Chiefs

Chiefs Blitz: A look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Sunday’s win over the Dolphins

Given the schedule, the odds are against coach Andy Reid’s Chiefs team making the playoffs this season, but Sunday’s game proved that it’s probably going to be difficult for an Andy Reid-coached team to go 5-11 or worse.
Given the schedule, the odds are against coach Andy Reid’s Chiefs team making the playoffs this season, but Sunday’s game proved that it’s probably going to be difficult for an Andy Reid-coached team to go 5-11 or worse. The Kansas City Star

Do tell the truth

1. Let’s get straight to it: Can the Chiefs make the playoffs this season?

Given the schedule, the odds are against it. But Sunday’s game proved that it’s probably going to be difficult for an Andy Reid-coached team to go 5-11 or worse. So put them down for six or seven wins, and if they get some luck, even eight wins are possible. You never know in the NFL. Sunday’s win was enormous for obvious reasons, including morale and confidence. Still, it’s hard to shake the feeling that at the end of the year, the fact they got demolished in a very-winnable season opener will come back to bite them.

2. How about that running game?

Not bad at all. The Chiefs managed to replace Jamaal Charles by committee, and it was effective, as they ran for 174 yards in 41 carries. Knile Davis ran hard between the tackles, while Cyrus Gray chipped in, too. And Joe McKnight did yeoman’s work as a receiver out of the backfield, catching six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns while being targeted seven times. He showed why they decided to keep him around. Now, Reid just has to stick with Sunday’s formula and not get too pass happy.

3. What about the offensive line?

Well, it gets credit for helping to pave the way in the running game. It has made real progress there since week one. But pass protection is still an issue, and the linemen would tell you that. The Dolphins brought a lot of defenders and sacked Alex Smith five times. The protection simply must improve if the Chiefs hope to reach their goals this season.

4. The pass rush good though, huh?

You bet. The Chiefs had their protection issues, but the Dolphins had some, too, as they allowed four sacks. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston each recorded sacks, and Dontari Poe had 11/2. This, combined with a solid effort from the secondary against a deep-ball threat like wide receiver Mike Wallace, helped them make several big stops in the second half. Good day for the defense, overall.

5. Even though they gave up 141 rushing yards?

Yep, even though they gave up 141 rushing yards. Miamirunning back Lamar Miller rushed 15 times for 108 yards, for an average of 7.2, which is entirely too high. But this isn’t anything new. Run defense has been a concern since star inside linebacker Derrick Johnson went down in week one. But everybody left Sunday’s game feeling good. It was about getting a “W” to save the season, and that’s what they did. Give them credit.

The number

15: The number of seasons it has been since Chiefs coach Andy Reid started a season 0-3. He last started that way in 1999, his first season with the Philadelphia Eagles.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.

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