Edwards Is Right

Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards could not have made it anymore clear to the media on Monday afternoon. The Chiefs earned their spot in the playoffs. They did what the other four AFC teams could not do: win a game at home on decision Sunday.

You can say what you want about the path the Chiefs took to get into the playoffs but it matters very little today. Kansas City is the sixth seed and they'll have a dream matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. It has all the makings of the ultimate playoff payback if the Chiefs can return serve against the team that ended their Super Bowl dreams in 1995 and 2003.

This game means so much to the Chiefs. They have to defend their lot in the playoffs. Edwards isn't happy about hearing from several people that the Chiefs backed into the tournament.

"We won, they lost," said Edwards of the Titans, Bengals and Broncos. "That's not our fault."

"So let's not get this thing twisted and think we backed into this deal. We didn't lose, we won. Every team that played this weekend played at home and had an opportunity to get into the playoffs just like us. We just happened to win. What's wrong with that? So, let's not get it twisted and say, ‘well, they're lucky.' We didn't get lucky. We won. We won the game we're supposed to win. We won a home game just like we're supposed to do. Those other teams played at home and they didn't win."

Edwards has a point and he delivered it to his players on Monday afternoon in a short meeting. The path a team takes to the playoffs means very little. Just get in. That was the attitude the Pittsburgh Steelers took into the post season a year ago and they won a Super Bowl.

"My opinion is probably the most important opinion because the last time I checked the players are going to believe what I tell them," said Edwards. "They believe that."

As for the matchup against the Colts, there's so much history in this rivalry. The Chiefs lost in the 1995 playoffs thanks to three shanked field goal attempts by Lin Elliott. In 2003, after winning 13 games and securing a bye week, the Chiefs couldn't stop Indy's offense. They fell short by a touchdown in what was arguably the best Kansas City team in over a decade.

That game took the sails out of the Chiefs and ironically they have not been to the playoffs since. Now they can exorcise that demon and give the Colts fans that sinking feeling they experienced last year in losing to the Steelers.

This season the Colts were 8-0 at home, the same record the Chiefs had at Arrowhead Stadium in 2003. That same year the Chiefs started 10-1 and ended up 13-3. This year the Colts started out 10-0 and lost three of their final six games.

The Chiefs enter this contest with absolutely nothing to lose. Not many people thought they'd make the playoffs while everyone thought before the season the Colts were a Super Bowl lock.

But these two teams despite struggling down the stretch might be heading in opposite directions.

To win games in the playoffs you have to be able to stop the run and run the ball. The Colts don't do either very well. The Chiefs do both pretty well.

There is no secret gameplan for Saturday's contest. Give the rock to Larry Johnson 40 times and watch him rumble for 250 yards and three or four touchdowns.

Trent Green remembers that 2003 playoff game better than anyone and it was the little things that kept the Chiefs from winning that day. Two dropped passes, one for a touchdown and the other setting up a first and goal, not to mention a Priest Holmes fumble, thwarted what should have been a Kansas City victory.

As the week progresses the focus of this game might turn to the head coaches. Colts head coach Tony Dungy and Edwards are best friends. Neither coach is going to outthink the other. There aren't going to be any secrets in this game.

This game will be decided by the players on the field. But be certain about one thing, Chiefs fans: Edwards will have his team ready to play and focused Saturday afternoon.

The winner will either be the team that everyone thought was a Super Bowl contender at the onset of the season or the team that not many gave a chance for the playoffs two weeks ago when they stood 7-7.

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