Photo Credit: Justin Olson Warpaint Illustrated
When news spread this week the Houston Texans were going to start a young quarterback making his first NFL start, many felt Kansas City was a shoe in to defeat their visitors from the AFC South. Instead a football game broke out and once again the fourth quarter proved pivotal in pushing the Chiefs to a 7-0 record as they rise to the top spot in the AFC West.
In the first half, the Kansas City Chiefs heralded defense had no answers for Houston Texans Quarterback, Case Keenum. He torched the Chiefs defense for long passes, scoring plays and forced KC’s defense to stand and deliver in the second half.
That’s exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon in Arrowhead. While the Chiefs offense had a few self destructing moments, that could have allowed them to salt this game away in the early stages of the fourth quarter, the defense rose from the lull of their first half performance to pound out four sacks, two fumbles and made the Texans young gunslinger come back down to earth in a hurry.
I’ll be honest I thought this game was an easy win for the Chiefs. But Keenum had another plan on Sunday. In a game when he had nothing to lose and when you consider this was a daunting task to face the undefeated Chiefs in his first NFL start. But early he was hardly faxed and nearly upset Kansas City.
To his credit, his scrambling, accuracy and patience in the pocket was impressive for such an inexperienced quarterback. He threw four passes of more than 26 yards and at times, made the Chiefs secondary look silly. He torched Cornerback, Sean Smith, on a 35-yard picture perfect touchdown pass to rookie DeAndre Hopkins and many felt this might not be the Chiefs day.
Late in the second quarter, he guided the Texans to a 10-7 lead. Fortunately the Chiefs offense, generally electric in the final stanza, scored a touchdown in the final minute giving them a 14-10 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Chiefs offense was so-so but the defense wasn‘t about to be the culprit in the teams first loss. Led by All Pro Linebacker, Tamba Hali, and his 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles performance, he made sure the Texans weren’t going to ever sniff a chance at a game winning field goal.
But the credit for this win and the jump into first place in the AFC West goes to Chiefs Defensive Coordinator, Bob Sutton. He continues to make all the right adjustments. Against the Texans he over loaded the left side of the defensive line in the second half, insuring Keenum wouldn’t find any rhythm the rest of the game.
That was in large part to the Chiefs brilliant goal line stand that forced an extra point field goal and kept the Chiefs with a modest 14-13 third quarter lead. From that point, the Texans made some plays but they never cracked the Chiefs side of the field again.
So what did we learn today from the Chiefs performance? Probably not much more than we already know about this football team. The Chiefs are 7-0 and they are the NFL’s best story this season. This defense is so good that it did what it had done so many times this season when they were scored upon, they tightened down the hatches, made the plays and their defensive stars shined when the game was on the line.
This is the second time this season Chiefs have defeated a team by the score of 17-16 at Arrowhead. In week two, they defeated the Dallas Cowboys in similar fashion. Maybe it’s something to do with playing teams from the lone star state. Either way Kansas City has a clean Texas sweep this year and that’s all that matters.
So whatever the magic dust that’s sprinkling down on the Chiefs, I’m beginning to believe it’s going to last all season long. Because of all the games that were going to derail the Chiefs from their undefeated perch before they face the Denver Broncos next month, this was the trap game that worried me me the most. In retrospect my heart rate watching the game and instinct, proved to be accurate
Next week the Chiefs will play a team that used to have the label the Cardiac Kids, that being the Cleveland Browns. After winning two games in a row after the Trent Richardson trade, they’ve come back down to earth to lose their last two. I’m not saying this game or the one to follow at Buffalo are going to be easy wins for Kansas City. I’m guessing they’ll be very similar to the ones we’ve seen all season long pushing the Chiefs record to an incredible 7-0.
For now Chiefs fans can’t really second guess anything about this team right now. They’re doing everything right in the games most critical moments. The Texans came to play on Sunday but so did the Chiefs. When the game was on the line Kansas City made the plays and the Texans simply didn’t make enough of them.
So enjoy this win Chiefs fans because this is what you should expect well into January.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Did you ever doubt the Chiefs wouldn't win this game?
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