Chiefs magic continues in Cinderella season

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Dec 27, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs fans cheer against the Cleveland Browns in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-13. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have defied the odds that Vegas and just about every human being set against them by making the playoffs after starting the season 1-5.

Maybe a few of you reading were the slim percentage of people who never stopped believing despite that horrendous start. I would applaud you all as being glass half-full people.

Many others prophesied the doom and gloom ahead and what players they might be able to get with a top-10 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Yet, this Chiefs team has shown more heart than any in recent memory and clawed its way into the postseason.

It’s remarkable how large the turnaround has been from the first six weeks to the last nine weeks. This was a defense that allowed 125 points in its first four games and found a way to hold opponents to an average of 13.2 points a game since Week 5.

It takes mental toughness that few teams carry to put their head down and grind nine straight victories after a 1-5 start. It’s unheard of, in fact. The Chiefs are the second team since the AFL-NFL merger to start 1-5 and make the playoffs. The first occurrence dates back to the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals.

Kansas City has a special roster. A roster that’s youthful (sixth-youngest roster) but sprinkled with veteran leadership. It is a courageous roster. One player faced cancer and beat it, and then had a Pro Bowl season. It is a roster that has the next man up mentality, leading to unheralded players rising up when a key player goes down.

There have been no excuses for this Chiefs team. They have faced lots of challenges and owned all their mistakes. Yet, despite all these adversities they have responded masterfully and have a chance to match the success of their neighbors at Kauffman Stadium.

There are still a few more things on the agenda for Kansas City to make better of what’s already been a magical ride.

Next: Time to focus on these areas...