KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jamaal Charles hasn't forgotten the nightmare that was last season, making the first words out of his mouth in describing the Kansas City Chiefs' perfect start quite appropriate.
"It's a dream," the Pro Bowl running back said.
An impressive 26-16 victory over the Eagles in coach Andy Reid's return to Philadelphia on Thursday night left the Chiefs 3-0 for just the second time in a decade. The Chiefs have won their first three games only eight times ever, and six of the previous seven ended in the playoffs.
"We've been through a lot in the six years I've been here, and I know they don't want to go through (the hard times) again," Charles said, "so having a change and Andy Reid coming on and being the coach, he just says to go out there and have fun."
Sure is easier to have fun when you're winning.
The Chiefs have already eclipsed their win total from all of last season, and they're not doing it with smoke and mirrors, either.
Try turnovers and defense.
The Chiefs have forced nine turnovers and have yet to commit one after tying for the league lead with a minus-24 turnover differential last season. They forced the Eagles into five of them on Thursday night, including a pick-six by safety Eric Berry.
"Turnovers and points on both sides of the ball are very important," Reid said during a conference call with reporters on Friday. "That's been from the first meeting with the players, that's what we stressed, and touchdowns do matter from special teams, from offense and defense. You want everyone to be involved in that part."
The Chiefs defense, which allowed 40 points in their season opener a year ago, has allowed 34 points through its first three games. That includes what amounted to a shutout in their season-opener against Jacksonville, which managed just a safety off a blocked punt.
Kansas City piled up five more sacks against the Eagles, wrangling to the turf elusive quarterback Michael Vick on just about every play. Justin Houston had 4½ of the sacks, pushing his total to 7½ this season, and even recovered a pair of fumbles — one that he caused.
Houston's sack total made him the third-fastest player in franchise history to reach 20 sacks to start a career since it became an official stat in 1992. The only players to do it more quickly offer some good company: Derrick Thomas and Jared Allen.
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