The Kansas City Chiefs have gotten plenty of breaks during a turnaround that’s made NFL history. Their schedule might have given them another one this week.
The Chiefs will try to win five in a row for the first time in eight years when they host the winless Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Kansas City hardly looked like a team that could contend for a second straight AFC West title after being outscored 89-10 in its first two games. To make matters worse, it lost running back Jamaal Charles, safety Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki to season-ending injuries.
The Chiefs fell again in Week 3, but have recovered to become the first team to start 0-3 and move into at least a tie for the division lead after its next four games. This week, they’ll seek their first five-game win streak since a 9-0 start to the 2003 season.
Kansas City (4-3) has had the benefit of playing two last-place clubs during its streak, Minnesota and Indianapolis. The Colts are the league’s only other winless team.
The Chiefs also faced an Oakland team with an unsettled quarterback situation, but they might have caught their luckiest break Monday night. San Diego was on Kansas City’s 15-yard line in the final minute of a 20-20 game when linebacker Andy Studebaker recovered a botched snap.
That paved the way for a 23-20 overtime victory and a share of the division lead with the Chargers and Raiders.
“The great part about this team is that we continue to keep our heads and continue to work,” quarterback Matt Cassel said. “Our mentality is you just try to get one win and then two wins and three wins. Now we are on a four-game win streak. Everybody is excited about that, but we know there is a lot of season left to be played. We’re happy about where we are at right now.”
Their next opponent doesn’t feel the same way after blowing chances to end its winless drought the past two weeks. Miami (0-7) let a 15-point lead with less than three minutes remaining disappear during an 18-15 overtime loss to Denver on Oct. 23, then couldn’t protect a seven-point cushion entering the final period of last week’s 20-17 defeat at the New York Giants.
“We have to learn to finish,” defensive end Randy Starks said. “Once we do that, it’ll be a different season. In the past we were able to win these games. Right now we haven’t found a way.”
Starks is among those Dolphins who might remember how the team found a way to pull out a victory during its previous matchup with Kansas City on Dec. 21, 2008.
Miami outscored the Chiefs 14-3 in the second half for a 38-31 win that snapped a three-game skid at Arrowhead Stadium and eventually help it win the AFC East. The Dolphins are 4-6 all-time in Kansas City — playoffs included — but have won seven of nine overall in the series.
Miami is seeking to avoid moving a step closer to matching its 0-13 start from 2007, and it could use another strong effort from running back Reggie Bush. The former No. 2 overall pick had 103 yards on 15 carries in last week’s loss — his second career game with a triple-digit rushing total — after gaining a combined 232 yards in the first six games with the Dolphins.
Bush, though, might have to find running lanes without help from center Mike Pouncey. The rookie’s status is unknown after he left last week’s loss with a neck injury, though an MRI revealed no significant damage.
With their center out, the Dolphins allowed Matt Moore to be sacked four times in the fourth quarter.
They might have an easier time avoiding those even if Pouncey can’t play this week. The Chiefs have a league-low nine sacks — six of which have come from linebacker Tamba Hali — but recorded a season-high three in the win over San Diego.
Kansas City has also forced a combined 10 turnovers in the last two games after collecting five in their first five contests. Safety Kendrick Lewis had his second interception in as many weeks and recovered a fumble against the Chargers.
About the Author
Written by Calvin Reed
My name is Calvin Reed. I just moved to Rochester, NY from Miami, FL. I obtained a bachelors degree in Journalism from FIU. I am ac huge Miami Dolphin fan! I live for the Fish & find it to be an incredible honor to be blogging about them for the rest of the 2011 season & hopefully for years to come. Let Go Fish!!!