Sometimes a moment calls for you to pull the curtain back a little bit. What just transpired at Arrowhead Stadium as I type these words calls for exactly that.
I had 628 words ready to be filed, discussing everything that went wrong in the first half of the Kansas City Chiefs’ season opener against the Cleveland Browns. Those words highlighted the impossible amount of gaping holes the defense displayed, the boldness Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski showed to go for it on four fourth downs — and how the Chiefs, when it came down to it, just could not overcome what appeared to be a late scratch of Tyrann Mathieu.
Select all... delete.
That is for another Chiefs era. A past era — the one without the magic of Patrick Mahomes. The one without a championship — and the one in which the Chiefs crumble in the face of adversity.
So now that I’m writing a whole new post, let’s start here:
What the hell did we just witness?
In short, a microcosm of a distinct change of the times in the history of the Chiefs franchise. The score may have read 22-10 at half — a mere two-possession lead — but the way in which the first two quarters played out, those 12 points felt insurmountable.
Mahomes and the offense showed they could score on the Browns’ talented front, but it simply would not matter if the defense could not stop the Browns' offense — which was operating at a torrid pace.
Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce connected to score on the opening drive of the third quarter, and then the magic began happening. Juan Thornhill poked the ball out of Nick Chubb’s hands, and Ben Niemann (Ben Niemann!) picked it up. The Chiefs kicked a field goal to get within 3 points, trailing 22-20.
Still, the Browns moved the ball — and when Kareem Hunt scored a 2-yard touchdown to give the Browns a two-possession lead with just over 10 minutes to play, you don’t have to lie. It felt like his day.
But it wasn’t to be.
A one-play touchdown from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill kept these Chiefs coming — and then, finally, after three-and-a-half quarters, the Chiefs defense got its stop.
As it went, the Browns’ first punt of the day — in the fourth quarter — was bobbled by their punter, Jamie Gillan. Marcus Kemp wrapped him up.
Three plays later, Mahomes found Kelce again, making the score 33-29. And the Chiefs would never look back.
Mike Hughes — an improbable pick to win a cornerback job — sealed the game when he picked off Baker Mayfield, who otherwise had a highly-efficient day.
There will be plenty of days to pick apart what went wrong with the defense without Mathieu, Frank Clark and Willie Gay Jr.
Today, enjoy the time period in which you find yourself — when that team is your team.
Today... enjoy the magic.