• Stephen Brown: Chiefs' controversy overshadows positives

  • In the chaos of a 1-4 start and fans still upset over Eric Winston calling fans out for cheering Matt Cassel being hurt, the good stuff gets forgotten. Positives like Justin Houston’s emergence go unnoticed.

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  • In the chaos of a 1-4 start and fans still upset over Eric Winston calling fans out for cheering Matt Cassel being hurt, the good stuff gets forgotten. Positives like Justin Houston’s emergence go unnoticed.
    The second-year linebacker has six sacks – tied for third with St. Louis’ Robert Quinn and Cincinnati's Geno Atkins.
    Leading the NFL is the Texans’ J.J. Watts with eight sacks. Houston has seven tackles for loss, tied for fifth in the NFL. Houston is tied for fourth in the NFL with 45 yards for loss with his six sacks.
    "Chiefs fans have waited for the defense to get production from both pass rushers in the one game and that wait was rewarded by both Tamba Hali and Justin Houston as the duo combined for 13 total pressures on the Ravens," said Pro Football Focus. "Houston, our most productive pass rusher among 3-4 outside linebackers going into the game, outperformed his teammate again on Sunday, generating two sacks and six hurries. Hali matched him in sacks and added another three hurries of his own."
    The Chiefs’ Mack Lee Hill Award winner from last season is doing exactly what fans hoped he'd do, create problems for the opposing quarterback. Houston and Hali are doing that.
    "I think we're coming together we're a young defense it's kind of like last year," Derrick Johnson said. "We have two games where you're saying, ‘Man, what's going on with the defense?’ But we're a tough-minded group , so we know what we did wrong and Coach Crennel is a heck of a coach, so it's one of those things where he's going get it right. It all comes with stopping the run early in the game and tight coverage with our corners and trying to put them on an island, but we’re doing well."
    Swept under the rug this week is how Kansas City's defense has crept its way into the NFL’s top 10. Top 10 in their last three games, at home and on the road.
    In Kansas City's last three games, they have been a top-five defense in third-down stops (30.56 percent). Kansas City held the Baltimore Ravens to 27.27 percent (3-for-11) on third-down attempts. The defense is 11th in third-down stops at home (33 percent). On the road, KC is 40 percent – still better than the rest of the AFC West.
    While 1-4 doesn't look good, the AFC West has done little to take advantage. The Chiefs are still just two games behind the San Diego Chargers. With 11 games left to play, the defense allowing 293 yards a game (down 85 yards a game from their first two games) and the run game picking up 180.8 yards per game (averaging 200 in last three), the division hasn't kicked the Chiefs completely to the curb yet.
    Page 2 of 3 - That’s the positive message; it’s not over yet Chiefs fans.
    All this week it's been about Eric Winston and what he said and how fans are offended by what he said. There's been so much offending going on and hurt feelings with fans fighting among fans that the encouraging stuff has been shoved aside.
    By Wednesday, I'd had my fill of the drama surrounding Winston. I agree with him, you don't jeer your own player being crushed. Matt Cassel's 14 turnovers stink, there's no way to sugarcoat it. That's lousy and Cassel hasn’t performed, 95 percent of fans agree. But bad stats don't deserve what Cassel got. I was there; I heard however many it was.
    The core of Winston said, despite getting the attendance wrong, was right. That's all I really want to say about the topic because it's that simple.
    So I’d rather talk about what I like. I like rookie Dontari Poe, he's doing a great job.
    "I feel good," Poe said. "To the fans that embrace me, it feels good. I'm just going out there each day and working hard. The win is what we want ... the end all. Wins cure everything. It's a matter of us doing what we do best keep on pushing and moving. It's coming together. There was that certain point of time where we came together and decided we had to pick it up and do what we had to do. As long as we keep getting better, we'll be all right."
    It's been missed how Poe hasn't looked like a Scott Pioli bust. Hey, if fans point to what Pioli hasn't done then it goes both ways. Pioli and Crennel got it right with Poe. Poe has been a good draft pick.
    The Chiefs defense is getting better as a result.
    It's easy to lose sight of guys playing well when you're 1-4. Justin Houston can make the defense special, so can Dontari Poe. If the Chiefs have any hope this season, the defense will need to stay in the top 10 to win the division and hopefully do something in the playoffs.
    Yep, I said playoffs. That's what happens when a team wins the division and there are just two games separating the Chiefs from the division lead. The AFC West is letting Kansas City hang around. Currently, the Chiefs have the best defense in the AFC West
    That's a good thing!
    If the Chiefs can get consistent quarterback play they'll be back in business. Don't know if backup Brady Quinn is the answer, but against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans are hopeful for something better than what they've seen.
    Page 3 of 3 - Limit turnovers, keep playing good defense and run the ball like they have and the Chiefs can win games. Yes, it still can happen.
    The believing part is up to the fans.
    Good day, Chiefs fans!
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