What Didn’t Kill The Chiefs Has Made Them Stronger

SmokeSignals1

The sting has worn off but the sour taste is still there.

I don’t want to use this space to wallow in the painful recent past, but before we move on to discussions of draft picks and contract extensions I will say this about the Chiefs’ 2013 season and its crushing end.

It was an unbelievable ride, one that Chiefs fans were starved for. What brought it to an end was a different kind of unbelievable, the kind that it really sucks to be on the wrong side of. Still, this was a great season, one of hope, progress and success. In the end, everything that fell short will benefit the team in 2014.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, the Chiefs failed to topple the Denver Broncos at the top of the AFC West. The Chiefs will have a more winnable 2014 schedule because of it.

No, the Chiefs weren’t able to go deeper into the playoffs, but this probably wasn’t their Super Bowl year anyway. The team will have a higher draft pick because of it. They will be a few steps closer to grabbing the next great Kansas City wide receiver. The next great shutdown safety.

The Chiefs blasted bad teams and struggled against good teams. Although KC was 11-0 against mediocre QB’s, the team was 0-6 against Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck. Considering four of those games are going to be replayed in 2014, do you think this defense is going to be studying anything else this offseason? Along with Manning and Rivers, the Chiefs will face Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick next year.

There’s an argument that the Chiefs should be worried by that lineup. I look at the other side of it. KC was 11-0 against everyone else. The team now knows what it’s got to do to beat the rest. That will mean personnel changes, scheme changes and mentality changes. That will mean learning not to count the opponent out until we’re up by 58 and with 00:01 to go.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As rough as that Achilles’ heel has been, I’m encouraged that the team can go into the next eight months of preparation with the burning knowledge that it is the one thing holding them back. That’s called focus, something this team has sorely lacked in recent years.

It’s all hands on deck for us too.

I’ve read a lot of “done with this team” and “can’t take it anymore” in the comments section of this site this week. That loss wounded us all, and a lot of words were written in haste and in hurt. For those that are left, we have to know that we are the wheat not the chaff and we are the force that took this team from half-empty stands to record breaking roars. We all had a part in Arrowhead being reborn this year, and Arrowhead will need us next year just as much.

Show me a more resilient fan base. Go ahead, try.

We have eight more home games to conquer and eight more away games to spoil.

See you there.

Topics: Adversity, Heart, Kansas City Chiefs, Loss, Poise

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  • Stacy D. Smith

    Til’ the wheels fall off! I said some crazy things after the loss, but I never spoke an ill word against the team. I just said the game was fixed. Hahaha.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      It truly was the act of some voodoo God. I don’t know which deity the Chiefs pissed off, but it was no joke.

      • Blake Molina

        “Voodoo is the one thing you should be afraid of. Never go to Haiti, that s*it will mess you up.”

      • sidibeke

        We’d better find out so we can sacrifice the correct domesticated animal, for the love of some higher power.

    • sidibeke

      But they covered the spread if you got in on the money early. :)

  • tommyhawk

    Been a dedicated Chiefs fan since something like 1966 and like many of you have experienced incredible disappointment over the years; the Longest Game, Lin Elliot, the No Punt Game and …… Saturdays loss was bone crushing!!! But I will never abandon the boys in Red – Let’s get to Work!!!!!

    • Deadmeat

      I am wearing my chiefs jersey at work right now. Good or bad, will always be a fan.

    • Bosco Cletus

      Hey I actually have an old license plate frame with your wolfpack avatar on it, don’t know how old it is, but its really cool.

      • tommyhawk

        Sell it?

        • Bosco Cletus

          haha, nice try but my father gave it to me, found it in a junk store I believe.

          • tommyhawk

            Dang!!

  • tm1946

    To bad you guys and gals cannot play the game, we would have a much friendlier cap number. Just bet you would all take a cash hit for the old red and gold.

    Seriously, this next season should be a lot tougher row to hoe. Dorsey and Reid have a lot of decisions but, historically, when a team makes such a huge jump, it falls to earth a bit the next year.

    Real only issue is most teams have a window for success, we may have blow up this one. Injury is a bite in the rear, do the players come back as before, Charles did. Age becomes a factor, especially in free agents, sort of rent-a-player, Dunta was. No, the stars were aligned and we tasted success and it disappeared just as fast.

  • CHIEFFANINAZ

    This loss crushed me like no other , but I take PRIDE in pulling on my Chiefs hoody everyday and heading to work , especially knowing the crap I’m going to take from all the Charger fans that live here in southwest Arizona. I’ll NEVER abandon the Chiefs.

