Well fellow Chiefs fans. We have come to Bye week, and are getting a much needed break. Our fingernails can grow back from all the nail-biters we've had this season. We can stock up on our heart medicine, seeing how we've all gone into cardiac arrest several 4th quarters this season. Denver is on the not-too-distant horizon, and we have an opportunity to see Denver play this coming Sunday before our beloved Chiefs go to play them.
And as it is bye week, I thought it would be a great fanpost to take a look back at this last year. And what a year it's been.
The last time we played Denver at Denver was the last game of our 2012 season. And, perhaps as the capstone for a miserable season, Denver beat us 38-3. Brady Quinn threw for 49 yards. Jamaal Charles rushed only 14 times. Tony Moeaki was the leading receiver with 21 yards. It was so bad, that ESPN reporter Bill Simmons (who was hoping for a Denver loss so his Patriots would get a #1 seed in the playoffs) twittered this message off: "Rooting for the Chiefs is brutal - I'm not enjoying myself. Is this how every KC fan feels all the time (confused, angry + bitter)?" Last year, every Chiefs fan could relate.
After getting blown out of our first few games, hearing fans applaud when Matt Cassel was injured with a concussion, having Eric Winston blow up at fans, a tragic Jovan Belcher murder and suicide, and witnessing a whole bunch of disheartening, knife-in-the-heart losses, even Mitch Holthus, "the voice of the Chiefs," was having trouble being a Chiefs supporter. Couple that with an extreme frustration and paranoia at the business side of the Chiefs, as well as several season ticket holders refusing to buy tickets, and we were in a world of hurt.
Classy Romeo Crennel was sent packing on Black Friday. And then, just like that, within a week's time we had a new head coach, the beleaguered but beloved Philadelphia coach, Andy Reid. The hottest name on the coaching carousel, and we got him just like that! Wanting to play for an owner like Clark Hunt, Coach Reid came hurting as well - professionally and personally. Nonetheless, Andy wanted to get back to just coaching, not having to worry about personnel, just teach players how to play better football. And just like that, the general tenor of Chiefs fans went from an all time low to hope. What a difference that one week in the offseason made!
Scott Pioli was soon to join Romeo Crennel. In his place, came not a crony from Philly, but classy John Dorsey from Green Bay. Willing to leave GB only if the situation was right, Dorsey saw that here with Clark Hunt and Andy Reid. Coming in, Dorsey said all the right things at the right times. Supportive, optimistic, Dorsey himself was a ray of hope in an organization that needed it.
Andy filled out his coaching roster with no real big name coaches. There was especially no big reaction about Bob Sutton from the Jets as KC's new defensive coordinator. "Stopgap". "Seat-warmer". "Who is this guy?" That was the mindset. Maybe he'd do enough for us to be average. But that was a slim hope at best. Couple that with a few other coaches (count - several other coaches), and the new round of KC coaches - just as we had seen last year - was here.
And then something happened. Maybe it was some of the puzzlement and excitement of a new QB (not named Brady Quinn). Maybe it was the historical flashback of trading with San Francisco for an experienced QB. Maybe it was the historic fact that we had the first overall pick in the draft. But optimism grew, hope grew, and curiosity got the best of us. Training camp was training camp. As the questions about the new WC offense came in, the smiles on the defensive players told us they liked what they were going to be doing. Arrowhead was planning to get a Guinness Record for loudest stadium. Hope was back.
Jacksonville - bye guys. Even with a safety, you guys had no chance. Hello, new defense! Dallas - closing out with a 1 point win. Nailbiter. Philadelphia - Short week across the country to a vaunted team with a difficult offense - and we pull it out. Giants - no chance for the boys in blue. Hello, great defense! Titans - Another nail biter. Tennessee misses a last minute FG and we hang on. Oakland at KC - Bye, old curse. It's back to the good old days of the Chiefs beating the Raiders. Houston - Case Keenum puts up a show - until halftime. Then, adjustments are made, and the Chiefense wakes up. Cleveland - Another nailbiter. Cardiac arrest time. Only - despite the fact that we should have lost, we didn't. Somehow. Buffalo - Hello, 100 yard Pick-6! Hello, fumble recovery for a TD!
And now - after a horrible 2012 and an up-in-the-air offseason not knowing where we'd be, we are still undefeated. We're talking Super Bowl! I'm just happy that we're 1 and a half games ahead of Denver, and that we have a good chance at making the playoffs. But Super Bowl? Never in my wildest dreams at the beginning of this year.
We all know our offensive struggles. We all know we're not running like we used to. We all know backup QBs are throwing at will at us (my take is that we don't have enough game film on them to analyze, and so they catch us off guard). And we're all nervous about what the last part of our schedule will look like.
But... We have a monstrous defense, that creates points and gives up only a few. We have owned every fourth quarter we've played. We have smart coaches who make great half-time adjustments. We have a Guinness World Record and ears that are still ringing. We have electricity back in the stands at Arrowhead - heck, we have Arrowhead back. We are breaking NFL records almost every week. We are being compared to classic Super Bowl teams like the 2000 Ravens and the 1985 Chicago Bears! And we are always finding ways to win - even if it's ugly.
I'm just overwhelmed with my Chiefs. Every week, I have reason to rejoice. Look at the schedule expectations at the beginning of this year, and now look at our record. I'm glad I stuck it out last year. It makes this year that much more enjoyable. Let's give those 1972 Dolphins a run for their money! Let's keep Arrowhead rocking. Let's keep winning on the road! This truly is a season for all seasons, and I think our best is yet to come!