Can 0-2 Chiefs Actually Be Overconfident?

The winless Kansas City Chiefs are actually guarding against overconfidence heading into their home opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

You would think an 0-2 team that has scored only one touchdown and 13 total points in those losses would never have to even consider the concept of over-confidence.

Yet Chiefs quarterback Damon Huard felt compelled to remind his teammates Thursday that the mere act of finally playing at home guarantees nothing this week against the Minnesota Vikings.

"We're not going to beat the Vikings just because we're the Chiefs and we're playing in Arrowhead in our home opener," Huard noted.

You would think that would be obvious, and intrinsically, the Chiefs know this to be the case.

Still, with all the prevalent talk about Kansas City's 13-5 record in home openers in the Carl Peterson era (1989 to present), and reminders that the Chiefs are 20-4 against NFC opponents at home since the league expansion in 1995, sometimes a reminder is necessary that past performance is no predictor of future success.

"The home opener makes the guys selling fireworks happy because most teams shoot fireworks for the opener," mused coach Herm Edwards. "And the planes fly over and everyone's excited. The players are happy to be home, the band plays better, the cheerleaders have new uniforms. New balloons.

"All of that opening day stuff is good, but you've still got to win," Edwards added, finally coming to his point. "We lost last year's opener (against Cincinnati), and lost our quarterback, so that wasn't a lot of fun. The crowd will help us, no doubt, but their emotion won't win the game. It will last about two minutes, then you gotta go play the other 58 minutes.

"But, if can hold that electricity the whole way, it's an advantage. But we have to hold their attention."

NOTES

  • RB Larry Johnson, who missed Wednesday's practice while being rested, returned to action Thursday with a full turn and should be fully healthy against Minnesota.

  • LT Damion McIntosh, who missed much of the second half of the Chicago games after his injured right knee was hit, took a full turn Thursday and should be available for the Vikings. "He's still sore coming off surgery," coach Herm Edwards said, "but he's getting stronger. He will play."

  • S Jon McGraw, the Chiefs' special teams captain who missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, should make his Chiefs debut against Minnesota. Kansas City gave up a 73-yard punt return for a score against Chicago's Devin Hester last week. Hester also had a 95-yard kickoff return called back by a penalty, so the Chiefs are hoping McGraw's return will beef up special teams play.

  • LB Napoleon Harris, who played the last two seasons for the Vikings, says he has no ill will toward his old team that will provide any extra motivation when he faces Minnesota this week.

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