The Kansas City Chiefs are back alone atop the AFC West after beating the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium 31-13 on Sunday afternoon.
The Cardinals drew first blood with a 36-yard field goal, but the Chiefs were able to put up 21 unanswered points and never looked back. Arizona scored a TD as time expired that made the score look closer than you would think.
Unlike last week when Chiefs QB Matt Cassel did most of his damage after the game was out of hand, against the Cardinals he led a perfectly balanced attack from start to finish. Kansas City had 352 yards of total offense, including 159 rushing from Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles.
The downside to the victory was that the already banged up Chiefs lost left tackle Branden Albert and CB Brandon Flowers to injuries. While we wait to get a rundown on the severity of those injuries, we can recognize the best players on offense, defense and special teams.
Offense: Dwayne Bowe
Is there a more consistent or exciting player on the Chiefs than Bowe right now? I bet you didn’t think we’d be saying that after week 11 with Kansas City leading the AFC West.
What we have seen since Bowe dropped that potential game-winning touchdown against the Colts in week 5 is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Doubt it? Over the 6 games since losing in Indianapolis, Bowe has 36 catches, 563 yards and an amazing 10 touchdowns. Catching at least one score in 6 consecutive games is a new franchise record.
The most important part of this stretch isn’t so much the stats as it is the way Bowe has picked them up. Playing with a quarterback in Matt Cassel that doesn’t have the arm to make a ton of plays down the field, the Chiefs receivers have to be able to create yards after the catch and that’s exactly what Bowe has been doing every single week.
Defense: Brandon Flowers
As has been the case all year, the Chiefs didn’t put Flowers exclusively on the other team’s best receiver, but that didn’t stop him from holding down Larry Fitzgerald when he did get the chance.
Fitzgerald finished the day with 6 catches for 90 yards and a score, but of those numbers, 3 catches, 43 yards and the touchdown all came on the final drive of the game after Flowers had already exited the game with a hamstring injury.
The Chiefs defense, Flowers included, still has word to do if they want to take that next step but if the season ended right now it would be a travesty if he were not heading to the Pro Bowl.
Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt
Don’t look now, but Kansas City might have their secret weapon back.
It’s not so much that Colquitt has been bad this season, but he has not been one of the best in the league, something that we have grown accustomed to during his time with the Chiefs.
On Sunday, Colquitt was bad with a couple of monster punts of 59 and 64 yards. Unfortunately both were touchbacks, though one should have been downed just outside the goal line but the coverage was mangled by Donald Washington.
Colquitt had a season high average of 52.8 yards with one punt fair caught inside the 10 to go along with the one Washington misplayed inside the 5.