Nobody expected the Chiefs to upend the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers last Sunday. It was an early Christmas gift and certainly nothing short of a Christmas miracle. Romeo Crennel got a win in his first game at the reins in Kansas City and a Gatorade bath to go with it. The whole day seemed magical.
It was very exciting, but now it's time to look towards the future for Crennel and Co. Amazingly, the Chiefs are still alive in the playoff race as they approach their date with the Raiders on Christmas Eve. Kansas City has to focus and be ready for an Oakland team seeking revenge. This is a de facto playoff game for both sides; the winner may live but the loser will most certainly die.
With a legitimate quarterback at the helm in Kyle Orton and a different man leading the charge, can the Chiefs mount a furious comeback to the playoffs? The odds are stacked against them. Kansas City would need Denver to lose in Buffalo and San Diego to lose one of it's remaining games while the Chiefs win out. It's unlikely, but incredibly possible.
It stands to reason that if the players in red can beat the unstoppable band from Wisconsin, they can certainly beat the Raiders.
If the defense plays like it did on Sunday, they will beat Oakland...handily.
The defense has been incredible over the past month sans the Jets fiasco. It has played at an elite level since the emergence of Justin Houston. I doubt that's a total coincidence.
While I wouldn't bet any money on a playoff berth, I think it would be fascinating to see Kansas City play in Denver with the AFC West crown on the line. Tim Tebow vs. Kyle Orton for all the marbles. Who wouldn't want to see that drama unfold?
It would be quite an achievement if the Chiefs found a way into the playoffs. They certainly would've earned their ticket after enduring so much throughout the year between crushing injuries and a coaching change. With the defense playing so well recently, a playoff game against Pittsburgh would be very compelling (we would no doubt be a #4 seed and Pittsburgh looks to be the #5).
Kansas City barely lost in a very physical contest just a few short weeks ago thanks in large part to Tyler Palko. Does anyone really doubt the Chiefs would have won that game if Kyle Orton or even Matt Cassel was playing?
Of course, this is all a pipe dream. However, isn't that what sports is all about? The only thing better than dreaming of all the possibilities is actually realizing them, and the Chiefs may do that yet.
Kansas City has a faint heartbeat heading into Saturday. As the scores update and the men wage their battle on the fading green of Arrowhead, their only job is this:
Keep the heartbeat and let it grow louder. Let it be heard all the way in Buffalo.