  • Blake Molina

    Oh goodness I cannot wait to thump Big Ben next season. I want Poe to bear down on him and annihilate him. To me, these marquee opponents means national primetime coverage. How can they not do a Monday Night Football game against San Francisco, I mean ESPN could drum up quite the storyline with that one.

    • http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/community/profile/index.jsp?ipid=14872822'defer='defer' defer='defer upperturion

      The Steeler gm is in Pittsburgh … and you can best bet Big Ben & Co won’t be rolling over…

  • Andy

    “The team now knows what it’s got to do to beat the rest.” Does it now, really? I am going to to give the leadership the time it deserves to fix things. But I have been a Chiefs fan for a long, long time, and have been through some of the worst times. This team reminds me of the Vemeil years. We had an offensive minded coach who left the defense up to the DC. Those defenses were the worst, but NEVER got better. Which brings me to my concern. Do you mean to tell me we have personnel on this defense that are 45 points bad? How about 36 points bad in one half.? We have 5 pro bowlers, 5!! This is a DC issue…period. Is Flowers playing the slot really the best place for him? Should Berry line up as the 5th LB? Is this TD a personnel problem or a scheme problem? http://fansided.com/2014/01/04/luck-64-yard-game-winning-td-pass-hilton-gif/ Keep in mind that Hilton burned us the whole game. In my mind, Sutton has one more year. I am being rather nice here. Once Denver sliced us up, the league copied and Sutton seemed to make no adjustments, nor does he seem to make adjustments during the game.

    • Deadmeat

      I hope if our defense sucks, they move on from Sutton in the middle of the year. I personally think it’s the players, not the scheme. Lewis and Robinson got burned and was out of position on many plays. All of our probowlers was up front. Who is deep, that was a probowler?

    • TAZMOSIS

      Andy had ten weeks to look at his defense and see that players were sometimes playing out of position. If in that time it isn’t fixed, then that is not the player, it’s the DC. Against the Colts, how does Hilton torch you for 240 yds. Andy better be right about Sutton, or he will think that his last year in Philly dealing with their fans was a walk in the park.

      • redchiefs

        What adjustments do you think the DC can make with the players in place? Would you go back to the zone scheme of last year? The results might have been even worse asking the current players to play zones as opposed to telling them to play the man in front of them. Robinson and Kendrick Lewis were playing zones most of the time last year and we all saw how that went, even during that colts game.

        • Andy

          (When you are ahead by 28 points) You as a DC, look your DBs in the eyes and say “Don’t let anyone get behind you?” How about as a DC, you take away the ONE player who can beat you? I get cold sweats thinking about our two DBs running two yards behind Hilton.

    • toperspective

      This team gave up 63 passes of at least 20 yds. I don’t know if it’s DC or personnel but it’s clear there is a major problem. They lost to every good QB they played. Next year the schedule isn’t as favorable and they’ll have to play more quality QB’s.

      • http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/community/profile/index.jsp?ipid=14872822'defer='defer' defer='defer upperturion

        Unlike the koolaid drinkers here, at least you aren’t in denial! Poor coaching against superior teams cost us dearly. We’ll see what the problem is soon enough, that’s for sure…

        • toperspective

          It’s a huge issue but the problem is I’m not plugged in enough to know whether it’s personnel or coaching. My guess is both. I have never seen receivers so wide open in my life. It’s not an easy fix and I doubt it can be done in one off season.

    • redchiefs

      Do you let Peyton Manning carve us up with his outside receivers or with Welker in the slot? Moving Flowers inside to guard the shorter Welker and other slot guys is smart, Flowers is that good. So the issue, because of the scheme became the rookie and Shaun Smith at the corners. I believe Smith was out of position some of those times and his block tackles instead of wrapping up the receiver is one big issue, our rookie will be a 2nd year player next year and they have the option of drafting or signing other corners. EB is still a great strong safety, and the other safeties are suspect at championship caliber play. The Scheme Sutton runs requires man to man, players who can win their battles. Now, I don’t know if another offseason of coaching can fix any of the back side of the defensive gaffs of if better players are the answer. I do believe John Dorsey will find new personnel who will immediately challenge the current starters if not be totally an upgrade. GO CHIEFS!!

  • oldchiefsfan

    I have been a Chiefs fans for 4 and a half decades. Not about to stop now. I have never been a bandwagon fan. As a matter of fact I have had to get off and push the bandwagon many times.

    • KCMikeG

      Amen brother! Class of ’69 still love and believe in our Chiefs. A lot less pushing ahead for us.

  • nicko333

    I felt more positive after this playoff loss than any other I’ve seen in the past 20 years. The nucleus has been established.

