It's Time To "Show Me"

Who are the Kansas City Chiefs? Are they the team that went into San Diego, a place the Chiefs were 1-4 in the previous five seasons, and won convincingly by 14 points?

Are they the team that visited Oakland to play the hapless Raiders, barely escaping by the skin of their teeth thanks to some late-game heroics from Damon Huard and Jarrad Page?

Or, are they (gulp) the team that essentially got shut out at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars 25 days ago?

The Chiefs live and play in the "Show Me" State. It's time to "Show Me."

As conceited as that might sound, understand this is not about me. No, it's about the national media, who are reluctant to crown the Chiefs as anything more than an average team. ESPN and their ilk across the country have been quick to rank San Diego several spots ahead of Kansas City in the weekly power rankings, despite the fact the Chiefs beat the Chargers and San Diego's "resurgent" winning streak has come against losing teams in Denver, Oakland and Houston.

It's about talking heads like Steve Young, who tell us the AFC West is "meaningless."

It's about local Kansas City media who decry the Chiefs' efforts to pull themselves ahead of the pack and constantly focus on the negative.

And most importantly, it's about the 78,000+ who will pack Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday to see their Chiefs take on the Green Bay Packers.

Show me? Show them.

If the Chiefs want to be taken seriously as a contender for the AFC West title and – gasp – in the playoffs, this is a must-win game. With only one victory this season over a team with a winning record (San Diego), the legitimacy of KC's first-place stake in the division is being questioned. Some are already crowning the Chargers as the once and future king.

The Packers are a good team, but not as good as their 6-1 record would imply. They can't run the football (32nd), commit penalties like one of Marty's old teams (7.7 penalties per game), have turned the ball over 12 times already (19th) and have few established threats on offense outside of veteran wide receiver Donald Driver.

A one-dimensional, mistake-prone team finishing up the second half of a two-game road trip after an emotional, nationally-televised win? The Chiefs really should win this game if they are the legitimate team they'd like to be, especially when you consider their history against NFC opponents at Arrowhead.

My colleague Nick Athan wrote Wednesday that the "Chiefs have turned a corner." I submit they have done no such thing. The corner looms ominously this weekend as the leaves turn golden brown and we head into the November stretch that separates the pretenders from the contenders. The Chiefs will either turn it or the proverbial apple cart will be embarrassingly upended, its red contents strewn across the NFL landscape for all to see.

About this time a year ago, that's exactly what happened. The Chiefs went down to Miami, feeling pretty good about themselves at 5-3 after knocking off the St. Louis Rams, KC's best road win in quite some time. The Dolphins were just 2-6, but they exposed the Chiefs all the same.

Can it happen at home? With Green Bay's defense playing well this year, it's certainly possible – just look to the Jaguars game for an example of what a good defense can do to the Chiefs.

Can Kansas City take that defense to task and make everyone forget about Jacksonville?

Will Jared Allen beat Packers Pro-Bowl left tackle Chad Clifton around the corner to Brett Favre?

Are the Chiefs capable of opening holes for Larry Johnson against the 11th-ranked run defense?

How about the aging Ty Law and Patrick Surtain? Can they hold up against James Jones and Greg Jennings, a pair of receivers who toasted Champ Bailey and Dre Bly for long touchdowns Monday night?

Can whomever the Chiefs throw out at right tackle block Green Bay's Pro-Bowl defensive end, Aaron Kampman?

Finally, can the Chiefs keep Brett Favre winless against them as he closes out his storied career?

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