Starting a season 6-0 in the NFL is an impressive feat that usually results in media hype leading into every game. “Will Team X stay unbeaten as they travel to City Y to play Team Y?” With just two perfect teams left in the NFL, one would believe both those teams would garner a large segment on ESPN leading up to each game.
If that’s what you’d believe would happen, you’d be wrong. While the 6-0 Denver Broncos will continue to bask in the spotlight that revolves around Peyton Manning’s incredible season to date, the Kansas City Chiefs will continue to go out every week and play sound football.
The Chiefs and the Broncos play in the same division, meaning they’ll get two shots at each other. Those game may be the best games of the year too. Beyond sharing a division, however, the two have little in common.
The Broncos have achieved a 6-0 mark by piling on inordinate amounts of points on opponents. Although Denver has been hampered by suspect defensive play through much of the year, no one has been able to keep up with Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ offense for an entire game.
The Chiefs have taken a remarkably different path to 6-0, and considering this is a team led by quarterback Alex Smith, their style comes as no surprise. In his final seasons with the 49ers, Smith established himself as a model of efficiency, allowing the 49ers to win games as a complete team instead of on the back of a few elite players. That model has transferred over well to the Chiefs who have won games by playing great defense and smart offense. The Chiefs have forced opponents to beat them instead of giving away games, and with great talent throughout the roster, no team has been up to the task yet.
It’s hard to tell exactly why the Chiefs have been able to remain so quiet while winning their first six games. It seems reasonable to surmise that the low key nature of head coach Andy Reid and Alex Smith has kept the Chiefs out of the spotlight. The other part of the equation likely centers around the incredible level of expectations the Broncos had coming into the season. At the end of the day, the lack of attention likely bothers no one inside the Chiefs organization.
The future bodes well for the Chiefs too. The team will host the floundering Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns before traveling to Buffalo to take on the Bills. If all goes to plan, there’s no reason the Chiefs won’t push their record to 9-0 before traveling to Denver in what will almost certainly be the most hyped contest of the season.
There are any number of ways teams can win in the NFL, but few ways keep a team off the radar as well as the Chiefs’ strategy. It’s working for them in a big way, and it’s put them in perfect position to make a postseason run.