Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Road has been hospitable to the Chiefs
By Adam Teicher
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two of the Kansas City Chiefs’ final three regular-season games are on the road, including Sunday’s against the Raiders in Oakland. The Chiefs appear headed for the playoffs as a wild card, so their path to the Super Bowl would be mostly if not completely comprised of road games.
For these Chiefs, that may not be such a bad thing. There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest Kansas City is better when it plays on the road than at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs’ record is better on the road (5-1) than at home (5-2). The combined record of their opponents is better on the road (35-43, .449) than at home (39-52, .429). They have a greater points differential on the road (average score of a game: 27.5-14.2) than at home (25.4-19.9). They’ve forced 12 turnovers at home and 16 on the road (in one fewer game).
Not that the Chiefs wouldn’t want to play in the postseason at Arrowhead. But perhaps they’re built to play well on the road.
“On the road, you’ve got to be able to play defense,’’ guard Geoff Schwartz said. “On offense, don’t make mistakes. When you look at our road victories this year, we haven’t made many mistakes.’’
The Chiefs' defense has throttled two opponents this season, both in road games (Jacksonville and Washington). Meanwhile, the Chiefs' offense has committed only four turnovers in six road games, meaning they haven’t been putting themselves in adverse situations.
Quarterback Alex Smith played for division winners the past couple seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers went 9-3 on the road with Smith starting, 11-5 on the road overall.
“We always struggled for the most part, especially [as] a West Coast team,’’ Smith said. “Some of the East Coast travel games, it was difficult. Maybe [being in] the Central time zone helps in the sense that you’re never traveling too far and that the time zone changes aren’t that bad.’’