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Friday, May 25, 2018

Chiefs Rout the 49ers, Show They’re Not Pretenders

Anyone not buying what the Kansas City Chiefs are selling yet?  With a convincing win over the 49ers to run their record to 3-0, we certainly are.  On Sunday, the Chiefs dominated a Niners team that nearly defeated the defending Super Bowl champions last week.

After Kansas City beat the Chargers Week 1, they got little to no credit.  What most saw when they watched the game was a Chargers team that made too many mistakes and a Chiefs team that “got lucky” with defense and special teams.  When Kansas City beat the Browns last week, no one cared because it was the Browns.  The Niners may be 0-3 but they aren’t as bad as their record indicates.  The Chiefs put together a complete game against a good team on Sunday and they should be grabbing the attention of the rest of the AFC as a result.

What does a team need to do to be successful in the NFL?  Run the ball?  Check.  At the moment it looks like the Chiefs are going to benefit from having a two-headed monster in the backfield.  Thomas Jones had 95 rushing yards and a score against San Francisco and Jamaal Charles added 97 yards of his own on the ground.

Pass efficiently? Check.  Matt Cassel finally put together a game that’s worthy of his paycheck.  He completed 16-of-27 passes for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns.  More importantly, he limited himself to just one turnover.  Despite throwing an interception, Cassel finished the game with a whopping 127.1 passer rating.

Defend well?  Check.  The Chiefs held the Niners to only 251 total yards of offense on Sunday.  Frank Gore rushed for only 43 yards on 15 carries.  San Francisco scored 10 points, but their only touchdown came on a garbage-time pass from Alex Smith to Josh Morgan as time expired in the 4th quarter.  The Niners were baffled for the better part of the game.

Maybe the 49ers are worse than we expected this year.  Whether they are or they aren’t, the Chiefs are certainly better than most expected.  The Chargers look strong after their rout of the Jaguars last weekend, but Kansas City is a legitimate contender in the AFC West.  In order to be successful in the NFL, a team needs to catch plenty of breaks along the way.  The Chiefs failed to play their best football in Weeks 1 and 2 and managed to emerge victorious in both games.  If they play the way they played against the Niners on Sunday about 6 or 7 more times this season, they could be looking at a playoff berth.

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