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.
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.
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.