Herm can pat everyone on the back for this win - Mike Solari, Gunther Cunningham, Damon Huard, Tony Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe, Larry Johnson, Dave Rayner, Derrick Johnson, Jared Allen, Jarrad Page and Ty Law. Heck, he might as well even send a Christmas card to the charter pilot. This was in every sense of the term, a "team win."
Kansas City's game plan against the Chargers was quite the antithesis of those executed in the first two and a half games of the season. The Chiefs aren't a team that can impose their will upon the opponent, so instead of trying to do what they wanted to do, the offense flourished by doing what they were allowed to do. They attacked San Diego's weakness – the secondary, not the front seven.
It was evident that KC's coaching staff dissected the Green Bay Packers' win over the Chargers to no end. San Diego's corners are highly susceptible to the slant route - not exactly a forte of the Chiefs' passing game, but nevertheless, something that couldn't go unexploited.
Even when Huard missed on one slant, resulting in a Charger interception, the resolve of Kansas City's coaches to continue to do what had been successful is to be applauded. The game appeared to be headed towards a dramatic conclusion, but in the end it was LJ ramming the ball down the Bolts' throat to burn the clock in classic Herm Edwards' fashion.
Charger Nation was left in disbelief and the Chiefs' faithful were feeling like it was Christmas morning. With the victory, the Chiefs moved into a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West, a scenario no one saw coming after a dismal 0-2 start.
The win is huge for several reasons. A road win against a divisional opponent is essentially worth one and a half wins. The team with the most talent on both sides of the ball is now leasing the basement. And finally, six out the next eight games for the Chiefs will be at Arrowhead Stadium.
While the Chiefs will have the home field advantage this Sunday against Jacksonville, figuring out the Jaguars' susceptibilities will prove to be a tough task. After allowing the Titans to rush for 282 yards in Week 1, that same Jacksonville defense held the Broncos' vaunted rushing attack to 47 yards at Invesco Field only two weeks later.
Even with the emergence of an outside threat in Bowe, teams are still convinced Johnson is the number one offensive threat for the Chiefs. After Bowe's performance in San Diego, I'm not so sure. The game against the Chargers may have turned the Chiefs into a pass-to-set-up-the-run offense. Right now, running to set up the pass just isn't a possibility with opposing defenses coming out and stacking eight in the box.
Ultimately though, this weekend's matchup will be a game dominated by the defenses. The unit that forces more mistakes will emerge victorious. Edwards is undoubtedly thinking the same thing. With the Raiders off this week and the Chargers headed to Denver, the Chiefs have a great shot at taking over sole possession of first place, making a playoff berth a definite possibility.
Turning The Corner
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