The Kansas City Chiefs just had a close call. For fans, it was likely too close.
Andy Reid has a different take. The head coach of the Chiefs says that the competition put up by the visiting Cleveland Browns on Sunday is just the kind of game he likes to win. It's the kind of close win that shows the character of the players and their ability to take the best shots that the opposition has to offer. In the end, it was a 23-17 win that showed the team's flaws. But it also showed their heart.
"Probably being at home three weeks in a row helps because we were able to get a little extra rest," said Reid. "Those grind it out ones, they're tough. That's a tough deal. I'm glad we were doing that at home with our fans where the guys can get a couple of extra hours to rest up. That's all part of this.
"So many games in the National Football League are won by seven points or less," he added. "You work hard during training camp, so you're mentally strong to be able to handle things like this and that's what we did. We'll continue to work hard, and I'm sure there will be other games just like this where you have to grind them out."
The Chiefs should get used to games like this. Now that they are alone at the top of the NFL standings at 8-0, they are the lone perfect team remaining. It's a mark that only makes the target that much bigger. Weaknesses will be attacked. Strengths will be minimized. That means the Chiefs have more work to do despite their perfect record.
"We talked about it after the game, we were happy that we got the victory, but we weren't happy with the way we played," said fullback Anthony Sherman. "The whole team felt that way - we have to go in, watch film and see the mistakes we made. We'll need to come out and do better the next game."
Having been on the other side, however, the Chiefs would certainly rather have it this way. They're comfortable with the target and ready for what teams have to give them.
"We have confidence out there," said Kendrick Lewis. "You have to play with confidence. That's one thing that our defense does. No matter what is pitched at us, what's thrown at us and they give us their best shot. We always feel like that we can withstand the blow and that we can come out there and compete."