I need to apologize: I made a joke about a jinx on Sunday.
It had no place on that day. It has no place in this season. As a Kansas City Chiefs fan, I guess I am predisposed to closing my eyes and expecting the worst (while simultaneous opening one eye slightly with dim hopes that things might actually go well). It's what happens when 8,009 days have passed since the team's last playoff victory (I did the math).
But that's my problem, not the Chiefs, and it's not fair for me to project on this year's team. After all:
Eight wins in a row. That's an incredible run of dominance by any NFL team, but for one that once owned a .166 win percentage, it's a miracle. Add in the fact that the Chiefs greatest players on both offense and defense have missed (and continue to miss) significant time, it's even more amazing. Can we add more superlatives? I suppose there are two more games.
Without Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs continue to rank with the NFL's top rushing attacks. With a makeshift line dealing with injuries and inconsistency, the Chiefs continue to push the ball with running backs completely known to even diehard fans before the 2015 season began.
Lose one of the two or three best defenders in football for several games? No problem. As Justin Houston looks on, Dee Ford impresses with each new start, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson refuse to decline, Marcus Peters proves John Dorsey's faith in him, Sean Smith sets himself up for a major payday in free agency, and Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard dominate up front. Oh yeah, there's also Eric Berry returning to form for the NFL's single best story in 2015.
Here's the thing: the Chiefs belong in the middle of any conversation about potential Super Bowl contenders. Don't forget, the Chiefs had to lay a crazy egg against the Denver Broncos to avoid being 10-4 at this point atop the AFC West. They're forcing turnovers and avoiding making their own mistakes. Their offense moves the chains, with Alex Smith aiming further downfield than ever before, while the defense can play with anybody.
One illustrative point that's likely only notable to me: Kelcie McCray, special teams dynamo and back-up safety for the Chiefs in 2014, made his first start for the Seattle Seahawks today. McCray was flipped for a fifth round pick back in September in a slightly surprising deal. Watching Daniel Sorensen and Tyvon Branch making their impact felt on the field during this run has reminded me just how deep the Chiefs are at most positions. It's the sort of depth chart that great teams are made of.
It's too early to say anything for sure, and Andy Reid will be reminding the locker room of this fact for the next two weeks. But at this point, I'm over worrying about a jinx. These Chiefs are good. Very good. And there's no reason to believe they will not only make the playoffs but put an embarrassing winless streak to bed.