By Danny Clinkscale
The Chiefs got the first half of what they craved last night
as the Chargers handed the Broncos their second loss since the
Chiefs last played. At least a part of the nightmare scenario of what
could have happened here in the middle of October was dodged. That
would have been a Broncos win in San Diego and a Chiefs loss on Sunday
The Chiefs could have been close to a must win mode with both the
Broncos and the Raiders a full2 1/2 games clear of them. Now
if they can take care of business Sunday, all three contenders would
have two losses, and it will be game on.
But road business has been bad business for the 2016 Chiefs, and I
put the emphasis on 2016 because every year is different in the National
Football League. What we've seen in this seasons two roadies has been
extremely tame offense, and in Pittsburgh, a flat out no show in all phases.
It's time for the Chiefs to step forward and make a statement that their
slow start was just that, and not an indication of what the Chiefs really are.
What we thought they would be was an offensive team taking the next step
forward from merely efficient to dangerous. That was to be combined with the
type of powerhouse defense that was featured down the stretch last year.
Instead, with the exception of about 18 minutes against the Chargers,
the offense has actually been more pedestrian, careful, and flat out ineffective.
The defense has only had a few good spurts, mostly being susceptible to the
run, and to big down the field pass plays, often early in the game to put the
Chiefs in a whole.
There is reason to think it will change. It's seem unrealistic that Alex Smith,
Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce are all going to regress this year, and Jamal Charles
is expected to return to a more prominent role this week. That role is all the
more important because breakout contributor in 2015 Spencer Ware has for the
first time in his entire football life developed a case of fumbleitis.
The schedule softens for a bit after this Raiders game, so a loss now would
not be the absolute killer it might have been before the Broncos fell twice in
11 days, but a loss would do this. It would raise the specter that NO stretch
of the schedule is soft because the Chiefs just aren't that good.
I'm certainly not ready to say that yet, but one more road stinker would
certainly have me thinking about it.
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