Kansas City Chiefs fans are not satisfied with the 2022 season. Only a Super Bowl victory can satiate this ravenous fanbase.
The memory of a sports fan is so fleeting. That is why trophies and banners are forever. A Kansas City Chiefs fan can see the Lombardi Trophy and the Super Bowl champion flag at Arrowhead Stadium, remember that team, and be happy. Everything else had some sort of shortcoming or reason to make Chiefs fans disgusted about that season’s outcome. A team should have championship expectations each and every season; however, fans should not be concerned about the week-by-week process leading up to the championship.
The past three weeks have been a great example of how unsatisfied fans are, despite the team winning all three games. The Denver Broncos nearly stole a victory after the Chiefs got complacent in Denver. Quarterback Russell Wilson’s best game, amidst an awful season, came against the Chiefs. Rightfully, fans were frustrated about how the defense looked like Swiss cheese at times and the offense went cold. There were a lot of lessons for the team to take away from that game. But, at the end of the game, the Chiefs were winners. But if you only listened to the fans, they lost in Denver. Arrowhead Pride runs an insightful poll each week, asking fans if they think the Chiefs are “heading in the right direction.” After the Denver win, their poll reached its then-second-lowest level in the 2022 season.
Then, fast forward to Kansas City beating the Houston Texans in overtime. Read that again. They beat the Texans on their home field. Granted, that is not an impossible thing to do when the Texans are the league’s worst team. But they are still a professional football team, and who knows what happens on any given Sunday? It took referee influence and some dumb Houston luck for the Texans to compete against the Chiefs. Kansas City came out victorious. But again, fans’ confidence remained low, and Arrowhead Pride’s poll continued to decline.
My frustration came after the victory over the Seattle Seahawks, though. That win was more complete than the 24-10 score might indicate. Seattle’s lone touchdown came in garbage time, and the defense was finally hitting on all cylinders. The defense really showed out, with cornerback Trent McDuffie and defensive end George Karlaftis having great performances. Sure, Seattle rookie running back Kenneth Walker III gained more than 100 yards but failed to reach the end zone. But still, after that victory, you hear things like “the game was too boring” or “we still did not dominate enough.” Why can’t a win be enough? A team can have 17 iterations of Kansas City’s Week 14 game and be 17-0. Sometimes that is all a team needs, especially when pursuing the conference’s top seed and coveted bye in the playoffs.
The Chiefs are still keeping pace with the Buffalo Bills for the AFC’s best record. If the Chiefs win out and the Bills stumble against the Cincinnati Bengals or New England Patriots, then Kansas City gets that top playoff seed. They are doing everything they can right now, when it matters.
Am I saying the Chiefs are above reproach? No. The team should absolutely be taking lessons from these recent games and learning from them. That is what coaches are for, and that is what good players do as well. But fans do not have that pressure. The team is there for us all to enjoy, connect with, and watch. Fans and others can certainly critique the team’s performance post-game, but there needs to be a caveat: the Chiefs won. That is all that matters right now.
Kansas City was losing by multiple scores against the San Francisco 49ers in the 2019 Super Bowl. Hell, they were losing late. That season had multiple pitfalls leading to that point. Not every game was perfect, and the Chiefs needed historic comebacks to reach that point. But fans forgive and forget all that because of that Lombardi trophy.
All in all, just have a bit of faith and enjoy the ride. The Chiefs’ season is not good or bad until it is over. We are in the midst of another golden age of Chiefs football. Take it all in and stay out of the muck and mire just because that’s where you’re told to be. Trust me, if the Chiefs do not win the Super Bowl, we will all have plenty of time to talk about it later. Kansas City is rolling into the playoffs with a real shot at the AFC’s top playoff seed. Enjoy the winning ways while they are still here.