The Kansas City Chiefs are 8-0 – halfway to perfection – but never before has a team started a season so great and yet been held in such low regard.
“They keep winning, and you can’t really judge or blame them for who they have on their schedule,” That Other Pregame Show host and former NFL linebacker Bart Scott prefaced on The Morning Show. “But (they’ve had) some really tough games with some opponents that they should clearly beat.”
Through eight games, the Chiefs have scored 30 or more points just once. They have a pair of 17-16 wins on their resume and on Sunday escaped with a 23-17 home win against Cleveland. Kansas City led 20-10 at halftime but scored just three points thereafter (a 40-yard field goal by Ryan Succop with 17 seconds left in the game).
“Being in a dog (fight) with the Cleveland Browns, I just think that’s going to hurt them,” Scott said, “because in the long run, sometime some team is going to make Alex Smith have to play ball. And he hasn’t had to be forced to play ball – squeezing into tight spots, taking chances, throwing the ball down the field – and they’re barely squeaking out wins that way.”
Smith has just 10 touchdowns (nine pass, one rush) on the season, as Dwayne Bowe (26 catches, 302 yards, two touchdowns) has become a short-to-intermediate route runner with Donnie Avery (24 catches, 374 yards, one touchdown) not far behind.
The Chiefs play at Buffalo this Sunday before a bye. They may want to practice some deep shots during their off week, as their next three games are against Denver (twice) and San Diego. Denver is first in the league in scoring offense (42.9 points per game), while San Diego (24 points per game) is 13th.
Speaking of 24 points per game, Smith’s career record as a starter when opponents score 24+ points is 2-27-1.
“Who he is to me, he’s Trent Dilfer, which isn’t a knock on Trent,” Scott said. “I tried to win a Super Bowl with just a defense-laden team, a defense that was awesome. And the farthest I could get was the AFC Championship, which is nothing to shrug your shoulders at, but (it wasn’t) enough to win the big games when the opponents get better, when they get elite, when you have to duel out. I can’t see him out-dueling Drew Brees – even though he’s done it before – or a guy like Tom Brady. I can’t see him having to win the game. He’s not losing the game, but he’s not wining it for them, either.”
In the NFC, meanwhile, the Lions beat the Cowboys 31-30 on Sunday in what was likely the most exciting game of the weekend. Dallas led 13-7 entering the final frame, but the Lions and Cowboys combined for 41 fourth-quarter points – including the last seven on a 1-yard plunge by Matthew Stafford that gave Detroit a 31-30 lead with 12 seconds remaining.
Stafford finished with 488 passing yards – 329 of which went to Calvin Johnson, who finished with 14 catches and a touchdown.
“I just think the Lions create a lot of issues on the offensive end,” he said. “They have weapons all over the place, and it just opens everything up for Reggie Bush. “I think (the win said) more about the Detroit Lions and their roster (than it did about Dallas).”