Skepticism has been the name of the game to this point.
Let me be frank as a Chiefs fan: I didn't truly expect the results from Sunday. Given the character, toughness and ability on both sides of the ball and special teams, I knew the Chiefs would be competitive. I even thought they could surprise if the Seahawks were having an off day. What I did not expect was the Chiefs very clearly being the better football team.
What happened on Sunday was one very good football team running into a great one, and it was the Super Bowl champions that went away from Arrowhead having lost the collision.
Not only did the Chiefs defense make a three-and-out statement to start the game, but the offense took the keys and went for a nine-minute joyride on their own first drive. It was a wake-up call that showed the Chiefs were going to be a force from the outset. It was a theme that continued through two fourth down stuffs in the fourth quarter with everything on the line against Marshawn Lynch and company.
Even more amazing is the fact that the Chiefs held it together even when they didn't play their best. There were dumb penalties that sustained Seattle drives, such as Ron Parker's illegal use of hands that nullified Justin Houston's 10-yard strip sack. There were uncharacteristic fumbles from Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce that allowed Seattle to not only stay in the game, but even take the lead. The Seahawks were only close because the Chiefs allowed them to be. Despite their ability to gain major yards on the ground, and kudos for that, it's hard to imagine the Chiefs not up 21-3 at halftime without these mistakes or help from the refs (seriously where were the calls on Seattle in the second when interfering with both Dwayne Bowe and Kelce on back to back passes).
Even more, these Chiefs have a tremendous amount of ground to cover ahead of them. The offensive line didn't allow a single hit to Alex Smith, but that's also due to the tremendous ground game and low total plays (46 compared to Seattle's 71). The secondary also showcased some growing pains, and certainly the tape from watching Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson succeed on the ground will bring up teaching points as well. On a team this young and inexperienced, the continued game experience and practice reps will only make them better as they go.
If anything, this game served notice to the rest of the NFL that the Chiefs must be included in any conversation about Super Bowl contenders. They've played tough on the road against the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. They've fleeced the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. They've taken care of business against every team they're supposed to (remember the Titans game never happened, kids), and now they've defeated the Super Bowl champs.
There's zero excuse to leave them out of the conversation at this point. There's also zero excuse for any more skepticism. These Chiefs are as ready as any other team in the league to go the whole way to Glendale for Super Bowl XLIX, and all of us, myself included, need to finally recognize as much.