Kansas City Chiefs: London Baby!


Wow!! There are many challenges to being an English supporter of an NFL team. Staying up until silly o’clock to watch your side lose on the last play of the game because you’re star running back fumbled, having to explain the rules to anyone who asks you how the season is going and only being able to support your team through the confines of a screen. Well, on Sunday, I had my chance to break all of these.

Being a Chiefs fan in England is strange. No one even knows where Kansas/Missouri is on a map. Hell, I didn’t even know where it was until I was sucked in by highs of lows of following the franchise of Arrowhead. It took many years of endurance. Years and years of losing in the postseason was depressing, as I’m sure you can all relate. So, after many years of following Kansas City, I finally had an opportunity to do something that I’d never done before: Go to a Chiefs’ game, and it was bloody fantastic.

I was, like many, apprehensive to the idea of losing a home game. Fortunately, the Lions are terrible. The Chiefs were comfortable winners and never looked liked losing as soon as De’Anthony Thomas waltzed into the end zone for the first touchdown of the match. If the Chiefs had lost this game, many would have been highly critical of the decision to give up a more than winnable home matchup. Purely from a selfish perspective, I would have still defended the decision. Thankfully, that is a moot point after such a dominant display.

The atmosphere on the whole was electric. Although it certainly lacked the noise on 3rd down that Arrowhead would produce, there was a tangible excitement around the stadium. Many people there had no affiliation to the Chiefs or Lions (In fact, there were more Brady and Gronk shirts than all the others combined), but it was made to feel as if the Chiefs were at Arrowhead. Even the drum was shipped over, with the Nigerian Nightmare ordering proceedings. Enough however, on how my first Chiefs game was, here’s what I noticed live in the stadium.

The game, from a Chiefs perspective, was nothing short of wonderful. The defense looked back to its best and the offense was rolling. It went so well that even Andy Reid’s obsession with De’Anthony Thomas and gadget plays actually paid off on an excellently designed and executed play. Before blind optimism takes over, it should be noted that the Lions are truly woeful. They looked like what they are, the worst team in the NFL. Stafford was panicked at all times, their run game was non-existent after the first quarter and their defense was truly atrocious. Their defense was so bad it made the Chiefs’ offense look like one of the best in the NFL. That perhaps tells you all you need to know.

The most pleasing performances on offense certainly came across the offensive line. I wrote an article after the Bengals match a few weeks ago, asking the question: Is Eric Fisher Improving? Well, after his move back to left tackle, Fisher has looked much more composed. His pass protection is improving from game to game, but his run blocking is excellent. Charcandrick West’s touchdown is an ideal example of this, as No. 72 ploughs a huge hole for West to follow into the endzone.

Jeff Allen also did well at left guard in place of the injured Ben Grubbs, and Mitch Morse was particularly impressive again. He is really looking like a quality pick by John Dorsey. His blocking out in space is exceptional, his athleticism is excellent for an offensive linemen and he is not overcome by bull rushing interior defensive linemen.

I also paid close attention to the Chiefs’ tight ends. Travis Kelce did what Kelce does, and was Smith’s no 1 target on 3rd downs. Demetrius Harris had one terrible drop but looked good in run blocking and Brian Parker’s blocking was simply outstanding. I mentioned the execution of De’Anthony Thomas’ touchdown earlier on, and Parker, alongside Kelce, was at the center of it with a wonderfully executed block. He then matched this with another well executed block for Travis Kelce’s touchdown. Parker has been inactive all season and the Chiefs’ have missed a blocking tight end. Kelce’s big weakness is in the run game, and Harris has been inconsistent. 5th round rookie, James O’Shaugnessy cannot be relied upon as a solid blocker and Anthony Fasano, the Chiefs’ 2nd tight end last year was not re-signed in the summer. A solid, blocking tight end has been missing for the Chiefs’, and Parker’s return is a welcome sight.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first Chiefs’ game. The atmosphere was electric, the game was wonderful to watch live and obviously the result was ideal. Let me know how you found watching the Chiefs’ game in London. Are you still aggrieved at loosing a home game? Has blind optimism taken over yet, and were you as impressed with the mixed up offensive line of the Chiefs and Brian Parker at tight end? Let us know in the comments, and as always… GO CHIEFS!!!