In a game that won't ever be mistaken as the prettiest of victories for the Kansas City Chiefs, the only thing that matters after their 19-14 victory on Sunday over the Jacksonville Jaguars is that they did in fact pick up the victory.
"It's nice to be 6-2," Chiefs coach Andy Reid explained after the game. "We appreciate every one of them. They don't give you any of these in the National Football League. The margin between winning and losing in this league is a minute, so as easily as you win that game, you could have lost.
"We knew we would have our hands full and have to battle for four quarters, and our guys did that. They fought all the way through."
The Chiefs raced out to an early 10-0 lead through the early part of the second quarter, with all 10 of the points being scored off turnovers. The Chiefs would ultimately force a total of four turnovers on the day.
"That's what we were talking about before the game—just winning the turnover battle," veteran safety Eric Berry explained. "It was big, man. That's just the way it goes sometimes, you try to get things to roll way your way, and the ball was just rolling our way today.
"We made a lot of big plays, but we've got a lot of things we need to clean up."
During the team's current four-game winning streak, the defense has allowed a total of just 54 points, which ranks among the best in the league over that time, and despite the Jaguars putting up 449 total yards of offense on Sunday, the Chiefs stepped up when it mattered.
Whether it was a takeaway, a stuffed short-yardage run from defensive lineman Dontari Poe, or a pass defensed from cornerback Steve Nelson, the list of players who stepped up for the Chiefs on Sunday is long and impressive.
"We just kept fighting—no matter what," linebacker Ramik Wilson, who finished with four tackles, an interception and was part of a key goal line play in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference in the game, explained. "We faced a lot of adversity today and we definitely didn't play up to our full potential, but we didn't give in and we got the W."
Midway through the fourth quarter and trailing 19-7, the Jaguars had a goal-to-go situation when running back Chris Ivory lost control of the ball after defensive lineman Jaye Howard hit him and Wilson prior to reaching the end zone. Marcus Peters was able to recover the ball in the end zone for the Chiefs.
After officials reviewed the play, the ruling stood.
It was the Chiefs' NFL-leading sixth red zone takeaway this season.
The Jaguars finished the game running the ball a total of 32 times for 205 yards, averaging more than 6 yards per rush.
It's an area the Chiefs know has to improve.
"We have to play better," Reid explained after the game. "Our guys know that. When you talk to them, you'll see. They understand. They didn't have their best game, but the bottom line – like I said – this is a tough league and you're sitting right at this half way point here, man.
"Everybody feels like they have a chance to change their record around. There is hope, so you've got to go in and kind of disrupt that hope."
The Chiefs not only disrupted the Jaguars' hope on Sunday with a couple of key plays late in the game from the defense; they've also done a pretty good job of disrupting the hope of anyone that comes to Arrowhead Stadium—where they've won 10 straight games, spanning 393 days and counting.
Overall, the Chiefs have won 16 of their last 18 regular season games.
"That's all good, but it's in the past now," Wilson noted after the game. "We've got a new team next week and we've got to keep working and try to get to our goal, and that's to win a championship here.
"We're going to celebrate today, but it's back to work on Monday."