What advantages does it give you to have Jamaal (Charles) and Knile (Davis)?"Yeah, I think it gives defenses different looks. I think it keeps both those guys fresh, for sure. We ask a lot of Jamaal, you know, so it's nice to be able to rest him at times. I think Knile's play has deserved it, has warranted that."
Where did all of this come from? "What's that?"
All of this. The offensive fireworks, the defense finally gets three takeaways. "I mean, I don't think there's any secret, just work. I mean, working at it. It's just been progress every game of the season. It's been a step every week and I think that's what you hope to have. Certainly some nights come together and things work and guys execute and take advantage. Tonight was a big night for us, I think Monday Night Football back here at Arrowhead certainly guys stepped up to the emotional challenge of Monday Night Football."
Can you feel the synergy around here with Monday Night Football tonight and Royals tomorrow? "I think these fans are special fans and they proved it tonight again. They're the best in the country. This doesn't happen anywhere else like this and I think they're feeding off, the whole town is feeding off it a little bit. 29 years to get back for the Royals is great and to have back to back events like this, Monday Night Football and a home playoff game, yeah it's special right here next door to each other."
The first half seemed to set the tone early. How important was that? "Yeah, I mean you're always trying to get off to a good start. Tonight was no different. I think we just did it. I mean, like I said, it comes down to execution, there were no secrets. Got into a rhythm early which helps. We were able to move the chains early. I think offensively that helped us. I think it started with the guys up front certainly setting the tone, kind of got called out this week. Kind of got called out to the challenge and certainly stepped up to it."
How does the line working like that help you in the run game? Does it expand what you guys can do? "Oh no question, absolutely. I mean I think anytime you're running the ball like that, you dictate a little bit of what they're doing. You saw so many times you had one on one outside. It was because we were running the ball so well and we're forcing them to bring an extra hat down to the box and you get those one on one matchups. You're getting Jamaal matched up, Dwayne (Bowe), Donnie (Avery), (Travis) Kelce, all those guys."
What did the Titan game teach you? "I just think we felt when we looked back at the film, we got away from the run, unbalanced, really one dimensional and its tough in this league to be that way. I think if you look at one of our strengths, its those guys up front. They are physical; we've got the running back depth to wear on some teams."
You spread the ball around to all the playmakers. Was that part of the game plan? "Yeah, always part of the game plan I feel like. That's just the nature of Coach Reid and the West Coast is the ball is going to get spread around. Everybody's got a piece of the game plan.
In the game plan, did you guys have a pretty good feel of what you had? "Yeah, I had a good feeling all week if that's what you're asking. It felt good. It's tough. You never know. You turn the Patriots film all week and its different every week. They do a lot schematically. One week it's this and next week it's that. Next week it's a whole different defense. Those first couple of drives were important to see how they were going to play us and play the different personnels with their plan with some of those guys."
With the three tight end package, is that going to continue to expand? "I think so. Credit to those guys, they're all talented guys that can do both, tight ends that can play in space as well as line up with their hands in the dirt and block. Really, credit to them. I think their plays warranted more and more. They've taken it on."
I know you say you have to block out all distractions and extra clutter. Is this going to be a bigger challenge next week and where the game is being played? "Yeah, I mean they're all challenges. They're all different. This week was different with Monday Night Football and the Patriots coming to town. A little bit yeah, you have to eliminate the clutter and distractions, but at the same time, you embrace it. You embrace the Monday Night Football. We enjoy it. This next week, yeah I'll embrace being back there and accept it. Certainly we're not in denial about it. You know what it is and you take it on. In the end, you know it's going to come down to the final minutes of football."
Do you ever feel bad for the quarterback across from you? "Do I feel bad for Tom Brady?"
Yeah. "No offense, Tom, but no. He's got more rings than I do, so I don't feel sorry for him. No." Being able to block out clutter, where do you think that comes from? How do you take a situation and make it calm? "I think as a team, it starts at practice. It just starts in the way that you practice and the tempo and the speed and how game-like you make it. You rehearsed those situations and then you're going out there on the field doing something you've done, you know, hundreds of times."