Making The Case: Kansas City
Can a case be made for the Chiefs to win Super Bowl 50?
As the NFL playoffs arrive there is no hotter team than the Kansas City Chiefs.
KC is on a franchise best 10-game winning streak, currently the longest in the NFL. The Chiefs have already won games against three AFC playoff teams (Pittsburgh, Denver and
Houston) this season.
Kansas City has all the ingredients to make a super bowl winning recipe.
Facing hard times – While they may be on a 10 game win streak, the Chiefs started the season
1-5, including losses to Denver, Green Bay, Cincinnati, and Minnesota. All of which are
playoff teams, including three division champions. In their five losses this season only a
week five loss to Chicago (18-17) was to a non-playoff team.
As the five seed in the playoffs the Chiefs will be on the road, KC is 5-3 on the road
this year including a win at Denver in week 10 and at Houston in week one.
Now too many things have happened over the course of the season for both the Texans and
Chiefs to spend a lot of time looking back at the week one matchup. What you should look at is
the fact KC did win in Houston once already and the they have proven they can win on the
Also if they were to find themselves with a return to the mile high city at some point, over
the course of the playoffs, Kansas City should feel very confident in being able to win in
Denver, not just because they have done it once already but because of their familiarity with
playoffs as he led the Philadelphia Eagles to five NFC Championship appearances and
one Super Bowl trip in his 14 seasons in Philly. Reid has coached 16 teams to the
playoffs in his career and entering Saturday’s game has a recorded of 19-15 in the
Reid may not have the highest of winning percentages, but he has been to the playoffs and
knows what it takes to win games in the postseason. He has also been named the NFL
Coach of the Year three times in his career. Simply put there are very few coaches in this
year’s playoffs with a better resume then Reid and his experience will be crucial to a
Kansas City Super Bowl win.
Alex Smith – Smith has had an up and down 11 year career in the NFL. Starting from being
drafted first overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft to being benched in
favor of Colin Kaepernick. In San Francisco, Smith had several good seasons and even
re-signed with the team in 2012. Smith led the 49ers to a 13-3 regular season
record and a trip to the NFC Championship game in 2011.
In 2011 he also became the sixth quarterback in 49ers history to pass for more than 10,000
yards while leading San Francisco to six fourth-quarter comebacks. Despite the
fact that all that happened in San Francisco, it shows the talent Smith has. 2011 was
arguably the best year Smith had as a 49er, before he was traded to Kansas City in favor of
Colin Kaepernick by former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.
pass attempts. Smith is averaging 291 yards per game passing and has completed 58
percent of his passes in his postseason career. His teams have averaged close to 33 points a
game in his three playoff starts; however he has a playoff recorded of 1-2.
Over the course of the Chiefs 10 game winning streak, Smith has completed 68 percent of
his passes. With 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions and has 379 rushing yards.
Replacing Jamaal Charles – One of the biggest questions the Chiefs had to face this year
was how to replace Jamaal Charles, who Kansas City lost in their one point loss to Chicago
in week five, to a torn ACL.
So how do you replace a man that has rushed for seven thousand plus yards and 42
touchdowns in seven seasons? For the Chiefs the answer was Charcandrick West and
Spencer Ware. The duo has combined for 1,037 yards and 10 touchdowns on 232 carries
this season. Alex Smith has rushed for 498 yards and two touchdowns on 84 carries as
well. This helped give the Chiefs the sixth best rushing offense, without Jamaal Charles.
A Dominating Defense in KC – Kansas City has one of the best defenses in the NFL. KC
has pulled in 22 interceptions this season led by rookie Marcus Peters with eight. The
Chiefs have also recorded 47 sacks this season, led by Justin Houston with 7.5. Kansas
City finished seventh in total defense, ninth in passing defense and eighth in rushing
defense during the regular season.
Houston is expected to return to the Chiefs lineup Saturday after missing the last five
games with a hyperextended knee. He is a four-time Pro Bowl pick and a key to Kansas
City making a run in the postseason, let alone winning the whole thing.
Another key factor to the Chiefs defense is Safety Eric Berry.
Berry returned this season after battling and defeating cancer that cost him most of last
season. Berry has recorded 61 tackles and has two interceptions this season. The X-factor
Berry brings is his leadership and toughness, a must have for Kansas City in the post
not having a wide receiver that could catch the ball, but since Jeremy Maclin came to town,
reuniting with Andy Reid, the story has been different. Maclin broke the Kansas City
single season reception record Sunday vs. Oakland with his 87th receptions on the year.
Maclin also has 1,088 yards and 8 touchdowns this season.
The other half of the duo is tight end Travis Kelce. He has 72 receptions for 875 yards and
5 touchdowns on the year. Both Kelce and Maclin serve as Alex Smith’s two favorite
targets and as many teams found out this year stopping both can be hard to do.
Recap – Does Kansas City have the right pieces in place to make a run at the Super Bowl
and even bring back a Super Bowl 50 win to Arrowhead?
All the pieces are there and the Chiefs will be a dangerous team in the Playoffs despite
being on the road the whole time, just like the New York Giants have done in past years.