On January 16th, 1993, I sat in my mother’s living room watching the Kansas City Chiefs, led by Joe Montana, Marcus Allen and the late Derrick Thomas, take on the high flying Houston Oilers led by the highly talented, Warren Moon.
Just one week earlier I sat in the end zone and watched the Chiefs complete an improbable comeback over the Pittsburgh Steelers to win their AFC Wild Card game in overtime at Arrowhead stadium.
That game was the loudest I ever heard Arrowhead roar.
To be honest, I was satisfied enough that I had no expectations heading into Houston. After all the Oilers, were the best team in the AFC next to the Buffalo Bills and not one prognosticator predicted the Chiefs would upset the Oilers.
Well as you all know, they did just that 28-20. Montana set the tone after the Oilers jumped out to an early lead. Once the Chiefs climbed atop the scoreboard, Thomas and Allen sealed the victory and Kansas City was suddenly one game away from the Super Bowl.
Fast forward to 2015/16 and the Chiefs are heading back to Houston riding a 10-game winning streak knowing they are three wins away from their second Super Bowl win in franchise history. The Texans however, probably the team I fear the most remaining in the AFC playoffs, are much like the Chiefs.
They play solid defense, don’t turn the ball over much and have just enough offense to score more points than they give up. However, they’ve played some pretty bad teams in their resurgence after a 2-5 start. Yet the same can be said for the Chiefs in that department. Further, and probably the biggest reason I have some doubts about Kansas City winning this game, the Texans have never lost a home playoff game.
There is something to be said for that.
The Chiefs turnaround from 1-5 certainly is the NFL’s biggest story this season. In 1970, the Cincinnati Bengals did the same thing but that was in a 14 game schedule not in today’s NFL marathon of games. Still it’s quite an accomplishment for Head Coach, Andy Reid to have guided a ship that was sinking into to the abyss well behind the success of the Kansas City Royals.
With nothing to lose, and never facing a 1-5 start in his coaching career, Reid rolled up his sleeves, challenged every man on his coaching staff and within his locker room to change their story. There was no screaming to get their attention or Tony Robbins motivational speech that set their world on fire. Instead, it was back to work, back to the basics and a refusal for anyone to point a finger at anyone else.
The result of the streak has positioned the Chiefs as (3-point) favorites for Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game against the Texans. Yet this week point spreads really doesn’t matter. All that does matter is the Chiefs need to find a way to end the NFL’s most embarrassing losing streak, eight straight playoff losses dating back to well – far too long ago.
On Saturday, Reid and his Chiefs team will be in a position to exercise many demons that have haunted this franchise since their Super Bowl IV victory over the Minnesota Vikings in 1970.
Are the Chiefs a team of fate? Will Super Bowl 50 be a return to where it all began five decades ago when the upstart AFL Chiefs tried to shock the world in defeating the mighty Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I?
If that’s to occur, the Chiefs simply need to take care of business on Saturday, play the same as they have in this 10-game winning streak, and live to play another game in the AFC playoff tournament.
And that’s exactly what I expect them to do against the Texans.