Bowe Powers KC's Offense

It didn't take long for Kansas City's first-round draft pick to start making noise in the team's struggling offense. In just three games, Dwayne Bowe has already made an impact - one that could change the fortunes of this team.

It's been a long time since the Chiefs had a wide receiver who could take advantage of smaller defenders. His name was Otis Tayor. Bowe is giving the Chiefs that same threat, and after only three games he leads the team in touchdowns. Heck, no one else has reached the end zone.

He's someone to count on now. When the Chiefs needed a spark against the Vikings Sunday, it was Bowe's circus catches that jumpstarted the offense and saved the day for the entire team. This is something Herm Edwards promised we'd see out of Bowe, and his emergence as a playmaker couldn't have happened at a better time.

Bowe has become the Chiefs' third weapon, behind tight end Tony Gonzalez and running back Larry Johnson. The job of quarterback Damon Huard is to spread the rock, but it's also to find the hot receiver. Bowe has elevated his game enough that he'll be the starter when Eddie Kennison returns.

Lost in all of this is the fact young receivers, especially those drafted in the first round, don't excel in the NFL this fast. The heralded draft class of 2007 saw two guys go before Bowe, but he was clearly the second-best behind Calvin Johnson.

Bowe's climb to the elevation of playmaker has a lot to do with his understanding of KC's offense. Since arriving at training camp nearly two weeks late, he's had a difficult time learning the many facets of playing receiver in the NFL.

At times he fights it because he's so darn good at playing street ball. But he excelled at LSU because he could contort his body to adjust to any ball thrown in his vicinity.

In the NFL, he's doing the same thing.

"He's big and powerful," said Edwards. "When you think you've covered him you really haven't covered him, ‘cause he's going to jump up and catch the ball."

The Chiefs briefly flirted with this a few years ago when they drafted wide receiver Sylvester Morris in the first round. He lost out on a long NFL career due to a pair of knee injuries.

But Bowe isn't Morris, and as long as he keeps catching balls there's no doubt he can be a dominant receiver.

"You can just see his confidence; it's in his eyes," said Huard. "He believes now. He's not thinking, he's just playing."

That's half the battle for a rookie, because the mental side of the game can thwart even the most gifted of NFL athletes. How concerned is Bowe about it? Apparently, not all that much, because against the Vikings he was lobbying his head coach for more passes thrown his way.

That's a sign he wants the ball in crunch time, and he made good on his request by hauling in the touchdown.

"They brought me in to catch the ball and that's what I did," said Bowe. "I went up at the highest point and made the touchdown. It's all technique, we've got great coaches that teach us and I just went up and made the catch."

As good as all that sounds, what should really make every Chiefs fan happy is Bowe's attitude. Before he was even dressed after the game, he was already thinking about KC's next opponent.

"We're going to get our corrections and go on the road and we've just got to make it happen," said Bowe. "We have to go out there and play like we played today, but without the penalties, and come out with a win."

The Chiefs will need that focus in San Diego next week. When the season started a road trip to face the Chargers looked like a certain loss. That's all changed with the rise of Bowe.

That's why we drafted the guy," said Edwards.

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