The Kansas City Chiefs took the field on a warm, humid day in Palm Beach to take on the Miami Dolphins in a must win situation. Both teams were looking to prove to the fans and people around the league that they are not a joke. There were many whispers that the Chiefs victorious season in 2013 had been a fluke, a good fortune of the schedule if you will. (No, I still can’t use the word luck.) Fans knew it wasn’t fluke. The team knew it wasn’t a fluke. Miami had to go down.
Things had started shaky for the Chiefs in the 2014 season. Injuries plagued the team, bringing back haunting reminders of 2011 when three starters, including Jamaal Charles, suffered season ending torn ACLs. Game one fans watched helplessly as the heart and soul of the defense, Derrick Johnson, fell on the field without being touched by an opponent. Shortly after, veteran Mike DeVito went down. Both suffering from ruptured achilles. Fans felt their hearts break. To add to the mess, the team itself looked like it was still playing a preseason game. It was like watching your local high school’s season opener.
Game two against the always tough Denver Broncos had many fans thinking the Broncos were going to run away with the win. Chiefs would leave Mile High with their heads hung in another disappointing loss. It was residual frustration from 2012 because the horrors of that season still hang fresh on everyone’s mind. The football gods enjoy tormenting the Chiefs and their fans. In true hilarity, the Denver game started to mirror the Indianapolis postseason game when Charles was out for the game after one play. Later in the Eric Berry was lost. Again, mirrored injuries for the two players with high ankle sprains. However, the young players that took the field refused to give up. They were out to prove they could play and win. In an exciting second half, the Chiefs dominated the play time. The defense held the Broncos to no score, even three and outs, more than once. The game came down to a final second, goal line stand by the Broncos. No one, not even that passionate fans of Kansas City, could have predicted that. Alas, a loss is a loss and the team fell to 0-2.
On to week three. The team took the field without Charles and Berry. The young backups were in charge for another week. Alex Smith had probably heard the rumors he was playing like a quarterback who’d been paid. Smith had to have known he was losing the faith of the Chiefs Kingdom and he had to step up and lead the team to victory. The game started in true Chiefs fashion, quiet and unimpressive. But defense was pressuring Ryan Tannehill, a quarterback struggling with accuracy, and managed to keep them out of the red zone. This allowed the offense to warm up to it’s hot streak.
Knile Davis stepped into the void left by Charles and ran his way to the first Chiefs touchdown. Fans had demanded more Travis Kelce, and they were heard. Kelce lined up for 65% of the snaps and scored the second touchdown in the game. A name many people had not cheered for turned up on the field, Joe McKnight. McKnight was released by the NY Jets in August 2013 and signed by the Chiefs in January 2014. He had a chance to play because of the injury to Charles and recorded no one, but two touchdowns in the game. McKnight might have been the most exciting player to watch during this game. The final touchdown was pushed in by Cyrus Gray. The Chiefs, a team that always seems to struggle to find a way into the end zone, found themselves successful five times against Miami. Guess what fans, the Chiefs can score! Smith can throw! There are multiple weapons on offense!
Looking at the other side of the ball, defense recorded 4 sacks with Dontari Poe snagging his first and second of the season. They held the Dolphins to 4-15 on 3rd down conversion and 0-2 on 4th down conversion. To top it off, they only allowed 15 points with 12 of those coming in the 3rd quarter, Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like last season the Chiefs consistently preformed the worst during the 3rd quarter last season. The Dolphins did help out the secondary by having three dropped passes in the game. However, the coverage was solid and the defense held Tannehill to finishing 21/43. Smith finished 19/25 if you were curious.
This win takes the Chiefs to 1-2. Many teams around the league are sitting in the same boat so the Chiefs should not be counted out of the playoff race. I know it sounds ludicrous that after only three weeks it’s time to talk playoffs but after the game this week we will be a quarter of the way through the season. You can’t lose more than you win in the first quarter of the season and think you’re making the postseason.
The Chiefs next game is on Monday, September 29 and they are taking on the New England Patriots. I will post an article later this week about what to look for in this game so stay tuned. For now, let’s bask in the glory of a huge win against Miami.