Sometimes the record of a team tells the whole story. Other times the record of a team is not indicative of how well or how poor the team is playing. The AFC West has two 6-0 teams but while one appears destined for the Super Bowl the other seems to be winning in spite of its offense. Then there are the Oakland Raiders who no one has figured out what type of team they are this year.
AFC West Standouts:
Kansas City Chiefs Defense:
The Chiefs defense was on a mission Sunday and the mission was a huge success. They sacked Terrelle Pryor 10 times. By comparison, Peyton Manning has been sacked five times all season and three of those came on opening night. Pryor, when he wasn’t under pressure, seemed to be throwing an interception. He threw three interceptions and the last one was returned for a touchdown. Many analysts thought the Seattle Seahawks had the best defense in the league coming into the season; the Chiefs have definitely thrown their names into the conversation.
Manning has appeared to be super-human all season long but on Sunday he appeared a bit vulnerable. Mind you, vulnerable is his team winning by 16 points, but he had set the bar so high it seems like a bad week for him. The betting line for this game had the Denver Broncos as 28 point favorites. The Jaguars came to play as they picked Manning off once and forced two fumbles. This is the type of game that will have Manning razor sharp as he plays his old team, the Indianapolis Colts, next week.
Smith struggled on Sunday versus the Raiders defense. He was 14/31 for 128 yards. Those are pedestrian numbers to say the least and if the Raiders had not been so turnover prone, the outcome of the game may have been different. Smith appears to be the weak link on a strong team; however, this story has unfolded before. When he was with the San Francisco 49ers he wasn’t highly thought of and in a playoff shootout versus Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, it was Smith and the 49ers who were the victors. The Chiefs look to have all the pieces to contend not just in the division but maybe a Super Bowl run. The question is will their quarterback step-up when it’s time for him to lead them?
He will have to play better than he did on Sunday if the answer is going to be yes.
Photo: Peter Aiken, Getty Images