The NFL is down to one undefeated team – the Kansas City Chiefs – going into Week 8.
This team was 2-14 (won-lost) last season, but had nine Pro Bowlers on the team. The talent was there, but they just didn’t have a good coach to mold the team and a consistent quarterback to take care of the football.
In the off-season, the Chiefs hired the best coach available, Andy Reid, who is one of the best coaches in the NFL and has won his share of games. They traded for quarterback Alex Smith, who was benched last season after coming back from injury while helping the 49ers to a 10-1 record, but lost his job to Colin Kaepernick.
Smith could always manage a game well with very few turnovers, and you are seeing that exact quarterback in KC. Turnovers are the No. 1 stat between winning and losing at any level of football. If you turn the ball over you don’t win – plain and simple. See the New York Giants.
However, does being the only undefeated team make the Chiefs the best team in the NFL?
Absolutely not. The Chiefs have only beat one team with a winning record, the Cowboys, while only beating teams like the Jags, Giants, Eagles, Raiders, Titans and Texans with a combined record of 15-43 (.348).
Yes, you can only play teams on your schedule. Looking at their remaining schedule, the Chiefs only have three games left against teams with winning records – the Broncos, Chargers and Colts. Therefore, they could realistically go into the playoffs at 13-3.
The Freak thinks KC is a good football team because of its aggressive defence that can really pressure the quarterback, and the significant home-field advantage they have at Arrowhead Stadium. But the offence may end up being the Achilles heel when they start playing playoff-calibre teams.
Smith doesn’t want to throw the ball down field, so when teams can start flooding players to certain areas of the field they will be in trouble. If this team gets down two touchdowns in a game, it will spell trouble for them as they don’t have that fast-strike ability with the offensive schemes they are running now.
This KC team reminds The Freak of the old Chiefs’ teams that Marty Schottenheimer had years ago – the quarterback manages the game to go along with a great defence.
Can you win with this formula?
Baltimore won last year playing this way to a certain extent, but the Ravens did throw the deep ball quite often to set up the running game and short passing game. The Chiefs aren’t stretching the field with Dwayne Bowe, so until they start doing this they can’t be considered a solid Super Bowl contender.
The wins are nice now, but can they win in January?
The sure thing
For Browns’ fans, the pain of the Brandon Weeden era is over as they are going with Jason Campbell against the hometown Chiefs. Believe it or not, Campbell is an upgrade over Weeden. However, the Browns will suffer the same fate – another loss. KC moves to 8-0.
San Fran has to travel to London, England, to play Jacksonville. This game could be played on the moon and the result would be the same. 49ers win big.
The Saints had a week off to enjoy the local jambalaya and donuts from Café Du Monde, and will be rested and ready to host the Bills. Buffalo is a mess at the quarterback position, which is a recipe for disaster walking into the “Big Easy.” Saints win easy.
The Rams lost quarterback Sam Bradford for the season and are so desperate for a signal caller they called Brett Favre, who is happy on the farm in Mississippi. Looks like the well-known Kellen Clemens or Brady Quinn will start at home against the Seahawks, which will become a field day for Seattle’s great secondary. This will be another yawner for the second straight Monday night. Take Seattle
Don’t mortgage the house picks
The Jets shocked the Patriots last week at home, and now head on the road to play the 5-2 Bengals. Andy Dalton has been as hot as his red hair the last couple of weeks, and hopes to continue against a good New York defence. The Bengals have one of the best D lines in football, which will confuse and harass Jets quarterback Geno Smith all day. Cincy wins at home.
For whatever reason the Dolphins play much better on the road. There must be too many distractions in the warm Florida sun. Miami will notice the temperature change in New England, and notice a team that has struggled in their last couple of games, which may be the pattern for the rest of the season with all their injuries. However, on Sunday, the Patriots will prove they are still the “top dog” in the AFC East. Pats win a close game.
Thank goodness for Viking fans Poochie and Bucky that quarterback Josh Freeman has a concussion and they are going back to Christian Ponder.
At least Ponder, who has a weak arm, plays well at home indoors, where the conditions are perfect.
Green Bay has many injuries to key players while the Vikings over the years, no matter how bad they have been, always play the Packers tough in Minnesota.
The Vikings will pull off the upset with a big day from AP and Jared Allen pressuring Aaron Rodgers all day.
Last week: 5-for-7.
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to email@example.com.