How the Kansas City Chiefs got their swagger back – Kansas City Chiefs Blog

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The second that saved the Kansas City Chiefs‘ season occurred at the very unlikely of instances. The surprised Chiefs sat at their lockers in Nashville, Tennessee, throughout halftime of their Week 7 sport towards the Tennessee Titans down 27-0.

The Chiefs — with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and security Tyrann Mathieu main the means, the workforce that had performed in the two most up-to-date Super Bowl video games, successful one — have been watching sure defeat and an un-Chiefs-like 3-4 file.

And they did not roar back to win that day. In reality, issues barely got higher in the second half. They wound up dropping 27-3.

But they did come to an epiphany that helped them discover their appreciable swagger.

“We realized nobody was coming to save us,” Mathieu mentioned. “We had to figure it out ourselves.”

It hasn’t all the time been fairly, however the Chiefs appear to have figured it out. Their protection, a pushover for opposing offenses via the first half of the Titans sport, responded with a greater effort than the Chiefs dared to hope. The Chiefs are permitting 11 factors per sport in the six video games since.

The offense had two video games of 40-plus factors in two video games towards the Las Vegas Raiders. Otherwise it hasn’t resembled the powerhouse group it was the previous three seasons with Mahomes at quarterback, however it has been a lot adequate for them to win six straight video games, the final 4 by double digits.

Their string of seasons with a successful streak of at the very least 5 video games, one which dates back to Andy Reid’s arrival as head coach in 2013, was prolonged to 9, this in a season the place all regarded misplaced.

“I’m proud of the guys for doing that,” Reid mentioned. “Listen, it’s not one guy. It’s a combination of people, the coaches, the players. I mean, it’s everybody. It’s pulling together and not giving up on each other.”

More importantly, the 9-4 Chiefs can successfully — although not mathematically — win their sixth straight AFC West championship by beating the 8-5 Chargers in Los Angeles on Thursday evening (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox). A win would put the Chiefs two video games forward of their closest opponents with three common-season video games to play.

“They’ve had to work for this and I think when you really have to work for something and bear down I think you enjoy it a little more,” Reid mentioned. “You’re not resting on what happened before but you’ve earned this right here with the knots in the stomach and the ups and downs.”

The Chiefs, Mahomes and tight finish Travis Kelce specifically, talked after a Week 10 win over the Raiders about the workforce having its “swagger back.” But it is a decidedly totally different type of swagger for the Chiefs.

Their video games are now not first-workforce-to-40-factors-wins, up-and-down-the-field affairs that come right down to the final possession. Mahomes had some nice moments this season, like a 400-yard, 5-landing sport towards the Raiders final month. But he is additionally had — in keeping with his QBR — eight of the 10 worst video games of his professional profession. He and his offensive teammates needed to study to dwell with a brand new offensive actuality. The Chiefs could be profitable however that success will not essentially seem like it did in their current previous.

So their video games are extra methodical and much much less of a present. That system is working for the Chiefs simply the similar.

“We’re trying to be our own version of the Kansas City Chiefs,” Mahomes mentioned.

“Every team is different. Every season is different. We faced a lot of adversity early in the year, which people hadn’t seen. People kind of threw us down and kind of acted like we were done. But you’re seeing now that we have the guys to get it done.”

The current play of the protection is just like that of the Chiefs’ protection down the stretch of their Super Bowl successful season in 2019. The Chiefs led the NFL in scoring protection that 12 months over the remaining six common-season video games.

“We’re getting some confidence,” Mathieu mentioned. “I think we’re playing with some real good energy. We’re still in it. We’re still about head-down, putting in the work and then letting the results take care of themselves. We’re still in the chasing improvement mindset. I don’t think any of us feel like we’ve done enough to win a championship yet. There’s a lot more work to be done.”

Mathieu’s earlier level throughout the loss to Tennessee about realizing no one would come to avoid wasting the Chiefs did not grow to be fully true. Every week later, at the commerce deadline in early November, the Chiefs despatched a draft choose to the Pittsburgh Steelers for veteran defensive finish Melvin Ingram.

Ingram has been a spark for a go rush that had its finest three video games of the season in the previous three, in keeping with ESPN’s go rush win fee. He has only one sack however is taking part in with an power the Chiefs lacked for a lot of the early season.

“He’s playing angry,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo mentioned. “He’s got everybody else being angry, too. He’s had a couple of plays … where he just knocks people around. I think that’s contagious and that helps us.”

The addition of Ingram offers the Chiefs the means to hurry the opposing quarterback with 4 gamers who at one time or one other in their careers had at the very least 10 sacks in a season. Nothing has improved for the Chiefs over their successful streak like their go rush.

Collectively, the Chiefs are once more the AFC betting favorites to succeed in the Super Bowl at +260. They have been removed from the favorites at +650 on Nov. 2.

“We kind of went back these last few weeks and [said], ‘Let’s just take it day by day. Let’s not worry about the Super Bowl right now. Let’s figure out how we can make ourselves better as a team each and every day,'” Mahomes mentioned.

“With the defense playing the way they’re playing, if the offense can get rolling like we’ve been known to do, we’ll be a tough team to beat. I’m just excited to continue to build this momentum and try to keep it rolling.”

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