Eight Weeks Down, Eight Weeks to Go
At the halfway point in the regular season The Kansas City Chiefs are 5-3.
It is reasonable to be optimistic about the second half of the season.
This Chiefs team is very close to being 7 and 1 with wins at Denver and at San Francisco. Chiefs were throwing to the end zone for a tie (or win) in the final seconds as a pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage in Denver. A couple little things killed a potential game winning drive against the 49ers.
The 2014 Chiefs defense is one of the reasons. They haven’t allowed a single rushing touchdown this year. There have been no 300 yard passing days against the Chiefs either. And that includes defending against Peyton Manning in Denver, Phillip Rivers in San Diego and Tom Brady. Lack of depth on defense hurt the Chiefs late last season and did much to end the season at Indianapolis in January. It’s pretty obvious so far this year that depth in the secondary was a point of emphasis during the off season. Eric Berry is the best defensive back on the payroll. He has missed several games, but you can’t tell by the overall result. That would not have been the case a year ago.
The offense is still a work in progress. After years of neglect, the Chiefs have assembled what appears to be a young, talented offensive line. That unit improved in 2013 as the season went along. We’re also seeing week to week improvement this season.
Great special teams play as a Chiefs tradition. That was a trait of the team last year and again this season. They cover punts and kicks well and when opponents blow kick coverages, they pay for it.
A powerful running game has also been a Chiefs trademark throughout their existence. The current team upholds that tradition with Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis.
The biggest difference from last year to this year is an up-and-coming receiving corps. Dwayne Bowe has been solid. Tight ends Travis Kelse, Anthony Fasano and Demetrius Harris all give defensive coaches plenty to worry about.. All three can block. All can catch the ball. Kelse has shown the ability to outrun defensive backs. Harris is a 6’7” 230 pound former basketball player who is just learning the position.
DeAnthony Thomas and A.J. Jenkins have shown flashes of an ability to provide speed and a deep threat.
Solid quarterback play has been an issue from time to time. That isn’t the case now. Alex Smith has turned in solid performances. And better things are coming from him as that young offensive line matures.
I'm still scratching my head over how the Chiefs lost the opener, but the rest of the first half of this season was fun to watch. I suspect that those of us who are Chiefs fans will like the rest of this season. Big things are ahead.