Chief Concerns: Christopher Vore
As we prepare for Week 7 of the 2013 NFL season, it’s become apparent that many Chiefs fans are feeling a mixture of emotions. The dominant feeling, of course, is pride – we are thus far witnessing one of the best single-season turnarounds in the NFL. Others have made great turnarounds, of course, but this is our team.
Amongst many Kansas City fans, however, there is a feeling of frustration. After all, the Kansas City Chiefs are one of only two undefeated teams remaining after six weeks of play … and yet, to some, if feels as though only one of those teams is getting any respect. Some even sense that teams with a loss or two on their records are getting more props than the red and gold.
Case in point: The Denver Broncos.
With Peyton Manning leading the way, it seems as though many analysts and pundits have already handed them the Lombardi Trophy. In fairness, they have good reasons to do so. The Broncos have racked up 265 points through six games, are averaging 360.7 yards through the air each game and are converting 58 percent of their third downs. Each of these statistics not only leads the NFL, but they are far and away the best on the field today.
Where the Broncs have been weak has been on defense. They have allowed 158 points thus far, which is 25th in the NFL; give up an average of 407.5 yards per game on defense (29th in the league) and allow a 38 percent third-down conversion rate (19th in the league).
Kansas City, in stark contrast, has been winning games first and foremost on defense. Through six games they have allowed a paltry 65 points (averaging 10.8 points per game), only allow opponents to convert third downs 24 percent of the time, already have 30 sacks and are plus-12 in turnover differential. Many of the Chiefs’ defensive statistics are on as much of a record-setting pace as the Broncos’ offensive stats are.
The difference between the two, and why Denver is in many more Super Bowl conversations than Kansas City — defensive domination just isn’t “sexy” anymore.
These days, NFL crowds (and many pundits) drool when teams are putting 30-plus points on the board each and every week. Throw in a 50-plus point performance now and then, and the salivation can get downright repulsive.
In Kansas City this year, there’s a different kind of “salivation” going on – that of defensive players playing like mad dogs. Each one is hungry, anxious to get that next sack on the quarterback or that next turnover. So far, there’s been plenty to go around for these red-and-gold beasts.
In the eyes of most, however, a defense like this one is enough to raise a few eyebrows … but not “anoint” a team as a contender. That is, of course, until that defense faces off with an offense as powerful as Denver’s.
The Broncos’ defense hasn’t been great, but it doesn’t have to be when the offense keeps lighting up the scoreboard. So far this season, Kansas City’s offense hasn’t been on the level of “great” either, but it doesn’t have to be as long as the defense keeps the opponent’s scoreboard dark.
While we don’t wish to overlook any team, the countdown is certainly on to the pair of match-ups against Denver. When it comes, there’s every reason to believe that both of the undefeated teams in the AFC will still be so. They will also both, most likely, be continuing to lead the way as the league’s number one offense and defense.
When these two worlds collide, Chiefs fans will be hoping that defense trumps offense – and that the football world takes notice when it does.