The Chiefs won a statement game. We learned the Chiefs are for real. The Raiders still have some growing up to do. The Chiefs are 21-3 in their last season and a half of games. Alex Smith wasn’t a game manager, he was a play maker! Tyreek Hill is the NFL’s next star wide receiver… or maybe he isn’t. Because for that to be true, people would actually have to be pay attention and care.
The best way I can explain this: the Chiefs are the best team in the NFL, except for like… a couple others.
What the hell does that mean? It means overcoming over a decade of preconceived reputations of offensive conservatism, risk averse football, checkdowns, punting on 4th and 1 at the opponent’s 36 and a general aversion to throwing downfield is very very hard.
Chiefs fans want to focus on 21-3, three out of four winning seasons, the newfound aggression of Andy Reid’s playcalling and those throws Alex Smith made to Tyreek Hill and Chris Conley downfield. Everyone else is still focused on time management issues they’ve seen haunt Andy Reid for a decade and the game management check down frustration of Alex Smith.
Chiefs fans have the fact that THE NOW is on their side. The rest of the football world will remind you, “we’ve seen this before.”
And they don’t want to be fooled again.
How do we reconcile this? The Chiefs are one of the best special teams and defensive scoring teams in the NFL. They have the second best record in the NFL in the regular season the past two years. They are currently undefeated in the AFC West. What more do people want? Why can’t they just call the Chiefs great? Why can’t they acknowledge Marcus Peters is one of the best corners in the league and the pass rush is amazing and the Chiefs deserve credit for takeaways? Why can’t they appreciate Alex Smith’s game-winning drives this season? Why can’t they just appreciate the data?
Because people only care about the data that proves what they believe. This isn’t new, even though people act like this is the first time we’ve encountered fact-free debate and discourse. This is old hat in sports.
If you want to believe in the Chiefs you can. And there are lots of things to back up that belief. The problem you run into is the losing in the playoffs. No one remembers second place. And the Patriots are still good. The Steelers are still good. And you’re going to have to play those teams. Sure, the Chiefs beat the Broncos, but they didn’t beat they didn’t beat the Peyton Manning led Broncos… oh they did? Well you didn’t do it in the playoffs. And if you had? Was it in the AFC Title game? No. Not good enough. SLAM! BACK INTO YOUR HOLE KANSAS CITY! HERE’S 6 MONTHS OF JETS COVERAGE ON ESPN IN THE OFFSEASON TO TORTURE YOU LIKE THE WORTHLESS SPORTS SLAVES YOU ARE!
I shouldn’t have to explain this, but I will. Until Andy Reid and Alex Smith are standing on a stage in Houston at the end of the Super Bowl holding up the Lombardi Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP trophy respectively, no one outside of your circle of fans and friends here in the Fountain City will believe in you or even think to care about you.
It’s absolutely true that the Chiefs are disrespected nationally. Deal with it. It’s not changing. Doesn’t matter how many games they win.
It is remarkable the extent to which our eyes won’t let us believe in Alex Smith’s success as a quarterback. Even Chiefs fans feel this. But the flip side of that, is that you can force people to respect it. But the only way to do that? To paraphrase Jake Taylor from Major League, “win the whole damn thing.”
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