Daily Archives: November 2, 2011
When I attended my first ever Kansas City Chiefs game on Sept. 11, it was one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever watched. The Buffalo Bills came in to Arrowhead and beat KC like it was no one’s business.
For the next two games, nothing changed. Whether it was Detroit in week two or San Diego in week three, the Chiefs showed very little ability to win a football game; and thus, very little hope for fans that their team would win more than a game or two in 2011.
Fast-forward to Nov. 2. The Chiefs have won four straight, are tied for the lead in the AFC West, and own perhaps as much confidence as any team in the AFC.
What changed? Trust be told, very little from a schematics standpoint. But that makes the job head coach Todd Haley has done in the last month that much more impressive.
It’s not like Matt Cassel’s arm has caught fire. It’s not like Dwayne Bowe has caught everything within KC city limits thrown his way. And come on, Jackie Battle is no Jamaal Charles.
The Chiefs have won games ugly. Still plenty of mistakes, still without a go-to offensive weapon. But nonetheless, the result of four straight games has been a ‘W’.
All the credit in the world needs to go to Haley. The guy has been criticized since he was hired in Kansas City. Whether it be his play-calling decisions, sideline antics, or coaching style as a whole, his critics live far and wide.
But one thing that’s remained the same in the KC locker room every week since that ugly 41-7 loss to Buffalo? Haley telling his team to keep believing, keep trusting him, and remain confident that Haley’s system will work out in the end.
If any Chief didn’t buy in to that, you can’t blame them. Arguably the best two players on the roster, Charles and Eric Berry, went down in the first two games to season-ending injuries. The Chiefs were getting absolutely embarrassed by opponents not believed capable of being on the winning end of a blowout.
Now, with Kansas City back to winning ways, it appears Haley’s men are what I just said they were — Haley’s men. They feed off his energy, they believe he knows how to make a banged-up roster into a winner, and they don’t question him or anyone else when things don’t go right.
With that kind of camaraderie, don’t count out the Chiefs in any game for the rest of this season. It is far to early to say KC is on its way to a second consecutive division title, but I won’t criticize anyone who picks the Chiefs in any game left on the schedule — including ones against New England, Pittsburgh and Green Bay.
We’ve seen crazier things happen in the NFL. The Chiefs getting to 4-3 is one of them.