The Kansas City Chiefs moved to 6-0 after their dominating defensive performance against their hated division rival, the Oakland Raiders, this past Sunday at Arrowhead stadium. It was a record setting crowd, reaching a sound level of 137.5 decibels beating the previous record held by Quest Field in Seattle. It’s a day that will never be forgotten in Kansas City history.
Hidden beneath the ten sacks and the 3 interceptions (one for a touchdown) by the dominating defense, was the continuing struggle of the Chiefs offense, particularly the passing game. Quarterback Alex Smith was sacked three times, the first one coming on the very first play from scrimmage. Smith looked rattled in the pocket, often taking his eyes off his targets down field and using his legs to escape. He just never looked comfortable.
Smith finished the day 14 of 31 for 128 yards and zero touchdowns. He also contributed on the ground with four carries for 29 yards. This is the 2nd game in a row that Smith was unable to complete a touchdown pass and his third game total without a scoring pass, yet, they’re still undefeated.
Smith is dead last with an average of only 6.2 yards per pass. Currently, he is on pace to throw for 18 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. So the question is, would that be enough to get the Chiefs to the Super Bowl?
With the emergence of this defense, and the way the schedule is beginning to play out, many are beginning to compare this Chiefs team to past Super Bowl winning teams that were built with strong defense’s. The two that come to mind first are, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens and the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now I understand that defense’s like those are once in a generation and it’s probably too early as well but, it’s obvious that there is something special with this 2013 Chiefs defense. They’ve only surrendered 65 points in 6 games, collected 31 sacks which, if they keep it up, is on pace to record 81, a single season NFL record.
This unit has been built over the past several years to become exactly what it is and this defense can win a Super Bowl. It all depends on how far the offense can carry. So for arguments sake, why not compare them to those legendary teams of the past?
Looking back at those teams offensive numbers, starting with the Ravens, they were very unimpressive. Trent Dilfer is the guy that most want to stand next to Alex Smith in this argument. Dilfer only started in 8 games, threw for 1,502 yards, 12 TD’s and 11 interceptions. That offense also went on a five game streak without scoring a touchdown. That speaks volumes about how legendary that defense really was.
Despite the lousy numbers from Dilfer, running back Jamal Lewis stepped in as a rookie and carried the ball 309 times for 1,364 yards and 6 TD’s.
Chiefs running back, Jamaal Charles, already has eclipsed Lewis’ TD numbers and is on pace to beat him in yards as well. Smith is on pace to make Dilfer’s numbers look silly, but again, their defense was one of the greatest units of all time.
Through the first six games of the 2002 Buccaneers campaign, they surrendered just 56 points, nine less than where the Chiefs are at now. They finished the season only surrendering 196 points total, which was first in the league, and only surrendered an average of 12.2 per game.
Now, here is where they become a little bit better than the Ravens Super Bowl squad, on offense anyway.
Led by quarterback, Brad Johnson, their offense went on to score 346 points (21.6 per game) and finished as the 18th ranked offense of the other 32 teams. Brad Johnson had the type of year that they exactly needed. He completed 62.3% of his passes, threw for 3,049 yards, 22 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. Numbers that Smith was on pace to match, but has slowed down the last two weeks.
The Bucs also had 5 touchdowns that were either returned by interceptions or kick returns all season, a number that the Chiefs have hit in just 6 games.
So the next question, can Smith lead the Chiefs in a comeback if they were down in a playoff game? The answer is yes. Smith stood toe-to-toe with future Hall Of Fame QB, Drew Brees, in the NFC Divisional playoff match up with the Saints in 2011.
We all remember it, Smith broke off that tremendous 28 yard touchdown run and then his game winning touchdown pass to Vernon Davis. Different team I know, but we do know that he is capable to lead his team to victory when everything is on the line.
Can Alex Smith win a Super Bowl? I think he can. Can he win one like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady has? No, he just isn’t that type of quarterback, but what he has going on in KC could be the perfect storm for Smith.
He needs more help on offense and he needs to elevate his play as well, but the Chiefs are more than likely going to the playoffs and they’re built to win when they get there.
Defense travels and if the Chiefs can somehow win the AFC West and claim some home field advantage, watch out! It will be hard for teams to come into Arrowhead in the dead of winter against that defense and get the win.
So how does the rest of the Kingdom feel? Could Alex Smith win a Super Bowl? Am I crazy for comparing this team to those of the past? Let us know in the comments below.