chiefs first interception of the day. Vick forced a ball to wide receiver Peerless Price that Bartee tipped and it fell into the diving hands of safety Greg Wesley.
The other star on defense was rookie defensive end Jared Allen. The former Idaho State star led the team with two sacks and his play continues to spark the Chiefs defense. Kansas City needs someone to step up on the outside and Allen continues to develop into the type of pass rusher this defense has been missing the last three seasons.
The defensive performance was solid and it shows when this team attacks and the cornerbacks can play effective man to man coverage; they can shut down any quarterback in the NFL. Next week they'll have to be even better as the Chiefs host the Indianapolis Colts who lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars at home 27-24.
But for this game, they did it all and they did it well as the Falcons only managed to gain 131 yards in total offense.
On offense the Chiefs were nearly flawless. Running back Priest Holmes led the team in rushing with 139 yards and of course tied an NFL record with his teammate Derrick Blaylock who also managed to score four of his own touchdowns on the day.
That is an NFL record that had stood since 1976 when the Los Angeles Rams managed to score seven rushing touchdowns in a single game. Quarterback Trent Green was something special. After struggling a week ago in Jacksonville, the Chiefs starting quarterback didn't throw a touchdown as he completed 20 of 27 yards for 269 yards.
Overall that contributed to the Chiefs total domination in the game. They ran 77 plays to the Falcons 50 as they amassed a total of 540 yards of total offense. According to Chiefs Head Coach Dick Vermeil, it was the finest performance by a Chiefs team since he began coaching them back in 2001.
Now the question is can they do it next week against the Colts. Kansas City quite likely lost starting middle linebacker Monty Beisel for a few weeks as he pulled a calf muscle that puts his availability in serious doubt for Sunday's showdown against the Colts.
Already thin at linebacker that means Kawika Mitchell must step up and carry the torch at middle linebacker. Still the Colts have to be reeling as they could have salted away the AFC South division with their second victory in three weeks against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But that didn't happen and the Chiefs will have to repeat their performance on Halloween to prove the Falcons 56-10 thrashing was indeed a new trend by the Chiefs.
But on Sunday when the offense scored eight rushing touchdowns and a mind-boggling 36 first downs; gave notice to the NFL that they are quite likely going to have a say as to who might represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Whatever the reasons were that led to the Chiefs 22-16 debacle in Jacksonville a week ago; they never showed their ugly heads against the Falcons. Give the coaching staff credit for making the adjustments necessary to shut down an Atlanta team that was #1 in the NFL against the run.
The victory does not clinch anything for the Chiefs but it does put them back into a position that if the offense can do this every week and the defense can do just enough against a team that has better offensive talent; they could make a serious run.
The season boils down to a 10 game season and the Chiefs must win nine of them to get into the playoffs and put fear back into the other members of the AFC fraternity who thought this team was dead in the water.
Instead the Chiefs roared like lions and flexed their muscles. They dominated Sunday's game like no other NFL team has done this season and they served notice that if they play like they did against the Falcons next week against the Colts; Kansas City could make a serious run for the post season.