Excitement Returns to Arrowhead

Excitement Returns to Arrowhead

It was a slightly different Arrowhead Stadium Sunday. The smell of Kansas City BBQ filled the air and the usual sea of red filled the seats (with a few thousand traveling Packers fan) but the feeling inside the stadium was different from previous Sundays this year. For the first time possibly all season, Chiefs fans had reason to enjoy football again.

It's easy to forget how much fun watching football can be but Sunday, fan loyalty was rewarded with one of the biggest upsets of the NFL year.

As the Chiefs ran out the clock on a 19-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers, Chiefs interim head coach Romeo Crennel enjoyed a cold but rewarding Gatorade bath. He wasn't the only difference in the notoriously inconsistent Chiefs squad.

The Chiefs were the benefactors of some of the best quarterback play by a Kansas City passer in recent memory. Getting his first start, quarterback Kyle Orton had an impressive showing, completing 23 of 31 passes for 299 yards with no turnovers and a 104.1 rating.

It only took one series to see the difference in this Chiefs offense. Without Haley's oversight, Bill Muir and Jim Zorn drew up a game plan that had the offense showing signs of life for the first time all season. In the first half alone, Orton completed passes to nine different receivers and seemed to have a good understanding of the offense.

Orton was cool and calm in the pocket with KC's offensive line playing more inspired than we have seen them all season. It wasn't as if the offense was dominant; they were merely effective, which says a lot about how bad this offense has been.

If there were any lingering doubts about the significance of good quarterback play, Orton showed fans what this offense is capable of.

Even the Chiefs' rushing attack was significantly improved. All the usual runners (Thomas Jones, Jackie Battle, Le'Ron McClain, Dexter McCluster) were featured, but the way in which they were utilized was different. In recent games, the offensive staff preferred to assign drives to each back. On Sunday, the carries were doled out play by play. The Chiefs averaged 3.6 yards per carry and totaled 139 rushing yards.

There are plenty of areas this offense can improve, however. In truth, with the way this defense played Sunday, the game should have been over before halftime. The Chiefs had six different red zone opportunities but converted just one touchdown. Knowing that before the game, I would have told you the Chiefs had no chance. The fact they persevered and overcame their flaws is a testament to their new coach.

This team played inspired Sunday and the fans in the stands were with them on every snap. This is what Kansas City Chiefs football can be.

Ten years ago, a trip to Arrowhead was circled on the schedule for any team unfortunate enough to make such a journey. Sunday proved this team is far from where they would like to be, considering the many Cheeseheads in attendance, but a little bit of success goes a long way.

One win against a good team won't change anything in Kansas City, but this loyal fan base is smart. Winning is the top priority, but Chiefs fans now have willingly signed on to "the process." What this fan base could not tolerate was consistent inconsistency.

If the worst the Chiefs did on Sunday was compete, it would have gone a long way with this fan base. Just think how the fans will feel after a win.



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