For a number of weeks now, in every game preview we hear NFL experts saying “I can’t see the Kansas City Chiefs winning this game…” and “The [name opposing team here] have a great offense/defense and a great passing/running game, the Chiefs won’t be able to handle them”.
Yet here we are, in Week 15 and the Kansas City Chiefs are 10-3 and top of the AFC West. How can these “experts” get the Chiefs so wrong? It’s simple really … the Chiefs style of play doesn’t have an identity!
Ask yourself this, “where are the Chiefs strongest?” Defense? Offense? Passing? Running? … I bet you won’t come up with a confident answer.
Before the Chiefs beat the Broncos, NFL experts all stated that the Broncos defence was too strong and that the Chiefs offense would cave in under the pressure. Again, before the Chiefs played against the Falcons, NFL experts all stated that the Falcons number 1 offense would be too strong for the Chiefs defense. A week later we heard the same thing before the Chiefs beat the Raiders and their amazing offense. Yet all of those teams were beaten by the Chiefs. There was a pattern forming.
Up until this point, if we combine the start of the 2015 winning streak with the 2016 results so far, the Chiefs are sitting at 20-3 in season games. So what is the key to the Chiefs success?
It’s all about the lack of identity, opposing teams can’t work out the Chiefs strengths and weaknesses. If they feel like they have a stranglehold on the Chiefs defense, the offense steps up, if they feel like they have the better offense, the Chiefs defense steps up. Not only that, even the Chiefs special teams unit is surprising everyone with the likes of Tyreek Hill causing havoc. It’s an identity crisis … but in a good way!
The Kansas City Chiefs are so efficient in all three areas, it’s more difficult for opposing teams to adjust and work out how to hold them back. We’ve also seen Andy Reid cracking the spine of the playbook a bit more each week with more adventurous play calling.
Whichever way you call it, the Chiefs have been the masters of the “cloak and dagger” style of game management and team preparation, and you get the feeling they’ve not shown all of their cards yet.
The fact of the matter is, the NFL teams that are good in just one area, are often found out, they’re considered as “one dimensional teams” … but how would you describe the 2016 Chiefs?
The way the Kansas City Chiefs can adapt to their oppositions strengths and turn them into weaknesses needs to be applauded.