Let’s face it. The Kansas City Chiefs have set the bar unreasonably high.
The Chiefs probably turned in their most historic opening-game performance in franchise history last Thursday when they went into Foxboro and knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 42-27.
Alex Smith threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns. I happen to be in a Fantasy Football League where 16 other quarterbacks were chosen, while Smith was left undrafted.
Kareem Hunt, a rookie third-round pick, must have thought this NFL stuff is pretty easy after rushing for 148 yards, catching five passes for 98 more and becoming the immediate must-have for every Fantasy League owner. He’s not going to sneak up on anybody anymore.
Tyreek “The Streak” Hill flashed his way to 133 yards in receptions, including a 75-yard strike that Smith merely lofted in the air and allowed Hill to use his Olympic sprinter-like speed to run under it. For all of his juice, what surprises me most about Hill, a former running back, is that he doesn’t drop too many balls. If I’m Smith, I take at least three shots a game just like the one good for 75.
In all, the Chiefs’ offense savaged the Patriots’ defense and probably raised a lot of questions in New England about the team’s validity. I have a feeling, though, the Pats will be just fine.
Let’s get back to the Chiefs. To think they’ll approach such status two games in a row is an unfair expectation. The New England game was the perfect storm. You just don’t go into Bradyville and inflict such pain. Kansas City moved up and down the field with ease, especially after a couple of injuries depleted the New England defense.
Kansas City hardly played terrific on defense (boy, did Terrance Mitchell and Phillip Gaines get toasted) and lost All-Pro Eric Berry for the year with a ruptured Achilles. Like last year, the Chiefs gave up a lot of yards, but the toughened up inside the red zone.
The team certainly created Super Bowl thoughts going into the home opener on Sunday against the Eagles. Generally teams are very good after having extra rest (even this early in the season) and Arrowhead will be electric. I’m sure it will be a shock to KC fans if the team doesn’t make it a 2-0 start.
It will be important for the Chiefs to put the Patriots’ game in the rear-view mirror. I watched Philadelphia’s victory over Washington on Sunday and came away impressed. Carson Wentz is the real deal and the addition of battering ram LaGarrett Blount will take some of the pressure off him. Their defense is so-so, so look for it to be a high-scoring game.
I think this game will be more of a barometer of the Chiefs. If their offense — which showed a lot of diversity — can put up 30 or more points, then it’s legit.
Also working for the Chiefs, I think, is that in the NFL it’s hard to win back-to-back road games to start the season. Teams often win one, but seldom two.
But Chiefs fans shouldn’t be fooled into thinking Smith will throw for 368 again or that Hunt will have well over 200 yards of total offense. But all variables taken into consideration, I see a narrow Chiefs win, 31-27.