When the 2014 regular season started I predicted the Seattle Seahawks would run the table this season with a perfect 16-0 mark. Further I thought the Kansas City Chiefs would be 4-4 at the midway point of their season. Good news for the boys in red I was a bit off on my prognostication.
The Chiefs have won four straight games while the Seahawks head into Arrowhead winners of three contests in a row. Both teams offer similar defensive cache, solid running games and quarterbacks that take what opposing defenses give them.
However, the primary difference between these teams can’t be overlooked. The Seahawks have better overall athletes and playmakers. On the other side of this match up ledger, the Chiefs might be the better overall team.
Kansas City has taken an improbable path their 6-3 record. The Chiefs have won, despite a record setting number of injuries to their starters, because they’ve completely bought into Head Coach, Andy Reid’s play one game at a time mentality.
While fans like to look ahead at games down the road this Chiefs team is focused on a singular item each week – the next game on the schedule. In Seattle, based on their Super Bowl Championship a year ago, they didn’t quite follow the same path.
It was a given Seattle would return to the Post Season in 2014. However, they’ve not played anywhere near the level they did last year. Now that doesn’t mean this football team won’t come into Arrowhead and blank the Chiefs. Instead, it means the Seahawks, like every other member of the NFL fraternity; has flaws.
The Chiefs certainly have a plethora of them that can be seen in plain sight. Yet not many people expected after nine games they’d be sitting a single game behind the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. Nor did many fans in Seattle believe, at this juncture of the season, their beloved Seahawks would be two games behind the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West.
That’s why this game is so critical to both franchises. Though two or three more wins would easily seal a playoff spot for Seattle on the NFC side, the Chiefs must win at least four more games to gain entry into the AFC playoff dance.
When the schedule came out last spring this is one of those games I thought would be a certain loss for the Chiefs. However, that’s no longer the case. Granted they need to play a solid game on Sunday in some bitterly cold temperatures, its clear to me Kansas City has a golden opportunity to win this football game.
The bigger picture for the Chiefs is the fact they need to show the Broncos, and every other AFC team, they can continue to knock off another elite NFL team. Yes Kansas City thumped the New England Patriots at home in September and went on the road to defeat the likes of the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills but defeating Seattle is something altogether different.
Those signature wins are impressive marks by the Chiefs but defeating the defending champs in your building would send a clear message that this team belongs in the conversation as one of the best teams in football.
Last season the Chiefs folded down the stretch, but I argue adamantly, that won’t happen this year. Even though the 2014 version only has six wins, compared to the 2013 that had nine wins at this stage of the season, Reid has this year’s squad believing they can defeat any foe they face at home or on the road.
To their credit, the Chiefs have learned how to finish off opponents in a manner we’ve not seen in Kansas City for a very long time. The Seahawks can finish teams as well but they’ve had far too many nail biters that have resulted in both wins and losses that have fans wondering if this team is indeed still super.
To all those points, I’m probably accurate in saying this game is going to come down to that one player in the fourth quarter that can stand and deliver when his team needs it the most.
Let’s hope that one player is wearing a Chiefs uniform.