Why the Chiefs won’t fade after another fast start – Kansas City Chiefs Blog


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have been the NFL’s last remaining unbeaten team twice since coach Andy Reid arrived in 2013, not that it did them much good either time.

They failed to so much as win a playoff game in 2013 — when they started 9-0 — or 2017 — when they started 5-0.

Here they are again, one of the two remaining unbeaten teams at 5-0 after they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Los Angeles Rams are also 5-0, and the teams will meet in Week 11 on Monday Night Football in Mexico City.

Oddly for a team with little recent playoff success — the Chiefs have lost 11 of their past 12 postseason games — 2018 doesn’t feel like early season fortune on the path to eventual slaughter.

It feels different, sturdier. The Chiefs seem built to last.

“I believe so,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “I think everyone can say it’s a different feeling, a lot more confidence, a lot more accountability amongst the guys to keep coming in and going through their routines of getting ready for each week.

“It has a lot to do with years past, guys feeling sick of the kind of up-and-down roller coaster, [wanting] to take what happened last year and fix it. Finishing the games … overall, the finishing mindset has been huge in terms of what coach Reid has emphasized on this football team. In the fourth quarter, we try to amp it up one more notch.”

Here are a few reasons the Chiefs will sustain their early success this season:

Their offense is less prone to deep slumps. The Chiefs went into a midseason offensive slump last year, when they scored 36 points in a three-game stretch, all defeats against teams that failed to win their divisions. That won’t happen this season. The Chiefs had their worst offensive game so far on Sunday against statistically the best defense in the league. For the first time this season, the Chiefs did not get a touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes, who threw his first two interceptions. It didn’t matter. They scored 23 points on offense, more than enough to win. The Chiefs have more for a defense to worry about than they did last season. The addition of Sammy Watkins to go with Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt gives the Chiefs four threats on the field on almost every down.

Their defense isn’t great, but it’s better than it looks statistically. The Chiefs beat the Jaguars with their defense. They made quarterback Blake Bortles commit five turnovers and sacked him five times. Jacksonville had 502 yards, but a significant chunk of them (212) came during garbage time in the fourth quarter, when the Chiefs had a comfortable lead. It’s time to judge the Kansas City defense on more than yardage allowed. The Chiefs are getting the job done when it matters. They entered Sunday’s game with the league’s best defense on third down. They excel defensively when the opponent has a lead, the game is tied or the Chiefs lead by seven points or fewer. In those situations, opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 68.9, which puts the Chiefs fifth in the league.

They’re close to lapping the field in the AFC. The Chiefs have the tiebreaker on some of the teams they might compete with for home-field advantage in the playoffs. They’ve already beaten the Jaguars, Steelers and Chargers. They can almost assure themselves of the tiebreaker against any potential playoff opponent by winning their next two games, which are against possible division winners. The Chiefs play Sunday night against the Patriots in New England and return to Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 21 to play the Cincinnati Bengals. If the Chiefs get to 7-0, it’s a good bet they’ll play their playoff games in Kansas City.

The Mahomes factor. The Chiefs believe they’ll never be out of a game as long as their young quarterback remains in the lineup. He delivered in the fourth quarter in his two career games in which his team absolutely had to have it. He led the Chiefs to a walk-off field goal against the Broncos in his only start last season. The Chiefs then scored two touchdowns in the last half of the fourth quarter last week in Denver to overcome a 10-point deficit. Late-game rallies were never Alex Smith‘s thing. The Chiefs usually lost when behind in the fourth quarter with Smith at quarterback.

Source : ESPN