Know Your Enemy: Kansas City Chiefs, 2013 Week 5

The Titans and Chiefs have a history in the past ten years, but the matchups have been more interesting for fantasy purposes than in real life. In 2004, it was the Billy Volek/Drew Bennett show with a 13/233/3 line for Bennett. The Chiefs won, BTW. In 2008, The Chiefs allowed LenDale White to run the slowest 80-yard TD in NFL history and Chris Johnson played the bongos. The Chiefs rolled in 2010, clinching a division title and many fantasy championships thanks to Dwayne Bowe’s 153 receiving yards. Bowe has 148 receiving yards in four games this year.

This week’s “Enemy” is Ryan Forbes of the unparalleled 2 Mugs Fantasy Football site and podcast.

Are the people bagging on Alex Smith’s captain checkdown capabilities at all aware of the Chiefs’ history of futility at QB? Tyler Thigpen probably had one of the best five seasons in the past 35. Oh man, don’t get me started. You’re probably right with the Tyler Thigpen drop. The thing with Alex is that most of us will acknowledge that it ain’t gonna be pretty if this team gets behind early in a game. “Captain Checkdown,” as you referred to him, isn’t going to transform into “Captain Comeback.”

Fortunately, Alex is a more accurate version of Matt Cassel. He doesn’t turn the ball over very often, and he of all people understands that is what he needs to do to be successful. [Zach note: When a 57-year-old Joe Montana is your best QB since the early 70s, you take Alex Smith.]

Did you ever expect that the new regime would be undefeated at this point? If you would have asked me before the season the odds of that happening, I would have said 0%. Three of their first four games were against the NFC East, so you automatically expect that those would have been against “good” teams. That’s how fast things change in the NFL though. In the battle for the worst division, everyone would have told you prior to the season it was the “AFC Breast.” Now we know it’s the “NFC Least.”

I lived in KC from 1989-1992. Does this team remind you of the Schottenheimer squads, excellent on D, good on special teams and adequate on offense? That’s exactly what it is. I’ve always felt this team has had the defensive personnel to be one of the best defenses in the league, but stuck behind Romeo Crennel’s vanilla ways, this defense was way too conservative. The Chiefs had 13 takeaways in all of 2012, and they already have 12 through 4 games this season. The same can be said for sacks: 27 in 2012 and already 18 this year. This is with 80% of the same players they had last season. It’s nice to see Bob Sutton utilize all of this talent, and as a result, the Chiefs have the #1 scoring defense in the league (10.2 points/game).

How awesome and sad was the Football Life on Derrick Thomas? You said it, Zach. Awesome and sad. I actually didn’t shed a tear like I thought I would, but I bit my bottom lip a few times. I was fortunate enough to watch Derrick Thomas as I grew up, so he was of course my favorite player as a kid. When I found out he was paralyzed and later passed away, it was a huge kick to the gut. Since his death, it’s been mostly rough patches as a Chiefs fan.

Have you loved the breakout performance from Justin Houston this year? To be 100% honest, I think we all saw this coming, at least as fans. Well, maybe not 7.5 sacks through 4 games, but just watching this guy mature over the last 3 years has been a pleasure. He’s just a nightmare for opposing tackles coming off the edge, and probably more underrated is how well he plays in run support and int coverage. He’s just an athletic freak is as well rounded as any 3-4 OLB in the league.

The biggest surprise for me is a guy I know people from Tennessee know a little bit about, and that’s Eric Berry. He’s always been a solid player, but I’ve always felt he’s struggled in pass coverage. That couldn’t be further from the truth this year.

What’s your bottom line for the game, and what beer will you be drinking during the game? Had Locker been healthy, I would have probably been a little more worried this week. I do feel good about their chances against Ryan Fitzpatrick though. I’ll say that the Chiefs squeeze out a 16-13 win.

As far as beer, I’ll probably drink all of them, haha. It’s tough to say, I have a fridge that’s loaded. I’m guessing I’ll start with Dale’s Pale Ale, have a couple Leinie’s Oktoberfests, and then I’ll move on to the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter…or bourbon if they lose. [Zach note: Don’t mess with Ryan and beer.]

How’s the fam? Everyone’s doing fantastic! My wife and I just welcomed our son Cael into the world. He’s our first child. We’re not getting much sleep, but I’m 100% fine with it. The great thing about Cael is that he was due on September 26th, but actually came on August 30th–one week before the NFL season. The Chiefs haven’t lost since he’s been here.

What’s 2 Mugs up to besides podcast brilliance? We’re still having a blast over at 2 Mugs Fantasy Football. I’m a fantasy football junkie, as is my co-founder, @RumfordJohnny. We’ve got all sorts of fantasy football goodies though: rankings, waiver wire stuff, etc. I’ve really gotten into the weekly fantasy football contests over the last two seasons, so I’ve been putting up a lot of content related to that to help others get started in the goodness that is weekly fantasy football. Add the podcast and beer reviews on top, and we have a good time doing what we do.

Follow Ryan on Twitter and check out 2 Mugs.

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