Dexter McCluster

Even if they have turned the ball over for the first time this season, the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t stopping and most importantly not losing. Alex Smith is making mistakes as he takes more risks, but all those don’t really matter when the team standing in front of them is a ghost of its former self.

Alex Smith has had bad games against the New York Giants in the past, including last season in one of the games that pushed towards his benching. He did throw two interceptions, but also completed three passes for touchdowns, as it seems that this Chiefs team is cohesive and combative enough to not let low moments get to them.

It also helped to play against the New York Giants, now losers of four consecutive games, and looking more and more awful by the minute. They weren’t shut out like against the Panthers, but Eli Manning was once again unable to find too many moments of peace or without pass rushers blitzing him. He was sacked three times, took big hits three more times and threw an interception, leading to a 31-7 loss to further the embarrassment that is the 2013 NFL season.

It was once again the defense and special teams that made the difference for the Chiefs, who are allowing only 10.3 points per game, never conceding more than 16 points this season. Dexter McCluster returned a punt 89 yards to score a touchdown late in the third quarter which opened up the game, and set the Giants packing. From that moment, Alex Smith was back in business, finding Jamaal Charles and then Dwayne Bowe for fourth quarter touchdowns to make his performance look a lot better than it was.

But it didn’t really matter, even if Andy Reid is over-using Alex Smith and neglecting Jamaal Charles, who had 18 carries for 65 yards. Alex Smith himself got 7 carries for 37 yards, but this overuse of a quarterback who has clear limits might end up being something that hurts the Chiefs eventually, especially when his mistakes happen against a much more capable defense than what the Giants have to offer.

Andy Reid

We know things don’t always go your way. But you’ve got to be able to stick together through tough times, in life, period. We kept leaning on each other. Nobody pointed a finger at anybody at any time. We just stuck together and I feel like that was the foundation that was built for us to do what we’re doing now. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do.

The Chiefs are now the only team along with the 1980 Detroit Lions (in the modern era) to win two or fewer games one season, then rocket to a 4-0 start the next. Everything bad that happened in 2012 that got Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli fired has disappeared, as the defense got the necessary tweaks and the offense got the necessary head coach and quarterback.

It’s not Super Bowl material yet, especially considering their opposition so far, which has included two win-less teams, but the Kansas City Chiefs are doing better than anyone on the team expected, simply by making minor changes to the personnel, and two big changes in the two most important positions on an NFL franchise.

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