The Chiefs are a team that’s been around for quite some time, with many of the same faces. That changed in 2018 as new stars emerged and old ones retired; taking their swagger back to Kansas City.
The Kansas City Chiefs have had a rough year, but they are looking to bounce back in 2018. In order to get their swagger back, the team has hired new head coach Andy Reid and signed quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Read more in detail here: who beat the chiefs this year.
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – The pivotal moment in the Kansas City Chiefs’ season came at the most inopportune of times. The Chiefs sat at their lockers at halftime of their Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tennessee, trailing 27-0.
The Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and safety Tyrann Mathieu, had played in two previous Super Bowl games, winning one, and were facing definite loss and an uncharacteristically poor 3-4 record.
That day, they didn’t come back to win. In reality, the second half was just somewhat better. They were defeated 27-3.
They did, however, have an insight that helped them rediscover their swagger.
“We understood there was no one coming to help us,” Mathieu said. “Things was up to us to sort it out.”
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“They’ve had to work for this, and I think you appreciate it a bit more when you truly have to strive for something and bear down,” Reid said. “You’re not resting on your laurels for what occurred before, but with the knots in your stomach and the ups and downs, you’ve earned this right here.”
After a Week 10 victory against the Raiders, the Chiefs, particularly Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce, spoke about the club regaining its “swagger.” The Chiefs, on the other hand, have a different type of swagger.
Their games are no longer first-team-to-40-point-winners, up-and-down-the-field battles that come down to the last possession. Mahomes has had some outstanding performances this season, including a 400-yard, five-touchdown performance against the Raiders earlier this month. But, according to his QBR, he’s also had eight of his ten worst games in his professional career. He and his offensive counterparts had to adjust to a new offensive environment. The Chiefs can be successful, but it won’t necessarily look the same as it has in the past.
As a result, their games are more systematic and less of a spectacle. The Chiefs are benefiting from the same recipe.
“We’re trying to be our own Kansas City Chiefs,” Mahomes said.
“Every team is unique. Every season is unique. Early in the year, we experienced a lot of difficulties that few people had seen before. People tossed us down and pretended that we were finished. But, as you can see, we now have the personnel to complete the task.”
The defense’s recent performance resembles that of the Chiefs’ defense during the final months of their Super Bowl-winning season in 2019. Over the remaining six regular-season games that year, the Chiefs lead the NFL in scoring defense.
“We’re gaining confidence,” Mathieu said. “I believe we’re playing with a lot of enthusiasm. We’re still in the thick of it. We’re still all about focusing on the task at hand, putting in the effort, and then letting the outcomes speak for themselves. We’re still on the lookout for ways to improve. I don’t believe any of us believe we’ve done enough yet to win a championship. There’s still a lot to be done.”
Melvin Ingram celebrates a sack against the Raiders after joining the Chiefs at the trade deadline. Getty Images/David Eulitt
Mathieu’s prior claim, made following the Chiefs’ defeat to Tennessee, that no one would come to help them, turned out to be untrue. The Chiefs traded a draft selection to the Pittsburgh Steelers for veteran defensive end Melvin Ingram a week later, at the trade deadline in early November.
According to ESPN’s pass rush victory rate, Ingram has provided a spark for a pass rush that has had its best three games of the season in the last three. He just has one sack, but he’s playing with a level of vigor that the Chiefs lacked for most of the first half of the season.
Steve Spagnuolo, the defensive coordinator, remarked, “He’s playing mad.” “He’s made everyone else enraged as well. He’s had a few of roles in where he just smacks people about. That, I believe, is infectious and beneficial to us.”
The arrival of Ingram gives the Chiefs the opportunity to pressure the opposing quarterback with four guys who have all recorded at least 10 sacks in a season at some point in their careers. The Chiefs’ pass rush has improved significantly throughout their winning run.
At +260, the Chiefs are once again the AFC betting favorite to win the Super Bowl. On November 2, they were far from the favorites, with a +650 odds.
“‘Let’s just take it day by day,’ we’ve been saying for the last several weeks. Let’s put the Super Bowl out of our minds for the time being. Let’s work out how we can improve as a squad every day,’ says the group “According to Mahomes.
“With the way the defense is playing, we’ll be a difficult team to defeat if the offense can start flowing like we’ve been known to do. I’m just looking forward to building on this momentum and trying to keep it going.”
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