Chiefs Feel Momentum; Not Satisfaction

Posted Sep 21, 2010

Players take quick start to 2010 season in stride

Walk into the Chiefs locker room and you’ll see smiles. Sure, there are the players limping around with stims connected to their knees and hamstrings, but for the most part everyone is smiling.

And why not? The Chiefs are off to their first 2-0 start since 2005.

To put things into perspective, that was quite some time ago. Trent Green was in the middle of his consecutive starts streak and threw for over 4,000 yards, Ronnie Cruz was the lead blocker for a rushing attack that churned out nearly 2,400 yards, Derrick Johnson and Dustin Colquitt were both rookies and Kawika Mitchell started 16 games at inside linebacker for the first time in his career.

Oh yeah, and Dick Vermeil was head coach.

That 2005 team was obviously so very different from the 2010 Chiefs, but they’re the most recent comparison as far as records are concerned. They’re also the most recent example of feeling good about the Chiefs in September as Kansas City began each year from 2006-09 with a 0-2 record.

“Yeah, it does feel good,” WR Chris Chambers said. “It feels to get a victory on a short week, on the road and in a pretty hostile environment against a team whose back was against the wall."

But even though the Chiefs record reflects perfection, those same smiling faces in Kansas City’s locker room realize that the this team is anything but flawless. They know that the wins haven’t come pretty, and they also realize that a handful of plays separate a 2-0 record from a 0-2 record.

The perfect record is a reality, but so is rationality. Less than 15% of the season is in the books. If the Chiefs are to reach their ultimate goal they’ve got a lot of improving left to do.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Chambers continued. “We do have to get better. You can see it from all angles.”

The Chiefs know how they’re winning, but they aren’t apologizing for any of it. They know that the victories haven’t been pretty and they know that many outside of the organization are surprised by their start. Regardless, these Chiefs don’t care.

“Wins are wins in the NFL,” DL Shaun Smith said. “It doesn’t matter how they come.”

The winning recipe has been relatively simple.

Right now, the Chiefs are taking advantage of turnovers and capitalizing off unnecessary penalties committed by the opposition. At the same time, the team is playing smart, tough, physical football – all those traits that we’ve heard Haley place so much emphasis on over his one-plus years as Kansas City’s head coach.

Conditioning is a factor as well.

The Chiefs have yet to allow any points in the fourth quarter. When you’re involved in games as close as the Chiefs first two have been, scoreless fourths prove to be a deciding factor in the difference between victory and defeat. Kansas City’s fourth quarter success is an interesting aspect of this team, particularly considering Haley’s excitement about the Chiefs 2010 offseason efforts.

“We have two wins under our belt, but I think everybody realizes why we’re winning,” DE Glenn Dorsey said.

Ugly victories have never looked so beautiful, and momentum is building inside Kansas City’s locker room. The mix of defensive stands, return scores and “Chiefs Will” have all proved to be key components of Kansas City’s first 2-0 start in five seasons.

They’re smiling, but they’re not satisfied.

“We’re 2-0 in this quarter of the season, which happens to be the first quarter of the season,” Haley said. “­­­­­­Our goal each and every quarter will always be to get to three, the thinking being that if you could be 3-1 in every quarter I’d say you’d have a very difficult time not making the playoffs. That’s our primary goal, to get into the playoffs.”

On Wednesday, when the Chiefs return to practice, the smiles will be gone. They’ll ready for a visit from a dangerous team that has its back against the wall. They’ll also ready for a game that just got a whole lot bigger.

Wednesday mornings mark the beginning of the work week for Chiefs players. For the coaches, the time for enjoyment ends much earlier; Monday’s at 5:00 PM to be exact.

“Once we hit that 5 o’clock time, we know that these two are behind us,” Haley said.

The Chiefs are smiling, but they’re far from satisfied.

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