Let me get this right. That WAS the New England Patriots that the Kansas City Chiefs were dismantling like child’s play on Monday night, wasn’t it?
From what I saw, it looked like a bunch of impostors in Patriots’ uniforms. Maybe upon further review, perhaps that was Brady Quinn in that helmet under center for the Patriots instead of Brady, Tom. Or maybe it was Charlie Weis wearing a Bill Belichick mask on the sidelines, because the guy coaching this game didn’t have a clue for the revved-up Chiefs, much like Weis in his short-circuited and easily forgettable tenure at KU.
I watched this game in utter amazement from start to finish. The Chiefs were energized by their decibel-record-setting crowd and they took the game by the throat from the start. Jamaal Charles, who was getting his first real action of the season, looked fast and fresh. Knile Davis continued on the fast track to stardom. They combined for 199 yards rushing, 107 of those by Davis as he’s put together back-to-back century marks.
The efficient Alex Smith, who seems to do nothing but win, was a model of efficiency by completing 20-of-26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns. His new favorite target, new-age-style tight end Travis Kelce, snared eight balls for 93 yards and every catch seemed to be for a clutch first down. There was even a Dwayne Bowe sighting early, as most of his five catches came in the first three drives, good for 81 yards as for once he earned some of his way-overblown salary that has wrecked the Chiefs’ salary cap for the time being.
The offensive line, considered to be a bunch of ham-and-eggers around NFL circles as it’s a patchwork unit, blocked like the old Raiders of Upshaw and Shell. The Chiefs thundered for 207 rushing yards and dominated time of possession by a 36:27 to 23:33 count. Smith had more than enough time for a few cups of coffee and a sandwich as he had all night to throw.
The amped-up Chiefs defense held Brady and Co. to 290 yards, a chunk of that in fourth-quarter garbage time. The Golden Boy suddenly looked all of his 37 years and you could hear the sunset calling his name. His no-name receiving corps couldn’t shake the ebullient Chiefs’ secondary, which worked on its celebratory moves throughout the game since it had so many opportunities.
This was a Perfect Storm game. It all came together for the Chiefs and proved just how good of a coach Andy Reid really is. Sure, he still has some trouble with clock management, but anybody watching this game should have been in awe of his play-design genius. The Chiefs simply out-schemed the Mad Hoodie, whose reputation of being a defensive God was sullied. Kansas City did whatever it wanted whenever it wanted.
My question after the game was this: Are the Chiefs really that good or have the Patriots all of a sudden crumbled into the abyss?
The answer is probably more of the latter, but the Chiefs have made light-years of improvement since Week 1 when it appeared they were going to be in line for the No. 1 draft pick for the second time in three years.
Brady and the Patriots will get things turned around. They’ll burn this game film and prepare for McPherson High grad Tanner Hawkinson and the Cincinnati Bengals next week, one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL.
We’ll get a better read on the Chiefs next week when they play at San Francisco, another power that is struggling to find its form. The Chiefs now have the formula to be competitive, because Charles and Davis are a frightening 1-2 punch at running back and their line is gaining confidence after back-to-back weeks of smashmouth football. Throw in the emergence of Kelce and the cameo appearances by Bowe and it’s an offense that can control the clock.
If the secondary could bottle up Monday’s performance, you’d really have something here. The Chiefs have a pretty good front seven, but the improved pass defense was one of the big takeaways from the game. Remember, it doesn’t even have its best defender, Eric Berry, who has been out since Week 1. And also don’t forget the Chiefs are without steady defensive lineman Mike DeVito and All-Pro linebacker Derrick Johnson, both gone for the year.
That was one major event in Kansas City down, one to go. Tonight, the Royals hope to feed off the Chiefs’ mojo and somehow defeat Royals-killer Jon Lester and the Oakland A’s in the winner-take-all wild-card game across the parking lot at The K. If the Royals can somehow stick pins in their Lester voodoo doll and come away with a win, it would be 24 hours that suffering Kansas City sports fans will never forget.