In this week’s Blitz, The Star’s Terez Paylor answers five postgame Twitter questions from Chiefs fans.
1. How close is Marcus Peters in defensive rookie of the year talks? -@Countryboi567
He’s got to be right in the mix. Peters has been a playmaker in ever since of the word this season. Peters has five interceptions this season, only one fewer than the Chiefs recorded as a team all of last season. He’s had some tough moments, and he needs to continue to work on controlling his temper, but he’s given the secondary and edge and is someone who deserves to be considered.
2. Will Justin Houston be back next week? - @bchristianson30
He has a knee strain, which is typically a two-week injury. Dee Ford had a largely quiet day, finishing with a tackle and a quarterback hurry. But the hurry led to an interception and should be considered a positive he can build on. Houston obviously needs to return, but the Chiefs are rolling right now and they shouldn’t rush him before he’s ready. These reps are good for Ford, who is learning where he needs to improve to get better. And Frank Zombo had a pair of big sacks as well, so he might be pushing for more playing time.
3. Best road win of the Andy Reid-JohnDorsey era? -@tbwhall
The win over Denver is the best. After everything the Broncos put them through, that won’t be topped. But this one was important, because they won a wacky game where they had plenty of chances to fold against a desperate team and still won. They also did it with a reconfigured offensive line, which is impressive.
4. Has the playcalling recently allowed more downfield throws for Alex Smith or is it just a product of the line finally playing better? -@jetmill22
It’s a combination of both. The line was a trainwreck early in the season, but those guys have improved and Smith has also done a better job of taking more shots downfield and escaping trouble with his feet. The Chiefs’ offense can still be a little too horizontal with screens and short passes, but they’re moving the ball well enough to win a playoff game right now. Speaking of which...
5. Does this game prove the Chiefs have what it takes to win in the playoffs? -@B12Mentalist
It’s a positive step. Don’t be fooled by the Raiders’ 5-7 record — this is a solid, competitive, ascending football team the Chiefs just beat, and it required mental toughness to do it. They will face a better team in playoffs, obviously, but it showed they might have the fortitude to pull out a hard-fought game when times get tough.
20 — The number of years its been, prior to this year, since the Chiefs have swept their AFC West opponents on the road.