Chiefs Better Be Careful

Well, this one ought to be fun. This Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs go up to Cleveland to face the Browns, and regardless of how it turns out, it looks to be a good one.

The Browns are in disarray. They have the second worst offense in the NFL. They've turned over the football more than any other team in the league. Braylon Edwards, their star wide receiver, is wreaking havoc on team chemistry, arguing with anyone on the team in earshot.

Cincinnati came in last week and destroyed the Browns, shutting them out. The Browns have absolutely nothing to play for except what's left of their pride.

The Chiefs are bringing the NFL's leading rusher and a defense that's playing better than any unit they've fielded this decade. If the season ended today, the Chiefs would be in the playoffs and heading up to New England, but they're fighting off about three other teams to keep that spot. The Chiefs have an outside shot at winning the division if the Chargers stumble down the stretch.

Kansas City has everything to gain and Cleveland has nothing to lose.

That's what makes this game so dangerous.

Two Sundays from today, the Chiefs face the red hot Baltimore Ravens, a team that looks like it could be even better than the team that won the Super Bowl in 2000. Other than the Chargers, the Ravens are the best team the Chiefs will face this season. See where I'm going with this?

It would be so easy for the Chiefs to overlook this Browns team, natural even. Why wouldn't a 7-4 team overlook a 3-8 team that appears to get worse with every game? You almost can't blame them, except for the fact that this team isn't good enough to overlook anyone yet, especially on the road.

So far this year, the Chiefs have been destroyed by the Steelers and outlasted by Joey Harrington and the Dolphins on the road. These were both games that the Chiefs should've won, and they both came at points in the season where the Chiefs started to feel good about themselves.

So, what's the answer? Focus. Well, that and get the pass rush going. In each of those two games, the Chiefs managed only one sack. Defensive ends Tamba Hali and Jared Allen have to dirty the uniform of Cleveland quarterback Charlie Frye. Up until recently, Frye hadn't been playing that bad, and he has Edwards and the league's leading tight end, Kellen Winslow II.

The Chiefs need this game. They have a thin margin for error, and can't afford to drop games to teams with losing records, even on the road. They've already lost four games in the conference, and another loss would put them behind every other team in the playoff race. If the Chiefs lose this game the Baltimore game may not matter. History has shown us that if the Chiefs aren't careful, that's exactly what will happen.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories