The Kansas City Chiefs are 0-2 and seem a shell of whatever success they had last year. They’ve started off at a historically poor level, the fourth worst opening two game set in NFL history by being outscored 89-10 in that time span. And now they face Phil Rivers and the Chargers, a team believed by nearly everyone — Chiefs fans included — to be the favorite (and rightfully so).
But there are reasons that the Chiefs can hope this morning to win this afternoon. After all, anything is possible in the NFL, including a historic collapse. That said, the Chiefs had enough talent to win the division last year and they’re better on paper in certain areas this season. Even looking past injuries to Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry, the Chiefs should still be competitive in games. Here are three reasons the team could turn it around today with a stronger showing:
1. The Running Game – Even without Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs have Thomas Jones leading a diverse group that can still pose issues for the Chargers defensive unit. Jones rushed for over 1,400 yards just two seasons ago and he’s still in top physical shape at 33. And the fact that he will take more carries than normal might be a good thing for keeping the Chargers offense on the bench for longer stretches.
In addition, Dexter McCluster certainly stretched the field last week with 51 yards on 8 carries and he’ll continue to earn some offensive touches. The same can be said for Le’Ron McClain who should spell Jones a bit as the runner between the tackles.
2. Chargers Injuries – The Chargers injury list reads like a Who’s Who of their offensive skill positions. Malcolm Floyd is out. Antonio Gates is likely out. Vincent Jackson and Mike Tolbert have both been listed this week on injury reports. While Rivers makes anyone better, the Chargers will definitely miss some of their key targets this week.
3. Back Against The Wall – If the Chiefs have the talent their fans keep saying they have, then it’s at a key crisis point like this that those players will, indeed, rise to the surface. It’s time for Brandon Flowers to fully shut down a receiver. It’s time for Tamba Hali to take over a game. It’s time for Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson to clamp down their end positions and elevate the defense at a point of need.
If anything, today will speak loudly of what the Chiefs really have on the roster if they’re able to rise to the surface and create an unexpected win at the lowest morale and confidence level the Chiefs have had in a long time. If the Chiefs can even move to 1-2, there’s still reason to believe anything is possible. If not, the Chiefs can mail it in for the rest of the season.