You score one more than the other guy you win


By Jose Faus Football is a strange game. For the second week in a row, the Kansas City Chiefs defense did some solid defending to only have some fans question how good it is after they gave up 31 points on the way to 41-31 road victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Much as the week before, the play of the defense is overshadowed by the offense. Where last week’s offensive woes overshadowed a sterling effort by the defense, this past weekend the offense’s production beggared the question, “why did the defense give up so many points?” You can call it plain dumb luck, but the defense forced some key turnovers and had strong defensive plays that stiffed Tom Brady much of the night. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes made some brilliant plays that justifiably took the focus and put it squarely on the shoulder of the main attraction. Mahomes is playing at a high level. He is also making any thought of Tyreek Hill seem an afterthought. Of course, that discussion will remain open for the rest of the season. Everyone should agree by now that Hill is a freak of a wide receiver. His speed alone is enough to make defensive backs have nightmares or at least indigestion. But let’s be real as well. Mahomes is being forced by circumstance to become a more complete quarterback, one that can read defenses and for whom the game slows down so much it seems almost a joke how easy some things are for him. Three plays from Sunday’s game alone would be the highlight reel of most quarterbacks. That is to be expected. What we have to acknowledge now is that for the second time in a row, the Chiefs defense put the team in win-win situations. It’s starting to feel and look, after four games, the Chiefs are beginning to resemble a complete championship team. This is open to change at a moment’s notice. Injuries have a way of evening things out. Look at the San Diego (Oops Los Angeles Chargers – somebody tell the fickle LA fans they have a team.) The Chargers are beginning to suffer nightmare of injuries to key personnel. That is the one equalizer that is beyond any control. It is delusional to think Kansas City will avoid the injury bug. No team is immune. On the other hand, there is good talent on this team. They are deep. The mantra of, “Next person up,” is working well just look at cornerback Jaylen Watson, a 7th round pick that is starting in the absence of injured cornerback Trent McDuffie. This is an indication of good talent evaluation and excellent coaching. This defense is playing well, and they will play better. That seems to be the story that makes the rounds. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnoulo is known for crafting an intricate defense that takes time to find the needed cohesion. If that is the case then the team is ahead of schedule, which bodes well for the season going forward. The Chiefs should be 4-0 and vying for the best team moniker with the Philadelphia Eagles. So are all the problems fixed with the team? Some would quibble and try to be measured in their evaluation. I will do my best but I’m a homer. I’m not concerned with the defensive unit. The game favors the offense so much that it is important to be vigilant. The score will reward those teams that are focused. The Chiefs lost that focus against the Indianapolis Colts two weeks ago. They found their mojo this past weekend at Tampa Bay. Barring some hard injuries, the Chiefs will be able to maintain the momentum and make the playoffs. But we don’t have to wait to see if the team is headed in the right direction. Raiders week is here. The stage is set for Monday night when the Chiefs take on the Las Vegas Raiders. Feel sad for Oakland. Everybody trying to get out of town when it comes to sports franchises. That team meant a lot to people in Oakland. Wait a minute? This is not a pity party for Oakland. Sorry not sorry. It’s the business of modern day sports. Carry on. Following the Oakland game comes a big game against the Buffalo Bills. If there is a team built to take the Chiefs down it is Buffalo. Nothing has changed my mind since last year’s playoff game between the two team’s, This is a team that is motivated and looking for revenge. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Raiders week is here and it will be a test. These games always are. I don’t see the Chiefs losing this one. And I think the defense will have a strong game. They may give up points but I’m confident the defense will be stout. Of course I’m no fortune teller and I’m not betting money any game.