There are two things you need to know about the Kansas City Chiefs:
1. Naysayers are calling them the worst 9-0 team in NFL history.
2. They were Couch Slouch’s AFC Team of Destiny, so I don’t care if they got to 9-0 by hiring fallen Enron honchos to cook the books, we will celebrate their deliriously-delightful-if- frighteningly-fragile unbeaten status.
When the Team of Destiny is on top of the heap, the Chad household uses cloth napkins at dinner, and I allow Toni, a.k.a. She Is The One (And Then Some), to wander into Whole Foods for up to 15 minutes.
The Chiefs have gone from 2-14 in 2012 to 9-0 in 2013 by not giving up more than 17 points in a game and outscoring opponents 70-17 in the fourth quarter. They’ve gone from worst to first by leading the league in turnover margin (+15); Alex Smith has the NFL’s second-lowest interception percentage and hasn’t lost a fumble.
Have I mentioned that I love Andy Reid? This is his second Team of Destiny; I entrusted him with the 2010 Eagles in the year after he traded Donovan McNabb, and the man with the all-weather mustache rewarded me with a 10-6 playoff season.
Reid’s turnaround trick in Kansas City has made the Team of Destiny program the talk of the town again. Yes, I have the gift. I’m constantly asked, “How do you do it?” Folks, it starts with studying the tape, and when you’re in the film room as much as, say, Marty Scorsese or myself, you either make “Goodfellas” or you make good predictions.
(Column Intermission I: Let me take a moment to address my NFC Team of Destiny, the Dallas Cowboys. I picked the Cowboys assuming they would shed their one-moment-we’re-great-the- next-moment-we’re-not persona. But they remain as unsteady as a Miley Cyrus high note. And the Cowboys have been so erratic, it gives the other woeful NFC East teams – the Eagles, the Giants and the Washington We Were Already Native To This Land When Christopher Columbus Discovered America Skins – hopes of still winning the division.)
(Column Intermission II: Stepson Isaiah “Megatron-in-the-Making” Eisendorf capped his football career at Springbrook High in Silver Spring, Md., Friday with a seven-catch, 130-yard finale, including a spectacular 86-yarder. This restores that key “third meal” to his daily routine.)
Now, I’m a pragmatist – if you had to look at this mug in the mirror every day, you’d be a pragmatist, too – and I understand that my 2013 Chiefs aren’t the prettiest girl at the prom.
In fact, in the interest of fairness, here are the small, almost undetectable Chiefs flaws that get magnified on high-definition TV:
• In their most recent game against the Bills, their offense didn’t score a touchdown and their defense allowed 470 yards against a third-string quarterback.
• They rank 25th in the league in red-zone efficiency.*
• They are next-to-last in the league in net passing yards per play.*
(*-Uh, I care about red zones and net passing yards like a moose cares about trans fat.)
• They easily could’ve lost their last three games against mediocre teams – Houston, Cleveland and Buffalo.
• Smith hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in four of the past five games.
• They haven’t played anybody yet.
Yeah, they’ve played a bunch of losers. But that’s like discounting Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1932 and ‘36 presidential wins because they came against Herbert Hoover and Alf Landon.
Hey, 9-0 is 9-0 is 9-0. And 9-0 in pro football is different than 9-0 in college football. Alex Smith knows this – in 2004, he was quarterback of unbeaten Utah, which had no chance to make the BCS national championship game. In the NFL, no one can vote you out of a postseason berth.
Sure, it’s more likely the Chiefs will go from 9-0 to 9-7 than from 9-0 to 16-0. The rest of the schedule is tough, starting with two of the next three games against the Broncos.
But there are two things I know like two things I’ve never known before:
1. The Chiefs are a Team of Destiny headed for the Super Bowl.
2. If I don’t get Toni out of Whole Foods in the next five minutes, I’m going to lose a whole paycheck.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Third-year lineman John Moffitt called the Broncos from his home last week to tell the team he’s quitting. Doesn’t one usually knock on the boss’s door and do that in person? (Colin Jackson; Indianapolis)
A. I agree. Plus, whatever happened to giving two weeks’ notice? Frankly, I don’t think he wanted to play the Chiefs this Sunday.
Q. The Dolphins’ locker room has sided with Richie Incognito. Where does that leave Jonathan Martin? (Chris R. Garrett; Spokane)
A. I like the guy, but he’s eating me out of house and home.
Q. Anywhere from two to five state troopers escort a college football coach off the field at the end of a game. How many police officers does it take to escort you away from a championship poker event? (Bobby Gamble; Silver Spring, Md.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.