That is a big boy win for the Chiefs. The Seahawks are flawed, of course, because they are a team that plays in the NFL. But above all else, the Seahawks are tough and the Chiefs just out-toughed them.
There had been some talk that the Chiefs lacked a great win, and maybe people will write this one off as against a fading former champion or some other silly thing, but the Chiefs overcame a lot to beat a very good football team. They lost two fumbles, but still won because the playcalling and execution and above all toughness – offense and defense – overwhelmed one of the NFL's toughest teams.
Still can't believe this is the same team that got destroyed by the Titans. The Chiefs are now in a first-place tie with the Broncos, and if we can assume they'll beat the awful Raiders on Thursday they'll be 8-3 with an extra three days of preparation for a first-place showdown on Sunday Night Football on Nov. 30.
The Chiefs' first drive was alternatively gorgeous and rough. The play-calling was like surgery, and there were some great blocks, two in particular from Ryan Harris on a screen and Donald Stephenson at the line of scrimmage, trucking Michael Bennett. Absolute clinic.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
At the end of that drive, Jamaal Charles mocked Michael Bennett's Ravishing Rick Rude sack dance, complete with fake kicking it. Then, of course, he wiped himself off. I can't keep all of the NFL's rules straight about what's allowed and what's not, but I wish they'd open this up more. Sports need more personality and fun, not less.
Mentioned this a few times during the week, but the Chiefs came into this game averaging more yards per carry than all but one other team. That number has been overshadowed a bit because of the (somewhat fluky) fact that the Chiefs hadn't allowed a rushing touchdown, and that the overall number of rushing yards wasn't that big (in part because the Chiefs have usually had the lead, and have hogged time of possession). But Pete Carroll can read a stat sheet, and called eight straight run plays at one point in the first half.
Ron Parker played the game of his life (so far) in Buffalo last week, and was absolutely picked apart early in this one. His illegal hands to the face penalty wiped out what would've been fourth and forever for Seattle, then he gambled and lost on what turned out to be a 24-yard gain to set up a touchdown, which was scored on a nice catch by Doug Baldwin with Parker in coverage.
Baldwin, you might have seen, mocked Travis Kelce with the arrow-shooting celebration in the end zone. Kelce, of course, probably got the idea from Usain Bolt, and it's also true that Mariners closer Fernando Rodney shoots an arrow after saves. I said this on Twitter, and I know I'm a child, but I love the crap-talking celebrations. The way you shut someone up is to beat them. If not, wear it.
Those injuries to Bryant and Mebane showed up early and often. The Seahawks aren't quite the same defense without those guys. Vulnerable to the run, especially, and Jamaal Charles is pretty decent running the ball.
Dontari Poe weighs 346 pounds, and plays nose tackle. Russell Wilson weighs 206 pounds, and plays quarterback. On a play in the second quarter, Poe shut down an angle and kept a Wilson scramble to probably 10 fewer yards than would've happened against a normal nose tackle.
There was a lot of whining in the stadium and on Twitter about the referees on the Chiefs' last drive of the first half. I've always thought of complaints about referees in any sport, with very rare exceptions, as the ballad of the loser. But against the Seahawks, it's largely by design. The NFL tightened up its rules on how defensive backs can play against receivers this year, mostly as a reaction to how Seattle's defensive backs played against receivers last year. The Seahawks haven't changed much, if any, and are being called for penalties at roughly the same clip they were last year. The theory seems to be that refs won't call everything, so if you get called for one, maybe you get away with four others and the tradeoff is worthwhile.
Also, whether the two previous plays were interference or not – and I thought the one on Kelce was, but the play before that to Bowe was not – it doesn't excuse a fumble.
Also-also, there were no complaints on the no-call in the end zone on Seattle's fourth-and-goal pass to Doug Baldwin.
I can only write so many columns about it, but Andy Reid's play-calling really is tremendous. De'Anthony Thomas, Travis Kelce and obviously Jamaal Charles are terrific weapons. And the Chiefs have the equivalent of five bags of sand as their receivers, so the situation calls for creativity, but Reid is finding a way to make it work.
Can you imagine how lost this offense would be with Romeo Crennel, Todd Haley or Herm Edwards in charge?
This is stupid, because you can ALWAYS say football games are about turnovers, but you would’ve figured this was one the Chiefs especially needed to win in turnovers. They don't force many, and with the way the Seahawks run the ball, the Chiefs needed to at least stay even on giveaways.
That previous paragraph is so awkwardly worded that I don't even know where to start. I'll just leave it.
The same team that looked overmatched against the Titans at home in the season opener is now in first place. Sports!