In golf, if you are lining up for a five-foot birdie putt and normally shoot a 100, you better knock it down.
The Kansas City Chiefs are experiencing such a moment. At 3-0 and coming home for a contest today with the winless and injury-ravaged New York Giants, the Chiefs face a great opportunity to complete the first quarter of the NFL season with an unblemished record. Opportunity, it does not knock often. When it does, you better be ready, right Herb?
Nobody thought Kansas City would be this good defensively, not even the wildest of dreamers. The Chiefs have the look of one of the best units in the league, thanks to the tantalizing trio of Dontari Poe, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston up front with Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry solidifying the secondary.
In come Tom Coughlin's Giants, who are missing both starting guards in Chris Snee and David Diehl, along with center David Baas. Opposite Houston will be rookie right tackle Justin Pugh, and attempting to thwart Hali is left tackle Kevin Boothe. This matchup should spell the end of Eli Manning having a good game.
Again, opportunities. It is a cardinal sin to let them slip away after working so hard to put yourself in the position of receiving one, right 1969?
Kansas City is certainly not embarking on a game of this magnitude, but don't underestimate the importance of this affair. The Chiefs are trying to change their culture and become a winner. To do that, it takes more than positive press conferences and a few wins.
Becoming a winner means beating teams worse than you consistently and knocking off foes at home, especially in such a hostile place for visitors such as Arrowhead Stadium. Today, both of those factors are in play.
Toppling the Philadelphia Eagles on a short week in Lincoln Financial Field was great, but it rings hollow if the Chiefs then lose with extra rest and a healthy team to New York.
Moving to 4-0 is not about making a playoff berth easier for winners. It is simply another step towards trying to secure a bye and some home field advantage in the playoffs. Stranger things have happened, right Joe?
Is winning the AFC West a pipe dream? Only if Kansas City lets it be. Win the games you should and take your chances against Denver when a chill is in the air and the Arrowhead grass begins to brown.
Today, the Chiefs play a lesser opponent who is ripe for another defeat. Time to sink that putt.