Chiefs unbeaten heading into Broncos showdown


Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a first-quarter pass against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on Sunday, November 3, 2103. The Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills, 23-13. 

Simply put, the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs stunk, finishing the season with a horrendous 2-14 record. Kansas City found ways to lose games, despite boasting the talent of six different Pro Bowl players.

It has been a completely different story this season, however, as the Chiefs are now a stunning 9-0, including big wins against the Cowboys, Eagles and Texans. Under the leadership of new head coach Andy Reid, who guided the Eagles to five NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl appearance during his time in Philadelphia, the Chiefs lead the AFC West division and appear ready to make a deep postseason run.

The biggest difference this year though is not someone the Chiefs hired to stand on the sideline, but rather a seasoned quarterback looking for revenge.

Alex Smith was acquired from the San Francisco 49ers in the off-season after losing his starting job to Colin Kaepernick after being sidelined due to a concussion. Smith was the odd-man-out, watching from the sidelines as the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl.

Before Smith was benched, however, he had over a 70% completion rating. Last year, Chiefs quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn struggled immensely, combining for only 14 touchdowns while throwing a staggering 34 interceptions.

The Chiefs also improved their offensive line, selecting Eric Fisher with the first overall pick in the draft. Fisher, along with fellow tackle Branden Albert, has given ample protection to Smith in the pocket, as well as vital run-blocking for Pro Bowl-back Jamaal Charles.

However, the Chiefs are winning this season primarily because they are keeping games low-scoring. Their defense, anchored by Pro Bowlers Eric Berry and Tamba Hali, has not allowed any opponent to score more than 17 points in a game.

Some critics claim they have not played any impressive teams yet, which is certainly debatable considering every team in the NFL is capable of beating anyone each week. However, these critics may have a point, as the Chiefs are ranked 25th in the NFL in Red Zone efficiency and Smith has not thrown a touchdown in four of the last five games.

This upcoming weekend will determine if the Chiefs are legitimate, as they play Peyton Manning and the 8-1 Denver Broncos. If the Chiefs can beat their division rivals in Denver, then they might just be this year’s team of destiny.