Denver's Jake Plummer gave them fits with his bootlegs in the Broncos' season-opening victory at Denver. Houston's David Carr and Jacksonville's Byron Leftwich, two young quarterbacks, led last-minute drives for the game-winning points. Carolina's Jake Delhomme's engineered a 21-7 second-half rally from a 10-7 halftime deficit in the Panthers' victory that broke Kansas City's 13-game regular-season winning streak at Arrowhead.
And now the Chiefs, staggering with a 1-4 record after losing a game they should have won in Jacksonville last week, face two home games against the most challenging quarterbacks they will face this year.
The rugged road at home begins this week when Michael Vick brings his hard-to-contain run-pass game to Arrowhead. If the Chiefs can't contain him, they won't be in any shape mentally -- or in the standings -- to deal with Indianapolis and Peyton Manning when they arrive in Kansas City the following week.
Containing Vick and his ability to make plays on the run is a big concern for an improving KC run defense that is still ranked only 22nd. That's a ranking that merits concern not just when dealing with Warrick Dunn, but also Vick, whom the Chiefs seem to fear more as a runner than a passer.
"You'd almost rather see him hand the ball off (to Dunn) than come out of there with the ball in his hand," coach Dick Vermeil said.
"He's scary," Vermeil added. "I have never coached against an athlete at the position who's equivalent to him. Probably no one else in the league has either. You have to defend every pass as if it's going to be a run, and you have to defend every run as if it's going to end up being a pass. He's special -- very, very special."
Remember, Vick may be ranked only 11th-ranked passer with his 82.2 rating based on 59.7 percent accuracy with only four touchdowns offset by four interceptions. But, he's also ranked 11th among all NFC rushers.
The Chiefs may have mounted decent defensive efforts in their past two games against proven runners like Baltimore's Jamal Lewis (15-73 rushing) and Jacksonville's Fred Taylor (19-66, though with a 64-yard pitch-and-run TD on the receiving side). But facing a quarterback who can make big plays with his legs as well as his arm will be a challenge unlike any Kansas City has faced this year.
This is the sixth meeting between the two teams. Kansas City leads the series 4-1 but took their first loss at Atlanta in 2000 when the Falcons prevailed 29-13 in what proved to be Gunther Cunningham's final game as the Chiefs head coach.