Arrowhead Stadium: The Fortress
By Tom Childs
Arrowhead Stadium is a fortress once again. In the last 12 months the Chiefs are 8-0 at Arrowhead and 9-0 at home if you include Wembley Stadium (Arrowhead East) to us Brits.
In that time the Chiefs have outscored opponents by 103 and have allowed just 129 points against. That’s a very impressive figure of just 14.3 points per game.
The opponents in the nine-game streak? The Steelers (without Big Ben), Lions (in London), Bills, Browns, Raiders, Saints, Jets and Chargers twice. Hardly the most grueling list of opponents I know but you can beat what is in front of you.
In the 27-21 win against the New Orleans Saints, the Arrowhead faithful contributed to four false starts and a delay of game penalty from the Saints offense, totaling 25 yards of offense lost for Drew Brees & Co. See it as an extra two three-and-outs purely from the Arrowhead crowd’s noise.
Since Reid’s arrival in Kansas City the Chiefs are 19-7 at home. In the THREE years before their arrival the Chiefs were 11-13 in KC. You could have made an argument that Arrowhead had lost its touch, therefore teams were no longer scared of the hostile atmosphere it had been so famous for in the 90s and early 00s.
Or you could point out the really bad teams and coaches the Chiefs had at that time. None the less when this team is playing well, the Arrowhead noise elevate this team to another level. A level that makes Arrowhead a near impossible environment for opposing to teams to excel in.
One night when Arrowhead proved too much for the opposing team was when the Chiefs ‘entertained’ the Patriots on MNF. That night was famous for two reasons. The benching of Tom Brady and of course the record setting crowd noise of 142.2 decibels. This remains the single greatest performance under Reid’s tenure. Crowd noise certainly played it’s part then.
The real tests will come later in the season when the other AFC contenders roll into town for the run in, and better yet the playoffs. During Reid’s first three years in charge in Kansas City he is yet to beat the Broncos in Arrowhead, losing the first two contests emphatically before the heartbreaker on ‘Red Thursday’ last year. If the Chiefs want to be considered contenders in 2016 then a win against Denver in Kansas City is an absolute must.
Going forward the rest of the 2016 schedule looks favorable with home games to come against the Jaguars, Titans, Raiders, Broncos and Buccaneers. Therefore the AFC West has to be the immediate goal. The Chiefs ambitions should not end there though.
This team needs to be eyeing up the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the AFC. If the Chiefs want to make a Super Bowl run then they have to be playing football at Arrowhead in January. Then it is up to you Chiefs Kingdom to step up and be loud and proud!