This was supposed to be the day that we figured out whether or not the Chiefs are for real. Their 3-0 record spoke for itself, but with wins over the Chargers (who have struggled on the road), Browns (who have struggled closing out games) and 49ers (who have just flat out struggled), nobody could say for sure whether or not Kansas City’s record was a farce.
And if you ask me now, I’d say I still don’t know.
Teams usually don’t frustrate Peyton Manning the way the Chiefs did today and lose. Peyton completed 26-of-44 passes for 244 yards in the Colts’ 19-9 victory, but he was also picked off once and spent most of the afternoon being tormented by Tamba Hali. Romeo Crennel (who has always had success against Manning) put together an impressive game plan and held Peyton to only 5.5 yards per pass.
But the Chiefs’ defense couldn’t overcome the stink that is Matt Cassel and the rest of KC’s offense, which includes receivers Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers, as well as offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.
Cassel, who has struggled every week thus far, completed just 16-of-29 passes for 156 yards. The running game, which rushed for 84 yards in the first half, could only generate 30 yards in the second as Thomas Jones could only muster 19 yards on eight carries.
The Chiefs’ defense is good enough to keep this team in contention every week. But unless they get a remarkably better effort out of Cassel and the rest of the offense, what transpired today at the RCA Dome will probably be the norm.