Don't Be Fooled By These Chiefs

You might be impressed by the Chiefs' 31-17 win over the St. Louis Rams last weekend. I'll admit, the Chiefs showed me something, too. Heck, I picked them to lose, 34-31.

So yes, it was an impressive win. But don't for one minute think the Chiefs are a different team than the one Dick Vermeil trotted out last year. If you remember, the Chiefs had a dramatic, come-from-behind win over the Oakland Raiders last season to get to 5-3 at the midway point.

Do you remember what happened the following week?

Kansas City went on the road and completely bumbled their way into a 14-3 defeat at the hands of the lowly Buffalo Bills, who were 3-5 before beating the Chiefs.

That game was a sign of things to come. The Chiefs gave us a glimpse on that blustery day that they really weren't serious playoff contenders. They rebounded to get to 8-4, only to blow two more road games down the stretch.

So, are the 2006 Kansas City Chiefs a different football team? Maybe.

Beating St. Louis was a good sign. As CBS showed at the game's conclusion, before last Sunday the Chiefs hadn't beaten a team with a winning record in a late-season road game since 1998.

That was a big step for this Chiefs team. There were serious doubts about their ability to perform on the road.

But personally, I'll feel better about the 2006 Chiefs if they can follow up the Rams game with a win over the 2-6 Dolphins tomorrow.

The Dolphins, like the Bills, are a bad football team. But they have a stout defense and, before last year, the Chiefs had not played well in Miami for what seemed like eons.

If the Chiefs have true playoff aspirations, they should crush the Dolphins.

Joey Harrington is good for at least two turnovers every game. Miami's offensive line has already surrendered 26 sacks this year.

I can't think of a good reason why Tamba Hali and Jared Allen shouldn't harass Harrington into poor decisions all day. Patrick Surtain and Ty Law should feast.

Gunther Cunningham worked up a wonderful gameplan last week and saw his players execute it to perfection against an elite Rams' offense. Miami's offense pales in comparison.

And while Miami's defense is ranked fifth, they do have Vonnie Holliday.

But really, we've seen this Chiefs offense play well against good defenses. They slapped 30 and 35 points on the Chargers and Seahawks in back-to-back games last month.

The Chiefs can't afford to take these Dolphins lightly, however. I'm sure Herm Edwards has been drilling that very truth into the skulls of his players all week long. It was just a few days ago that the Dolphins went into Chicago and upset the heavily-favored Bears.

History shows that it's an almost impossible task for an NFL team to win back-to-back road games. I'm sure Edwards doesn't care about that. The Chiefs can't afford to have a letdown against a pitiful Dolphins squad, especially with the Chargers and Broncos ahead of them in the AFC West standings.

A win over Miami, and the Chiefs put themselves in great shape with four of their last seven games at home. Throw in a couple of bye weeks against the hapless Oakland Raiders and things look even better.

So, is this Chiefs team really different? Maybe they showed us so in St. Louis, but on Sunday, we'll find out for sure in Miami.

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