After just four weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs stand as the only undefeated team in the NFL with a 4-0 record, one win ahead of the Denver Broncos in the tightly contested AFC West. With almighty offensive efforts and some stifling defensive play, the Chiefs are now the only team who could go undefeated this year, but what has set them apart from the rest?
Overcoming a tough schedule
Coming into the season, Kansas City’s schedule was seen as one of the toughest dealt out, facing the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, in the very first game of the season. After four weeks, the Chiefs have annihilated the Patriots and the relocated Los Angeles Chargers, as well as edging the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins.
If they can push on without sustaining injuries to too many of their major players, and manage to stay close to this tearing-up form, the Chiefs should be able to give the rest of their opponents a real challenge. The Houston Texans defense is always a menacing combatant, and the Pittsburgh Steelers offense could rip holes through the best defenses in the league – and they’re just the Chiefs’ next two games.
Later on, they must face the Denver Broncos, travel to the Dallas Cowboys, host the Buffalo Bills, take on the Oakland Raiders – who should have Derek Carr back for their Week 14 clash – and end the season at Mile High, against the Broncos.
Based on their play thus far, the Kansas City Chiefs are in with a good chance of defeating many, if not all of their remaining opponents, but that’s not to say that it won’t be a tough ride. As it stands in the latest NFL odds, the Chiefs are +5000 to finish the season 16-0, which is fair given how rare of a feat it is to go undefeated, let alone when you consider the difficulty of their upcoming games.
Powerful offense guiding the Chiefs
Everyone in the NFL, all the way to the very outskirts, fleetingly checking fans of the league, know of the rookie sensation that is Kareem Hunt. Drafted 86th overall by the Chiefs this year, Hunt has put up simply stellar numbers through four weeks. With 502 rushing yards and four touchdowns at an average of 7.4 yards per carry, Hunt has also displayed his receiving skills, with 157 yards and two touchdowns with an average of 12.1 yards per catch.
Hunt has been a sensation, and many hardened NFL fans saw it coming despite the Toledo product not being drafted in the star-studded first or second round of the 2017 draft. Since Jamaal Charles’ last full season of leading the Chiefs (2014), mediocre running backs have been able to put up strong numbers coming through the stellar Kansas City offensive line.
The likes of Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware have both been able to put up decent yardage and score touchdowns, so now that a running back with premier pedigree has come through – as Charles did in 2012 – the running game has quickly become one of the league’s best once more.
Then quarterback Alex Smith is playing quite possibly the best game of his career – likely helped by defenses needing to focus their efforts on trying to stop the ground game. He’s been able to utilize the blistering pace and electric playmaking of wide receiver Tyreek Hill as well as continue to keep tight end Travis Kelce heavily involved in the passing game.
The season is long and full of terrors, but the Kansas City Chiefs look poised to continue their strong play. The defense hasn’t been amazing thus far, allowing the fourth-most first downs of any defense, but the strong offensive play and good time-management have allowed the Chiefs to put up the points needed to claim victories.