Anything Is Possible

I was wrong. In beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24, the Chiefs proved one thing Sunday – anything is possible. Even when no one gives you a chance to win against the defending Super Bowl Champions, with the right amount of talent, heart, luck and strategy, it can be done.

Not only did the Chiefs meet the challenge laid before them in our Sunday preview, they obliterated it, scoring two offensive touchdowns, tacking on two field goals, and accomplishing those feats in a manner that defied expectation. Kansas City's offense thrived on the big play. There were no 12-play drives. These Chiefs were playing fast-break football, the kind the Steelers simply don't permit.

Jamaal Charles set the tone, of course, running the opening kickoff back 97 yards. When the Chiefs scored their first offensive touchdown, it came on a drive that barely lasted two minutes, featuring big plays for 22 and 21 yards. In knotting the game at 24, Kansas City went 91 yards (their longest scoring drive of the season) in under four minutes, torching the Steelers for gains of 30 and 47 yards. In overtime, a 61-yard dish and dash to Chris Chambers put the final nail in Pittsburgh's coffin.

Forget grinding the clock down and keeping Ben Roethlisberger off the field. Todd Haley, perhaps sensing that Pittsburgh might be vulnerable deep without the services of safety Troy Polamalu, definitely showed us something. Despite the Steelers' reputation for pass-rush ferocity, he attacked. He wasn't about to take what Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau wanted to give him. Haley decided he was going to take what he damn well pleased, and the team he grew up with let their ball boy get the best of them.

The Chiefs answered the challenge and then some. They proved something. Matt Cassel, Chris Chambers, Leonard Pope, Lance Long and Todd Haley, all rejected or slammed in some way this year by any number of detractors, stood up, looked the World Champions and the rest of the NFL in the eye and said, "Hey, anything is possible. Watch this."

Even so, did you really believe the Chiefs were going to beat the Steelers?

I didn't.

When Charles scored to begin the game, it was an exciting moment. But you had to figure the Steelers would rip up KC's defense, take the lead back and the opening kickoff would be a distant, irrelevant memory. At halftime, it certainly appeared that way.

Even when the Chiefs tied the game with a touchdown drive and a field goal set up by Andy Studebaker, did it feel like the game was going to turn? No way. We had seen this sad story before. All we had to do was look back to Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. Despite a long interception return and a blocked punt, the Chiefs didn't outlast a superior opponent then, so why should that change now?

The game was tied at 24 with five minutes left. Big deal. The Chiefs were tied with the Ravens. They blew it then, they'll blow it now. Don't get your hopes up.

Against all odds, overtime began. But remember the Dallas game? Oh, look, the Steelers won the coin toss. Which one of them is going to break a tackle, run 60 yards and rip our hearts out? Brace yourselves, this will be yet another gut-wrenching loss. These are the Kansas City Chiefs we're watching.

See? Here we go. The Steelers are marching. They're at the 50.

But that's where it all changed.

As the Chiefs keep telling us this season, "From The 50, Anything Is Possible." And then someone's knee slammed into Roethlisberger's helmet, forcing him from the game. A few plays later, Jovan Belcher forced Pittsburgh well out of field goal range with a great tackle on the sideline. Then Haley, Cassel and Chambers said, "Hey, watch this," and 61 yards and a kick later, I was wrong, you were most likely wrong, a lot of people lost a lot of money on what seemed like a sure thing, and the impossible became reality.

The Chiefs knocked off the defending Super Bowl Champions. The same Chiefs who couldn't get out of their own way a month ago inside Arrowhead Stadium. They did it without their leading receiver, without their leading rusher, with backups starting in the secondary, at guard and linebacker, with slow, un-athletic safeties, with the last pick in the NFL draft, at least 22 guys off the street, and almost everybody doubting them every step of the way.

David has slain Goliath.

For 40 years now the Chiefs have done nothing but disappoint us. It seemed like every pitfall along the way was utterly predictable. The Chiefs would do something great, and then we all waited for the ground to fall out from under them. Until Sunday, the 2009 season seemed like a sad, pathetic continuation of that tradition, orchestrated by a pair of highly-paid individuals who apparently were in way over their gargantuan, egotistical heads (you know, according to some people).

But one win can change everything. If 22 players off the street can win two games, and the 2009 Chiefs can win three games (and without Tony Gonzalez!), might they win four, five – gasp – even six? If the Chiefs can beat the defending Super Bowl Champions, who can't they beat?

Suddenly, the remaining schedule looks a little easier. Suddenly, the Chiefs have a lightning fast running back, a clutch quarterback, a defense that knocks the quarterback around, a deep-threat receiver, a scrappy little pass rusher who won't quit, a kicker with a cannon for a leg, and a whole lot of players who are willing to play their guts out until the final whistle blows. You start to wonder just what might be possible.

Because based on Sunday's thrilling, improbable, impressive and dramatic victory – the first inside Arrowhead Stadium in quite some time – anything is possible. Particularly from the 50-yard line.

Maybe there's hope.

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