From the FanPosts -Joel
This Sunday the Chiefs will be like an old rock band going back on a reunion tour. They’re craggy, possibly broke, and the national bandwagon has moved on, but at least they’re clean-shaven and sober. They’ve been exposed for their flaws, but they’re a little wiser for it. The bandwagon is gone, but real fans wait in earnest.
The heyday of just a few weeks ago are long gone in a league where a season seems to last a lifetime. Make the E! True Hollywood Story. In their 20s, Chiefs rose from 4-12 obscurity to 3-1 fame. Nothing could go wrong. The adrenaline felt like it would never run out. Everything Chiefs breathed on turned to gold. Then Chiefs turned 30, and somewhere in there, something changed.
“Chiefs always texted me right back,” said Danielle. “Then kinda recently I noticed Chiefs would take longer, sometimes thirty minutes or an hour. A few times Chiefs wouldn’t reply till the next morning. I had no idea what it was until the breakdown.”
The Breakdown. Last Sunday, Chiefs rolled into the mile high city a mile high and underprepared. And in thirty minutes of football, he binged, hit rock bottom, contemplated suicide, OD-ed, got rushed to the hospital, fell into a brief coma, checked into rehab, left rehab, relapsed, went back into rehab, reached spiritual awakening, and flew home.
Same Body, New Soul. Chiefs says this week has felt like a decade. He has been picking up the pieces, fixing the problems that were thrown in strong relief by an average Denver team, and itching to get back on the field.
This Sunday, Chiefs will start over clean. It’s not the best situation, but things could be a lot worse. During the course of an NFL season, every team that isn’t truly elite is going to have a game where they lay an egg. Chiefs considers himself lucky that it happened with season to spare. How he responds will define this season.
“Getting smacked around gets your attention.” Chiefs hasn’t played well since he beat up on the Todd Bauman Jacksonville Jaguars, but he hadn’t lost any sleep till this week. He says he’ll be thanking the Broncos someday.
“They put their foot down and pushed me over the edge. If they had kept enabling me like the Buffalo Bills and the Raiders, I wouldn’t be talking to you. I’d be at Mosaic right now.”
“At four in the afternoon?”
“You bet your ass.”
Chiefs is refocused. “If this week hadn’t been one of the most productive weeks of practice in a long time, you guys would’ve needed to make sure I wasn’t still in a coma.”
Sunday is redemption day, and the first must-win of the year. Another poor performance portends an unraveling a la last year’s Broncos. I fully expect to see Chiefs return to his heyday form of September and early October. That means swarming defense, no more lazy penalties, and no turnovers. Also, Chiefs needs to establish Charles before Jones. TJ has looked like a plus-30 running back the past couple weeks. Instead of handling the spritely Charles with kiddie gloves, he needs to cut that chord and use it to reel in the vet a little bit.
Assuming Chiefs regains his form Sunday, he’ll be in decent shape heading into Thanksgiving. The outlook isn’t what it was just a few weeks ago, but a good win guarantees that Chiefs will at least have a horse in the race. With home divisional games remaining against Oakland and Denver and four of our last six at home overall, Chiefs will have the inside track, crossing his fingers that the Chargers don’t catch up.
Considering where Chiefs was in the dark days of last year and just last week, that’s an improbably fantastic position to be in.