Nowadays the 3-0 Chiefs aren't just looking to add to their winning streak, but hoping to get revenge against these four pestering opponents. Just take a look at the past results against these four teams since 2007.
Last met on 11/18/07; Kansas City lost 13-10.
Last met on 9/9/07; Kansas City lost 20-3.
Last met on 11/8/09; Kansas City lost 24-21.
Previously met on 10/7/07; Kansas City lost 17-7.
Last met on 12/13/09; Kansas City lost 16-10.
Previously met on 11/23/08; Kansas City lost 54 -31.
It took quite a while to notice how big this monkey is that the Chiefs have on their back. It's a mutant combination of three AFC South teams and an old-time rival from upstate New York. Buried deep in the Chiefs' 13-38 record since the beginning of the 2007 season are these losses. These six total losses aren't as memorable as the other 32, but they still sting just as badly. They very well could have attributed most to the downfall of the Chiefs in latter part of the previous decade.
The RCA Dome was a house of horror for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs play the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday, a team they've famously struggled against. Since 1999, when Peyton Manning entered the NFL as the Colts' starting quarterback, the Chiefs have won only one of their six games against Indianapolis.
There's a simple "A + B = C" formula when it comes to stopping Manning, but the Chiefs have struggled mightily in grasping such a notion. The only way you can defeat Manning is to keep him off the field, be it by picking him off or letting your own offense out duel the future Hall of Famer.
Today, they have the perfect mentors in Romeo Crennel on defense to teach them just how to learn the simplicities of stopping the reigning league MVP, and the team's offense under Charlie Weis has the potential to out-gun Manning before the clock ticks down. After all, it was Crennel and Weis who became famous at declawing Manning while the two were coaches with the New England Patriots, making sure the whole football world knew how to do it.
The environment entering this game is just the same as it was in 2007 when the Chiefs last played the Colts. As they were three years ago, the Chiefs are traveling to Indianapolis to play the defending AFC Champions. Despite the optimism flowing in Chiefs Nation so far after their hot winning streak, there's still plenty of the usual nail biting once the name "Peyton Manning" is uttered close by in local Kansas City hotspots.
Although the overall storyline is quite similar heading into Sunday's game, the meat of the plot is a lot juicier. Things are much different than they were in 2007 when the Colts defeated the Chiefs 13-10. Back then, this franchise was embarking on its epic downfall under Herm Edwards while the Colts were once again cruising towards the postseason. After losing to Indianapolis, the Chiefs would drop their last six games and finish at 4-12. In 2007, the Chiefs didn't know what it felt like to enter a game 3-0.
Last time the Chiefs were competitive against the Colts, Croyle was the starter.
Brodie Croyle kept the team competitive in his first start, but a 24-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri in the final seconds sent the Chiefs packing. Obviously, the Chiefs' offense wasn't nearly as powerful back then as it has been so far in 2010. Speedsters Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster – the Chiefs' prized scorers so far in 2010 – were still in college. In fact, the game was the final outing for Priest Holmes, who would announce his retirement later in the week after suffering another neck injury, and Trent Green was nowhere to be seen.
Looking back on this game, I'll declare it to have been the game where the Chiefs' high-powered offense from the early part of the decade officially died. Actually, let me rephrase that: it could very well have been the last nail in the entire Chiefs' coffin in the last part of the decade.
While some players like Croyle, Dwayne Bowe and Brian Waters have stuck around on the starting lineup, the Chiefs' offense is completely different heading into this game. There's a newfound hope that they can score when it counts and in spectacular fashion.
While that game in 2007 may very well have been our last glimpse at a Chiefs team struggling mightily to rebuild, this game on Sunday is our glimpse at a phoenix rising from its flames. Win or lose, the Chiefs aren't going down without a fight.
Part II: Thursday