At the start of the season, It seemed as if the Kansas City Chiefs would be lucky to reach .500. Half-way through the season, it would be a total valid argument to have them representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. How did this happen?
With the hiring of offensive minded Andy Reid and trading for middle-of-the road QB Alex Smith, it seemed KC was doomed for another mediocre season. What ‘experts’ failed to realize was the superb balance Kansas City’s front office put together.
With the help of Andy Reid, Alex Smith has evolved into one of the best game managers in the league. With limited mistakes, he has, along with the help of his offensive line, put Kansas City in a position to win in every game. The run-pass balance has allowed the Chiefs offense to eat up clock and wear down opposing defenses. This allows for big plays in the second half; deep bombs set-up by play fakes to Jamal Charles, who dashes and plows defenses thought the game. This allows opposing defenses nightmares game planning for Kansas City.
The Chiefs dominating defense starts up front. What makes this group so lethal is their ability to apply an immense amount of pressure to the quarterback which makes it arduous for any type of pass plays to develop. Along with this being their strength, it can also be one of their biggest weaknesses. If the rush fails to pepper the quarterback, than it is easy pickings for the opposing quarterback to shred the chiefs sub-par secondary. As long as second year NT Dontari Poe can eat up blocks, expect the Chief's pressure to come easy. The only conceivable way to beat this defense is quick, three step drops that doesn't’t allow time for the pressure to get there. Even though the Chiefs suffered the loss of their top pass rushers Hali and Houston, I’m sure the defensive coordinators will be able to draw up creative blitzes with Eric Berry and others. It showed against the Chargers, where Hali and Houston went down, that without proper defensive game planning, Kansas City's defense is very vulnerable.
The Chiefs have a shot to go deep into the playoffs as long as they get Hali or Houston back and the defensive game plan can exploit protection breakdowns. The offense will continue to dominate games with TOP as long as the offense remains balanced and mistake free.