On December 15, 2013, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles ripped the then-Oakland Raiders for five touchdowns — and in the process, the team clinched a playoff berth for the first time in three seasons.
“Playoffs, baby! Chiefs clinch playoff spot,” Joel Thorman wrote in our home page headline.
THORMAN: It’s official: The Kansas City Chiefs will be in the dance. The KC Chiefs on Sunday clinched a spot in the 2014 NFL playoffs. You read that right: The Chiefs clinched a playoff spot in Week 15!
Chiefs on the 2013 roster reacted with more than 20 tweets from their personal accounts. Seven years later, times have changed in Kansas City.
The Chiefs clinched their sixth-straight playoff berth with Sunday’s 22-16 win over the Denver Broncos — and the players barely noticed.
“To be honest, I didn’t know that,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said after the game. “We’re just trying to win every game, you know? I think anytime — obviously, we’re grateful — very fortunate. I think anytime you’re able to win 10-plus games in this league, I think is always a beautiful thing. And anytime you’re able to kind of control your own destiny, I think that’s special. So for us, it’s all about believing in that, believing in our coaches and then just trying to find a way to turn a page each and every week — and find a way to get better.”
“We didn’t talk at all about it in the locker room about the playoffs,” added Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. “We just talked about getting ourselves ready for next week and being ready to go down to Miami and play them.”
The reigning Super Bowl MVP acknowledged the berth as a “big deal” before quickly moving on to it just being the beginning of the road.
“It’s kind of your first step, you want to find a way to get into the playoffs, but like you said, we have bigger goals,” said Patrick Mahomes. “We understand it’s a step-by-step process. We have a great football team we’re playing this next week that’s playing really good football and we’re going to have go down there and have a great battle with them. So, we’re excited for the opportunity of taking it day by day and finding a way to keep winning football games.”
Tight end Travis Kelce, who spent 2013 on injured reserve with the Chiefs, has been in Kansas City for the full transition.
These Chiefs are fun to watch! Looked like everyone in white had a great game today!— Travis Kelce (@tkelce) December 16, 2013
“The ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl,” said Kelce on Sunday. “Obviously, we have goals within that — winning the division is one of them, trying to get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs is another, and then reaching the Super Bowl is obviously another. It’s just trying to take it game by game. You can’t look too far ahead — knowing that we still have a lot of work to do.”
The Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL playoffs: once an accomplishment, now an expectation.