Hello to all Titans fans. It's early in the week but time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future (H/T - Steve Miller) so let's go ahead and get going with this week's "Ask A Fan" post ... and this week it's the Kansas City Chiefs who invade the Titans home turf, looking for another win and hoping to come out 5-0 at the end of the game.
The Chiefs have defeated the Jags, Cowboys, Eagles and Giants and as of now are looking very strong on Defense and about average on Offense. Aside from a new Head Coach in Andy Reid, a new General Manager in John Dorsey and a new QB in Alex Smith, things are pretty much the same as they were a year ago when the Chiefs finished 2-14 and somehow managed to look even worse than their record would suggest. In just one off0season, the Chiefs have gone from inept to ept (whatever, right?) and not only look like a real NFL team, they actually look like one that could be in the playoffs if things go well. Of course, there are never any guarantees in the NFL (as Chip Kelly is finding out quickly) so no team can be taken lightly.
So, what are the Chiefs doing THIS year that they didn't do LAST year? Playing football, for one ... seriously, simply having a QB not named Matt Cassel has been an ENORMOUS boost to the team and fans. Matty Nice was a turnover machine, to say the least, whereas Alex Smith is the "game manager" that Chiefs fans were hoping Cassel would be. Bad decisions? Nope, the guy just doesn't make them. The name of the game for the Offense is play hard and play smart, and when the game is REALLY on the line play a little bit harder and a little bit smarter, and get it done, whatever it takes, no matter how "ugly" it looks. Jamaal Charles is still the same old JC as before, but he's not being asked to run the ball 30 times a game. That doesn't mean he's less involved in the offense, as he's targeted for short passes often and ends up with 100-150 total yards on a weekly basis. Dwayne Bowe is still getting comfortable with Alex Smith, and newcomer Donnie Avery as already proving to be a valuable asset. Our TE's have been hurt, but Sean McGrath has picked up the slack, and thank you for that oh bearded wonder! And let's not forget the game-changer of the Giants game: Dexter McCluster, slot guy who hasn't done much but DID manage an 89 yard punt return that turned the game from a nail-biter to the beginnings of what would be a flurry of scores and a more than comfortable 24-point win.
On the flip side of the ball, the Chiefs have one of the best units in the NFL. NT Dontari Poe is turning into the beast in the middle that Chiefs fans hoped for. LB's Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are equally quick to the inside. Brandon Flowers (when healthy) is one of the best in the game at CB and fan favorite Eric Berry is looking like the #5 pick that he was. In short, the Chiefs defense has a boatload of talent. All that's not even mentioning the heart and soul of the Defense and perhaps the team: Derrick Johnson. As of this writing (pre-Miami v
Patriots Saints) the Chiefs are the league's top defense in what, in my opinion, is the most important stat of all: points allowed, coming in at a paltry 10.3 points/game given up. When you hold the other team to 10 points a game on a consistent basis, chances are you'll win more often than lose, and that's precisely what the Chiefs have done. The Chiefs are also tops in the league in sacks with 18, led by Justin Houston with 7.5 sacks for the season. If the Chiefs don't get thru up front, the Secondary can more than hold its own, as evidenced by a 3rd in the league 31 passes defended. Seriously, this defensive unit is scary good.
The Titans have a very good team, and the Chiefs won't be taking them lightly. Looking forward to a fun week of football talk, and there'll be many Chiefs fans around to answer questions and ask questions of Music City fans. Here's to a good, clean, hard-hitting fun football game and a good, fun week of football Q's and A's.