Quantcast

The road ahead

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Discount irrelevant power rankings because the NFL isn’t college football where a flawed BCS system awards “style points.”

Also ignore pundits questioning the Chiefs’ unblemished record, as the bottom line is the team sits on 9-0 regardless the amount of dissection.

Nov 3, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY

Nov 3, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Does the team have flaws, especially on offense? Indeed, but the shortcomings are fixable when considering the overall health of the team and playmakers on the roster.

Moreover, the bye week affords an opportunity for the coaching staff to address issues, a point coach Andy Reid made during Monday’s media session when asked about bye week priorities.

“We need to go back in, as a staff, and do another self-scout,” Reid said. “We do it weekly, but you go back and go through the whole thing again. Then, you start preparation for Denver. We have a practice next Monday before the day off on Tuesday, so we have to make sure we prep for that. Those are the three primary categories.”

Learn from the past, apply to the present and future is the course of action.

And with a 9-0 start, the Chiefs are set up nicely for the stretch run, which starts with Week 11’s showdown against the Denver Broncos.

“We’ve positioned ourselves well, and it’s a time to get rested up and recover here for the home stretch,” quarterback Alex Smith said Monday. “No question, especially with a big one coming in two weeks and a lot of division games left ahead of us.”

Right on cue.

A snapshot of how the Chiefs rank statistically entering Week 10:

Offense

• 14th in rushing (119 yards per game) and 29th in passing (198.3 yards per game).
• 25th in yards per game (317.3)
• 16th scoring (23.9 points per game)
• 23rd in third down efficiency (49-of-136, 36 percent)

Defense

• First in points allowed (12.3 per game)
• First in takeaway-giveaway (15)
• First in sacks (36)
• 24th against the run (118.6 yards per game)
• Third against the pass (208.3 yards per game)
• Eight in total yards allowed per game (326.9)

Kansas City’s opponents the rest of the way with current record:

Week 11: @ Denver Broncos (7-1)

Tale of the tape

• The Broncos rank 17th in rushing (107.9 yards per game) and first in passing (358.5 yards per game).
• The Broncos rank third against the run (81.5 yards allowed per game) and 30th against the pass (299.1 yards allowed per game).

It’s the game everybody is thinking of, including the Chiefs.

“I think every guy in this locker room in the back of their head this whole week will be thinking about Denver,” Smith said Monday.

The classic confrontation of immovable object (Chiefs defense) squaring off against irresistible force (Broncos offense). With Peyton Manning at the helm, the Broncos rank first in numerous statistical categories, including points per game (42.9) and yards per game (466.4).

Week 12: San Diego Chargers (4-4)

Tale of the tape

• The Chargers rank 20th in rushing (103.8 yards per game) and fourth in passing (300 yards per game).
• The Chargers rank 23rd against the run (118.4 yards allowed per game) and 27th against the pass (275.4 yards allowed per game).

The Chargers quietly put together a solid first seven games, including a two-game winning streak before Week Eight’s bye. But then lost to the Washington Redskins last week.

Week 13: Denver Broncos

Revenge game for whoever loses in Week 11.

Week 14: @ Washington Redskins (3-5)

Tale of the tape

• The Redskins rank sixth in rushing (146.3 yards per game) and 12th in passing (261.4 yards per game).
• The Redskins rank 22nd against the run (118.4 yards allowed per game) and 28th against the pass (282.1 yards allowed per game).

A down year for the NFC East to say the least.

Additionally, it’s tough to figure out the Redskins, as Robert Griffin III has the same amount of touchdown passes as Alex Smith (9).

Week 15: @ Oakland Raiders (3-5)

Tale of the tape

• The Raiders rank fourth in rushing (147.8 yards per game) and 30th in passing (197.8 yards per game).
• The Raiders rank sixth against the run (94.6 yards allowed per game) and 25th against the pass (262.6 yards allowed per game).

The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 24-7 in Week 6 and own the blueprint: Limit quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Week 16: Indianapolis Colts (6-2)

Tale of the tape

• The Colts rank 12th in rushing (121.8 yards per game) and 20th in passing (219.1 yards per game).
• The Colts rank 27th against the run (124.9 yards allowed per game) and 17th against the pass (242.4 yards allowed per game).

Intriguing matchup against a Colts team that has wins against the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Broncos. The good news is the Chiefs host the Colts at Arrowhead Stadium.

Week 17: @ San Diego Chargers

If the AFC West hasn’t been decided by this point of the season, the Chiefs are on the road against a division rival, a situation to avoid.