Turning points for any young ascending team can come in the smallest or biggest games of the year. A big play on offense, a defensive stop or a special teams touchdown, can alter a season.
The Kansas City Chiefs are in need of that defining regular season moment Monday Night. It nearly came two weeks ago when they had a chance to defeat the Denver Broncos on the road but ultimately they fell short in their quest for the upset.
However, the Chiefs get a second chance Monday night when the New England Patriots come to town to do something special. Though the AFC East team isn’t quite the juggernaut they once were in the NFL, they certainly have enough cache to defeat the Chiefs by double digits.
On the flip side, Kansas City has a better overall team than New England and that has to account for something. Still, under Head Coach Andy Reid, the boys in red are fighting through a season in which they’ve been devastated with injuries that’s put a damper on their quest for a post-season birth.
Still they find themselves in a position, with a win Monday night, to even out their regular season record at 2-2. It would be a magnificent accomplishment considering they lost back-to-back games to open the regular season.
Heading into this game the Chiefs certainly understand that a loss would put them in a deep hole in the AFC West. The Broncos were off on Sunday but the San Diego Chargers moved atop the division with a 3-1 record after blasting the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday.
Kansas City is about to begin the toughest three game stretch of their season. Beginning with the Patriots game Monday evening, the Chiefs must travel to face the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday and the aforementioned Chargers in two weeks.
Andy Reid has done a terrific job of sliding around the injuries and keeping his troops motivated. Since that awful performance against the Tennessee Titans, they’ve responded by playing some of their best football the last two weeks.
In fact, one could argue over those two games they represent the Chiefs best back-to-back weeks under Reid. Sure they went 9-0 a year ago but let’s be honest, they held on for dear life in most of those contests and could have easily lost four of those games had they played against better quarterbacks.
That won’t be the case Monday evening. Tom Brady is still an elite quarterback with a golden arm that has the propensity for turning certain defeat into victory. Though the Chiefs have had some nice moments against the future hall of fame quarterback, he’s generally had KC’s number during his tenure in the NFL.
In this game though, the Chiefs will likely see the return of All World Running Back, Jamaal Charles. Considering he’s been limited to a few carries this season, it’s quite astonishing the Chiefs find themselves in a position where they’re favored to win this football game.
The Chiefs understand what’s at stake in this game. It will be their first home Monday Night game in four seasons. That means they’ll be under the microscope by the fans and those watching around the country.
This game, despite their injuries, represents an opportunity to showcase their talents on both sides of the ball and on the sidelines. In regards to intensity, the Chiefs are in the spotlight that matches that of their playoff bound neighbors, the Kansas City Royals.
In fact with the Monday night game against the Patriots followed by the Royals, winner take all Wild Card game against the Oakland A’s on Tuesday evening, this city has the opportunity to explode with euphoria.
To get that ball rolling, the Chiefs need to seize the moment and begin the two-day sports extravaganza by defeating the New England Patriots with conviction.
Can they do just that?
In a few hours, we’re about to find out.
Photos: Tom Brady (Brace Hemmeilgarn USA Today Sports Images) & Knile Davis/Alex Smith (Brad Barr USA Today Sports Images).
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