The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 8-0 on Sunday, beating the Cleveland Browns by a score of 23-17 and guaranteeing that 2013 will not be a losing season.
It was really a tale of two halves during the game this afternoon. The Chiefs came out looking really good on offense, but as usual, struggled to score touchdowns and instead settled for field goals on their first three drives, kicking two. Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes, his first multi-TD game since week 4 in a win against the New York Giants.
What went wrong?
The Chiefs failed to score a touchdown in the second half of Sunday’s victory, putting up only a field goal in the final minute of the game. The Chiefs missed out on a lot of opportunities, leading the Browns in almost every single offensive category but still only winning by six points. The missed field goal by Ryan Succop could have been huge if Cleveland made it down the field on the final drive.
When a team is winning like KC is, everything seems to go their way and that definitely was the case today. The Chiefs were backed in deep inside their own territory only up by three in the fourth quarter and punted on fourth down, only to recover the muffed punt around midfield. Without good fortune today and many other weeks this season, the Kansas City Chiefs would not be sporting their 8-0 record.
What went right?
If the Chiefs are one thing and one thing only, that is consistent. The team looks pretty much the same week in and week out. Alex Smith rarely takes risks and when he does, they usually result in a positive play for the Chiefs.
Jamaal Charles continues to be a workhorse and touches the ball more than anyone in the league.
Against the Browns, just like against the Texans last week, the Chiefs defense seemed to have a few holes in it. Just like every other week, however, adjustments were made and the Chiefs, once again, refused to give up more than 17 points in a game this season, something they have yet to do- a remarkable feat.
The Chiefs spread the ball around on offense today very well. Five different players recorded rushes and eight individual players had receptions.
What needs to change?
Explosiveness. The Chiefs need to incorporate explosiveness into their game plan. Even Jamaal Charles has had limited explosive plays this year; most of his receptions coming via the dump off from Alex Smith. A vertical passing game is still needed and after a “career game” from Dwyane Bowe last week, I expected more targets for him today even with him nursing an injury.
Overall, I am very pleased with how the team has performed. The offense is not anything to brag about around the league, but what the offense doesn’t have, the defense makes up for.
The Chiefs play the Buffalo Bills next week looking to improve to 9-0 and notch their first winning season since 2010. The following week is their bye week and following that will be their much anticipated matchup with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
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