Can Chiefs Win Without Wet ‘N Wild?

I hate to dampen the enthusiasm following the Chiefs' thrilling, wet ‘n wild, 21-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers, but now that the euphoria has passed it's time to ask the tough question:

What happens to the 2010 Chiefs when they aren't assisted by a torrential downpour, leveling the playing field against superior talent, and backed by a raucous, sold-out Monday Night Football crowd?

Some fans may not want to admit it, but the harsh truth is Arrowhead, combined with terrible weather, deserves far too much credit for Monday's victory. Certainly we can't give much credit to Matt Cassel (68 yards passing), Todd Haley (just 11 carries for Jamaal Charles, coach?) or a defense that surrendered 389 yards.

Yes, KC's defense stood tall with the game on the line. But we have to acknowledge the fact that Philip Rivers, rain and all, without the services of Marcus McNeill or Vincent Jackson, still threw for 298 yards. And this was with 17 passes falling incomplete. What happens if Rivers isn't tossing slick balls to damp hands all night? Does he break Warren Moon's 527-yard Arrowhead Stadium passing record?

There's no question the rain affected the Chargers' passing game. In addition to several drops, there's the matter of what transpired during dryer conditions. On San Diego's first and second possessions, before the heavens opened, the Chargers moved the ball with little resistance. When the rain subsided at the end of the game, Rivers easily moved his offense 61 yards, almost tying the game.

That's three possessions, 165 yards of offense and nearly six yards per play. Even scarier, the Chargers moved the ball on these three possessions almost entirely via Rivers' right arm. Kansas City's defense knew what was coming –Rivers, Rivers and more Rivers - and they couldn't stop it. When the weather permitted San Diego to execute their passing attack, the Chiefs were no match. Romeo Crennel might as well have been the love child of Gunther Cunningham and Clancy Pendergast. Eric Berry was a nobody.

Now throw in this – what happens if Chiefs fans don't force San Diego into one false start and three delay of game penalties? What if Rivers isn't forced to burn at least two timeouts because of crowd noise? It's worth noting that after every single pre-snap penalty, the Chargers gave the ball up – three times via punt, and once via turning the ball over on downs.

Without the wild Monday Night crowd, quickly KC's defense begins to look a whole lot less impressive.

And we haven't even considered the weather's impact on KC's scoring chances. Does Ryan Mathews' fumble, which led to an easy Kansas City touchdown, even occur if he's carrying a dry ball? Does Dexter McCluster's electrifying touchdown return take place if San Diego fullback Mike Tolbert isn't sliding all over the wet Arrowhead turf in a vain attempt to plant his right foot and square up for a tackle attempt?

Yes, McCluster can cut with the best of them, but Tolbert looked like he was sliding into home plate. On a dry field, maybe he trips up McCluster, or slows him down just enough to let someone else make the tackle.

Offense, defense, special teams – a wet ‘n wild Monday Night at Arrowhead assisted every facet of the 2010 Chiefs. We aren't likely to see such good fortune again this season. Certainly we're unlikely to see many more wins following 197 total yards of offense and one third-down conversion.

Considering we may see the Chiefs play in another wet affair Sunday at Cleveland (there's a 50 percent chance of rain), it may be difficult to get a definite grasp on this team for at least another week (and don't look now, but there's a chance of rain next Sunday against the 49ers). But who knows what happens outside Arrowhead Stadium? Put it this way – the Browns are not the Chargers, and if Wet and Wild Monday wasn't a fluke, the Chiefs will return from Cleveland 2-0.

But if the Browns win while Seneca Wallace (or Jake Delhomme, take your pick of lousy quarterbacks) and Jerome Harrison make it rain on KC's defense, the forecast for a successful 2010 season becomes cloudy.

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