A month ago, I was the President of the 'Suck for Luck' fan club. Hell I even went out and bought a 8 dollar t-shirt that read "Suck for Luck" with a picture of Andrew Luck on the front of it. I'll admit it. Many Chiefs fans, not just on AP, wanted Todd Haley fired, and after the first 3 games of the season, and rightfully so. Some were even considering protesting the Chiefs by not going to Arrowhead, not buying any Chiefs merchandise, and simply refusing to give a shit about their favorite professional franchise. Our Chiefs were in trouble. And then, somehow, it all changed. Down by 10 points to the winless Colts at halftime, it looked as if we were headed to a 1-4 start and, as we came to find out a week or so later, a change in the head coaching position.
Some point to the Chargers game back on September 25th at Qualcom Stadium as the turning point for this Chiefs team, a 20-17 loss. But the Colts game is the game for me that really marked the turning of the tides. The Colts are a franchise the Chiefs have never had much success against. Whether it was the agonizing loss at Arrowhead in the playoffs in 1995 (too young to actually remember this myself) or the "punt-less" shootout in 2003 (saw that one in person), the Colts have always seemed to have the Chiefs number somehow, someway. But in the 2nd half of the 5th game of the regular season this year, the Chiefs turned their season around. Matt Cassel played arguably his best game in a Chiefs uniform, the defense held the Colts scoreless in the 2nd half, and Jackie Battle (yes, Jackie freaking Battle) had his coming out party on the way to a 28-24 win in Indy. The Chiefs finally figured those pesky Colts out, well...for one game at least. Granted number 18 was calling plays from the sidelines rather than from the huddle, but it was a huge win for our Kansas City Chiefs.
Then the bye week came, a chance for the team to get healthy. Nick Wright, a local talk-show host, reported during the bye week that if Haley wouldn't have rallied his troops for a win against the Colts, he would have be watching the rest of the season from his living room in his mansion on State Line Road. That came out, and as the week went on, it fizzled. Sure it created some buzz among the fan base, but some fans still believed the Chiefs had a legitimate chance to right the ship. And after all, it was Raider week.
Kansas City Chiefs 28, Oakland Raiders 0: I'll remember this game until the day I die. It's always nice to blow somebody out, but the Raiders? In the Black Hole? Christmas came early for Chiefs fans everywhere. From Kendrick Lewis' pick 6 just 2 minutes and 25 seconds into the game until the final whistle, the Chiefs dominated the Raiders like I've never see them do before. The Chiefs forced 6 interceptions, 2 for touchdowns and 3 from newly aquired free agent former Cincinatti Bengal Carson Palmer on their way to a 3-3 record. It was obvious the Chiefs had playmakers on both sides of the ball, even without Berry, Charles, and Moeaki. There was something about this Chiefs team that we hadn't seen in a long time. They had heart and guts, and they absolutley loved their head coach, and by now it was obvious that firing the bearded one would have been a huge mistake. And after the horrible football we had witnessed the first 2 weeks of the season, many, including myself did not think we'd see the Chiefs get to .500 all year, yet here they were, just a month later at 3-3 and in the thick of the AFC West race.
And then came the fumble. The one that will go down in infamy in Monday Night football and Arrowhead Stadium lore. A game in which the Chiefs seemed to give everything they had for 58 minutes was looking as if it was all going to come crashing down on them. The efforts of the 75,000+ capacity crowd at Arrowhead Stadium looked as if they would go to waste. There's no more helpless feeling than standing there, watching a damn kicker kick a football through the uprights, ending the game and sending your team home with a big, fat L. But that didn't happen. It wasn't meant to happen. Phillip Rivers botched the QB extange, Andy Stoudebaker plunged through the pile like a bulldozer and came out with the football. It was so surreal. Did that really just happen? Just seconds ago, I was ready to turn off the television and head to bed, pissed off and disappointed. As you all know, the Chiefs ended up winning in OT on a Ryan Succup 30 yard FG, keyed by a key stop on San Diego's first offensive series in overtime and a clutch 3rd down throw from Cassel to Breaston to set up Succup for the win. Before we knew it, the Chiefs were 4-3 and back in first place, trying to defend their title. The resilience the Chiefs showed was unbelievable.
Was their some luck (no, not Andrew) involved in their resurgence? Of course. But more importantly to me was the heart and guts this team has showed throughout the last month, and for that you have to give an immense ammount of credit to Todd Haley. It's apparent...the players love this guy. He fights just as hard for them as they do for him, and I hope he's here to stay. He's developed Bowe into a true number 1 reciever and Derrick Johnson into a high-impact player. We might have to give Romeo some credit for that one, as well as the development of Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr into damn good CB's.
Why am I writing this? Because I believe the Chiefs are in good hands, and they have nowhere to go but up. People around the league are taking notice of this team, including Scott Pioli's former running mate in New England Bill Belicheck. It's ashtonishing what this team has done...and they've done it all without our all-pro safety and running back, as well as our 2nd leading reciever from a year ago in Tony Moeaki. Do I know if Cassel is the guy? Hell no, but who does? However, the rest of the league better watch out not just for the rest of this season but for the future, because the Chiefs could be scary good. They have a coach that has the players respect, and players with incredible talent playing hard for their head coach. Let's go get those damn Fins.