The changing face of the Kansas City Chiefs

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Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when Tamba Hali looked every bit of 31 years old? Somehow, over the past month, he’s caught a second wind. He had just one sack through the first six weeks of the season. Since then, he’s recorded 5.5 sacks. Hali’s been hell on wheels and is largely responsible for a Chiefs defense that has consistently applied pressure and taken the ball away since late October.

The Chiefs were flat through the first twenty minutes of the contest. There was no sense of urgency, by anyone on the football field, a third of the way into the most important game of the season. Then, inexplicably, the team flashed a brand of mental toughness the Kingdom hasn’t seen from them in well over a decade. Kansas City was primed for another loss. The kind the franchise has seen far too often over the years. It was the ultimate gut check for a team that had strung four straight wins together coming into the week. Fortunately, with playoff aspirations on the line, they rose to the challenge.

If I’m being honest, mental toughness and attitude have been calling cards of the Chiefs the past five weeks. How else do you overcome key injuries to players like Jamaal Charles? Sure, West and Ware are talented, but they’ve also been supremely confident that they could shoulder the offensive load in his absence. West has chewed up chunks of yardage in the open field. Ware has run with reckless abandon and given the Chiefs an intimidating ground game.

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