    • KCMikeG

      Thought I was alone in that thinking. We have crippled ourselves in past games lost. I will never recover from the ’95 playoff loss to the Colts. Enough of that.
      This year was an epic battle between to future playoff contenders. We struck first and they struck last and when the chips finally fell they had one single point than we. The Colts are no better than we are as we dominated them getting them down by 28 points and then we “imploded” allowing them to come back. It was a story of two halves between two former 1st round QB’s and ours played better. I know some discount injuries but as well as Davis played no one will ever convince me that Charles wouldn’t have made the difference. This season many of the missing blocks were set and the foundation is ready for the dawn of a dynasty.

      • sidibeke

        I hope so, and rationally agree with you. It is hard to not feel “cursed” though. Man. Two decades. Four losses to Indy. A 28 point lead. It all seems so improbable. But yes, losing 34%+ of our offense on the first drive yet still putting 44 on the board isn’t bad.

        I also wonder about how we use our starters. I’ve seen a stat where QBs who throw more than a certain # of passes in the regular season don’t do well in the playoffs. I wonder if Poe and some of our other key D players (e.g., D.J.) didn’t tire from all of the snaps they played. Our backups seem capable if the game against SD is any measure. We should try to spell our starters more if we can, I think.

        • KCMikeG

          Excellent point that has been overlooked by many. With a pass focused offense the faster we score the more the defense is on the field leading to their being worn out and more likely to make a mistake or be a step slow. I agree about our depth players, which will only improve with Dorsey on the job, getting more rotations.

      • NicholasAlanClayton

        On the injuries, I wanted to make one point that I forgot to in the post. While the team overall kept humming despite our huge casualty rate, there was one moment where you could undoubtedly see the difference and it was what lost us the game. In that late game deep pass to RB Cyrus Gray where he was wide open running a go route down the right sideline, Alex Smith overthrew him by just a couple of feet. After the game, Smith admitted that he missed it largely because he never throws to Gray in practice, he’s always on the scout team. That was it. Both Charles and Davis are a step or two faster than Gray. If either of them were in there for that play it is touchdown, hands down. But, not only did Charles go down, but his backup too. Meaning that the RB in the play was a guy Smith hadn’t tossed to since preseason most likely, maybe not even then. One or two steps faster on that play and we win the game … Try not to let that torture you for the rest of the week.

    • redchiefs

      It was a GOOD GAME. I hated the ending, but it was exactly what to expect from a playoff caliber team. Luck and the Colts get credit for the win, but in the end the Chiefs almost pulled out a win in enemy territory.

      • KCMikeG

        I feel the same about this game as I do the1990 game when DT set the NFL record 7 sacks game they lost against Seattle on a Hail Mary on the last play of the game when Kreig slipped what would have been DT’s 8th sack. Highest Highs and Lowest Lows.

  • Tristian Shelley

    I agree with you to as a fan have some resiliency but as a niner fan first the only disappointment that comes close is the 9 years from 03-11 of no playoffs. So I can understand Chiefs fans perspective especially given how many heartbreaking losses there have been. I work with a die hard chiefs fan from KC and when I walked in Wednesday at 3 pm he told he had finally finished crying before I walked in (sarcastic). So its tough but im under the mindset of a coach and QB that bring a winning attitude first and as Reid mentioned in his last presser it starts all the way at the top and continues throughout the organization of the type of people you hire. Winning attitude in the building all the way around. I think the best thing about a tough season is it prepares you for the postseason. The chiefs may lose more games but be a better team anyways. On D id focus on not so many big plays and better 3rd down and red zone D. How about a better home record too? I expect great things at 1 arrowhead dr next year

    • sidibeke

      I watched the game at a bar. Ended up sitting next to a really nice Steelers fan who was just a fan of football. It was lame, but after Bowe was called out of bounds, all I could do was stand up and say, “I gotta go.”

  • Bosco Cletus

    Anyone besides me not even care who wins this weekend? I really don’t even plan to watch any of the games, I’ll probably watch the conference championship games next weekend and the super bowl, but nothing this weekend. People that really know me, and what kind of fan I am wont even ask me what I thought of the Chiefs playoff game. There’s nothing to say, they blew it, just like they always do.

  • redchiefs

    I’ll tell you another thing that’s encouraging it that both Andy Reid and John Dorsey know Championship Teams, they know the type of players and game plans needed to win. The Chiefs did an awesome job with the team they had in place. Consider that they had to evaluate the talent here, sign some additions, draft, then sign some college free agents within a 3 month window so they’d have time to get ready for the off season and you have to be very encouraged by the amount of success this past year. Now a year of familiarity is in place and I think the future should be extremely bright in KC.

  • Bosco Cletus
    • Bosco Cletus

      This helps take the sting off. :) Go Chiefs!!!

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