Photo: Kirby Lee USA Today Sports
It wasn’t a pretty NFL game but in the end the better team won Thursday night. In defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 26-16, the Kansas City Chiefs move to 3-0 and lay claim that 2013 could become something special.
In a span of 18 days the Kansas City Chiefs did something they couldn’t do the entire 2012 season, win three games. After finishing the season last year with just a pair of wins, the Chiefs waltzed into Philadelphia on a short week and defeated the Eagles by ten points.
For the moment, they temporarily stand atop the AFC West, until the Denver Broncos annihilate the Oakland Raiders on Monday night, but it’s a sweet spot to sit considering how bad this team has been the last several years.
On Thursday evening, the Chiefs defense stripped the Superman cape off Eagles Quarterback, Michael Vick. On the night, he completed just 13 of 30 passes, threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked five times.
It was a defensive performance that was nothing short of amazing considering the Chiefs offense was erratic for much of the game. In fact, outside of the final drive in the fourth quarter, which took eight minutes off the clock, the offense could not take advantage of incredible field position the defense gave them.
Now, if the Chiefs were 0-3 on the young season, I’d be worried about the long-range success of the offense. But for now, I trust Head Coach, Andy Reid, who was all smiles after the victory, that he will find the cure for its lack of consistency. If he can make some adjustments, especially on the blocking schemes within his offensive line, the sky is the limit for this offense.
One thing that Reid doesn’t have to worry about was his defense. Despite the fact they gave up 201 yards passing and 206 yards rushing. But 142 of those yards came on three big plays one on a long Vick run, the other on LeSean McCoy’s touchdown scamper and the final on DeSean Jackson’s long catch in the third quarter.
But despite the big yards the trio of plays amassed for the Eagles, they yielded just 10 points on the scoreboard. That happened because the Chiefs front seven suffocated Vick in the pocket and frustrated him into throwing errant passes all night long.
The Chiefs defense was led again by Linebacker, Justin Houston, who had 3.5 sacks, a pair of fumble recoveries and six solo tackles. Because the Chiefs All Pro linebacker energized his defense so much so, Vick never found a comfort zone to run Chip Kelly’s offense.
After the game, Vick said the Chiefs didn’t do anything complicated. What they did was bracket Jackson and took away the underneath routes that Vick generally has a feeding frenzy versus other NFL opponents.
But down the field, KC’s secondary jammed and bracketed the Eagles receivers forcing Vick to throw into tight spaces. A week ago Chiefs cornerback, Brandon Flowers, struggled against the Cowboys, Dez Bryant. But despite playing on a sore knee and leaving the game twice, he held Jackson to a trio of catches for a pedestrian 60 receiving yards. More important Jackson was never a threat in the Red Zone.
Yet the Cornerbacks weren’t the only story at Philly on Thursday night. The Chiefs safeties were flying to the ball and doing everything they could to keep the big plays in front of them. When Vick tried to establish his short passing game early in the first quarter it didn’t work.
On his first offensive possession of the game, Vick had a tipped pass fall into the hands of Safety, Eric Berry, who returned it 38-yards giving the Chiefs an early 10-0 lead. That interception and score set the tone for what was going to be a long night for Vick.
So what can we really make of this Chiefs team right now? I have no clue!
For the moment all that matters heading into week four of the regular season, the Chiefs are still perfect after three games.
Looking ahead, the Chiefs have ten days to get ready for a suddenly average New York Giants team a week from Sunday when they visit Arrowhead.
So what’s at stake in that game? A chance for the Chiefs to double there win total of a year ago in the month of September!
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
The Did you imagine the Chiefs would be 3-0 at this point of the season?
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