Chiefs must beat best to be best

Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) looks on during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) looks on during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Sunday’s Divisional round playoff matchup is an opportunity for the Chiefs to beat one of the NFL’s best in the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Everyone knows that sports organizations want to win, but there are few out there that consistently do it. Being a part of the championship conversation year-in-and-year-out is what drives most athletes. It involves just a handful of elite teams and not many are able to be a part of the group.

The Kansas City Chiefs desperately want to be a part of that group of “elite.”

They’re close, but they’re not quite there yet. With all of its ups and downs as a franchise, the Chiefs own a 9-16 record in the playoffs. All you have to do is look at who the Chiefs are playing Sunday to see what franchise greatness looks like; the Pittsburgh Steelers are 35-23 in postseason play and are the owners of six NFL championships.

The Chiefs can begin to rewrite their narrative as postseason blunders this Sunday at home against the Steelers. Now that the game is in primetime due to armageddon in Kansas City, the Chiefs can really shift the national opinion of their organization with a win. As the saying goes, you have to beat the best to be the best, right?

When asked about what makes his job fun this time of year at his press conference, Andy Reid said that the “competitiveness” is what drives him. “The opportunity to play against the best,” Reid said. “You love that. That’s why you do this. It’s an opportunity to play the best. … Now you’re here and you get to work a little bit harder and go up against these great teams.”

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

While Kansas City owns the No. 2 seed and Pittsburgh the No. 3, most would say this game is a toss-up. Different arguments could be made for either team, but it should be a heavy-hitting matchup that pits two of the top teams in the league against each other.

If you look a bit deeper at the Chiefs playoff history in the Divisional round, Kansas City is just 2-7. The team’s most recent second-round game came last year, a 27-20 loss to the New England Patriots (another organization whose success the Chiefs strive for). Of course, the Chiefs want to be their own organization. But you can’t argue about the successes that these organizations have had.

The Chiefs haven’t won a divisional round game since 1993 when they beat the Houston Oilers on the road. Since then, the team has suffered losses to the Indianapolis Colts (twice), Denver Broncos and Patriots. These three organizations are some of the best in the league, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Chiefs have fallen to them four times in the past 21 years.

Like I previously said, though, a win Sunday against Pittsburgh would go a long way in improving the morale of the organization. It would be one step closer to getting over that “hump,” as some say.

Related Story: Seth Keysor previews Sunday's game on Locked on Chiefs

Many Chiefs fans are already feeling anxious and nervous for this weekend’s game, which kicks off at 12:05 p.m. I don’t blame you for feeling that way, especially after the Week 4 assault the Steelers put on the Chiefs.

But, I urge you to turn that anxiousness into excitement. This is an opportunity not many teams or fans get to experience.

One of the greatest organizations in football history is coming to our fortress, Arrowhead Stadium. The loudest football stadium in the world (sorry, Seattle) will be rocking all day long.

For many Chiefs fans, they’ve never seen a conference championship game. The last time Kansas City made it that far in the postseason was 24 years ago. Fans have been through their fair share of ups and downs. We all saw what a Royals parade was like, but can you imagine a Chiefs parade in Kansas City.

That journey to Super Bowl 51 begins Sunday. If the Chiefs can pull it out against the Steelers, it’s just one step in the process of becoming a championship organization we’re all desiring. The Patriots would likely be looming next Sunday. To be the best, you must beat the best.

As always, thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page to keep up with all the latest Chiefs news and discussions.