Photo: Justin Olson / Warpaint Illustrated
In watching the Kansas City Chiefs fend off the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon for their second win of the season, it was reminiscent of the old days at Arrowhead stadium. For a fan like me, who ripped off his press garments to sit in the stands for a spell, it was the loudest I’ve heard Arrowhead speak to me in a long time.
For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why I woke up at 4:00 am Sunday morning. At first, I thought it was my pesky Raccoon that continues to dig into my trashcan in the middle of the night. But it was an old feeling that festered in the pit of my stomach.
So as I searched my inner belly it finally dawned on me, I was nervously anxious in prelude to Sunday’s Chiefs Cowboys game.
As I rustled around the house piddling doing meaningless tasks and watching the latest Star Trek Movie (two thumbs up by the way), my mind kept playing over and over again - last weeks Chiefs win at Jacksonville. Throughout the week I answered 100 questions about how the Chiefs really didn’t beat a quality NFL team in their season opener and they’d yet to be truly tested in their opening contest.
That aside, I kept defending the Chiefs for their 26-point lopsided victory last weekend. But I started to be swayed by the national sentiment, that KC’s first win was far too easy.
However on Sunday afternoon, when Kansas City played an old-fashioned barnburner against Dallas in front of a boisterous Arrowhead crowd, the sea of red awakened to the reality that the Chiefs are indeed a good football team which defeated a good opponent.
To the fans who have remained loyal and driven by long standing patience until this franchise began to resurge itself, were amazing on Sunday. In fact, the best part of my afternoon was hanging out with friends, eating Jack Stack BBQ and listening to the roar of Arrowhead in her natural splendor.
Even though the game had its ups and downs, Chiefs fans loved the opening drive that produced KC’s first touchdown. They realized in short order that Quarterback, Alex Smith, has a toughness they probably didn’t know existed.
Despite the fact he led the team in rushing with 57 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns, he took a beating on Sunday. Unfortunately his offensive line didn’t protect him very well in the first half, thus KC’s offense sputtered until the latter stages of the third quarter.
Still this game did require some Arrowhead faith. After the Cowboys built a 13-7 lead midway through the third quarter, there was still a loud heartbeat thumping in the stands. Eventually that faith would be rewarded. With it, the soul of Arrowhead would re-emerge. When Kansas City took the lead for good after Smith perfectly executed an 80-yard scoring march for his new team, the stadium roar was something to behold and relish.
Smith isn’t the best quarterback in the NFL but he’s pretty darn good. Andy Reid is a pretty darn good coach but he still has room to grow as well. Too often in this game, much to the similar sentiment of the fans, the Chiefs lined up a multitude of times in four wide offensive sets. By doing so, they ignored running back, Jamaal Charles.
Late in the fourth quarter when the clock of this game was shrinking after KC’s defense bent but never broke in the second half, Charles ran out most of the final ticks off the clock to preserve the victory.
It has been a long time since the Chiefs fielded a competent head coach patrolling the sidelines in Kansas City. And though he was being second-guessed by the fans at Arrowhead during the Cowboys game, he did manage to win it.
What Reid has accomplished in short order in rebuilding the Chiefs into a relevant AFC factor, is quite remarkable. So far he’s my 2013 NFL coach of the year. But let me clarify my statement. It’s not because he’s a solid X’s and O’s man. It’s because he’s teaching his players how to win the easy and the difficult games.
Kansas City now stands 2-0 atop the suddenly, tighter than expected, AFC Wes. The Chiefs remain tied with the Denver Broncos for the division lead but the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are both 1-1.
It’s going to be a short week for the Chiefs who travel to Philadelphia on Thursday night to face Reid’s old team.
So if you’re still on the fence about your Chiefs and still have doubts they can make it three straight victories, take solace; because in two weeks against the New York Giants, we all get to return to Arrowhead to rejoice in KC’s football revival.
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