Unfasten your seatbelts
Written by: Chris Rubio
This past week’s Chiefs victory over the Jaguars 17-9 wasn’t easy. That was a tough victory over an emerging, talented Jaguars team on the road in Jacksonville. The Chiefs needed to win that game after losing to the Lions in Week One. The game wasn’t easy; it seemed crowded as I watched it. It was crowded in the sense that our receivers couldn’t seem to find much space to operate. The game was uncomfortable, and the Chiefs offense could never get leveled off.
The game was like being in the airport heading to a packed flight. Do you know what I mean about those? You just can’t find your private space, get bounced around the crowd, and board the plane. Once you are on the plane, it’s sort of a rough climb up and bumpy on the way up. I’m a white knuckler myself, I hate the bumpy climb, and I bear through it usually with my eyes closed until the flight attendant says, “ Ladies and Gentlemen the captain has turned off the fasten seatbelt sign; it is now safe to move around the cabin.” Once she says that, I’m good, and I begin to daydream about the destination. This is how it felt during the game. We were bumped around, at risk of starting this promising season with two losses. Travis Kelce was bumped around, and we couldn’t get through those bumpy clouds. Finally, Patrick Mahomes found a “clear Skyy” Moore open, and the next thing you know, we are in victory formation, securing the win.
We have a great deal to be optimistic about after watching this game. Our Defense had an excellent Spags game plan for the second week in a row and shut down a talented Jaguars offense. We were joined by our “worthy” Defensive Tackle, Chris Jones, who made his presence felt right away in his first appearance after missing all of training camp due to his contract negotiation. Chris Jones was disruptive and a key reason the Chiefs won the game. Jones picked up 1.5 sacks during the game and was a force for the whole game. Here’s what else the Defense did. The Jaguars’ Calvin Ridley, who was a major target in the Jaguars 1st game catching 8 passes for 101 Yards and a Touchdown, was held to only 2 catches for 32 yards. That is shutting him down.
The Chiefs Defense has given up only 23 points this season so far and allowed no touchdowns against this Jaguars offense. If someone were to tell us that so far in 2023, the Chiefs Defense would be the star of 2023, we would ask for a reality check. Excuse me? When was the last Chiefs Defense to be the story? You’d have to return to the 1990’s Chiefs to find a dominating Defense worth discussing. Don’t look now, fans, but from the looks of things, this Defense is starting to look like those Chiefs.
What if the Chiefs Defense is the star of 2023?
We have a defensive star in Charles Omenihu, who will play his 1st set of downs in the 7th game of the season. How exciting will this Defense be when he returns? Scary good, disciplined and smart.
A great example of this was a play made by Leo Chenal (watch here) in the second quarter of the game.
The play called for Travis Etienne to stay in and block and then release to the flat after receiving a pass from Christian Kirk. It was the perfect trick play. We have seen for years Chiefs defenses that were fooled by plays like this and gashed. Chenal followed Etienne into the flat , intelligently blowing up the play. This play happened with the Chiefs trailing 3-0 and the Jaguars driving. This was a drive-killer and momentum-shifting play.
This is a lot of talk about our Defense. So, let’s swing over to the Offense. Our offensive line features two new tackles. The O-line is still figuring things out. We have the best Quarterback in the game on our side. How long will it be before Patrick starts clicking? Can we reasonably expect that Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes won’t figure things out? Highly doubtful. This is why you can be an optimistic fan.
How our Defense is playing so far might be a scary thought for the rest of the NFL because it’s indisputable what we can expect from our all-world Quarterback. The next three opponents are the Bears, the Jets, and the Vikings. These are all struggling teams with a combined one win among them. It’s beginning to look like that moment where we can start daydreaming on this flight about our ultimate destination to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. Our big-three Mahomes, Kelce, and Chris Jones are in place. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is now safe to move around the cabin.