Another Important Sunday … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

From Seattle, Washington

The maturation of a football team seldom shows itself in one moment in time. It’s a process that takes months, sometimes years to fall into place. More often than not, it’s created in fits and starts, as little victories are built on top of each other. Those hills then become mountains of confidence so visible in the way a team performs and acts.

But there are exceptions and Sunday is one for the 2010 Chiefs.

They face a game that despite their opponent being part of another conference is going to be meaningful for their future over the five games that come after this Sunday afternoon.

The Chiefs and Seahawks will kick it off just after 3 p.m. with TV coverage on CBS with Bill Macatee and former Chiefs QB Rich Gannon handling the duties.

The Chiefs are 6-4, on top of the AFC West once again as the games drip off the calendar. But if they can’t get over their inability to perform up to standard away from Arrowhead Stadium, they will likely be tied for the division top spot with Oakland or San Diego or both.

Right now, the Chiefs remain just an average team. They have taken big steps in their development as what Todd Haley likes to call “a transitioning team” but they remain pretenders because of their inability to put together the same performance week-after-week, no matter the venue, the situation or the participants.

They still struggle with the mentality of one play, one game, one day at a time.  

“It’s so easy to get out of the present tense,” said Haley. “You’ve got to force yourself to stay in the present tense and you can’t worry about what’s already happened or what’s happening around you. You’ve got to just worry about each and every day and the teams that become good teams during this stage of the season do that better than the teams that don’t.”

The concept is simple: forget the past, ignore the future and live in today. But we are humans, and we are influenced by the past and where we’ve been and concerned about where we might be going.

It’s a struggle, especially when it involves so many individuals that must collectively share that belief and they do not live in a vacuum, shut off from the influence of others. There are family, friends, enemies, media, opponents … so many people who have thoughts, ideas and opinions on the situation.

“There is so much coverage of this sport and you’ve got to really work hard at filtering some of that out,” Haley said. “I’ve said, just ride our horse right now because you don’t know who the horses you’ve got to watch out for are right now, you just don’t. The main thing for us is just concentrate on our business and that is trying to get better and make progress. If you’re distracted or worrying about some of the other things going on around you that’ll be a problem.”

If the Chiefs are to get better on this Sunday, they will need to show they can reproduce the effort, emotion and production that they had last week against Arizona. It is again another step in the process.

“For us it is our jobs as leaders of the team, to keep everybody in check and help them understand that this is a job and it is really one game at a time,” said QB Matt Cassel. “This week it is Seattle, which is a tough place to play. It comes down to us executing better than they do.”

In what has been a never ending attempt to try to boil things down to simple equations and messages, that’s one that Haley has stressed to his team in recent weeks – winning is about the team that plays better than the other team. It’s not where the game is, who is on the field, what the stakes may or may not be, it’s about who makes more plays.

Part of that will come on offense with how the Chiefs deal with the crowd at Qwest Stadium.

“Seattle is a difficult place to play because their fans do a terrific, terrific job,” said Haley. “That place is packed to the gills and they know how to make noise. That’s the area that you have to handle, the noise aspect because that does change the landscape. That mainly affects the offense and we’ve got to handle it. That means understanding the plan, being able to communicate even though it’s loud.”

And more than likely the Chiefs will be without their best player for this game, as CB Brandon Flowers did not practice all week because of a hamstring injury. The team listed Flowers as doubtful; that means there’s supposedly a 25 percent chance that he’ll play.

There is no adequate replacement for Flowers when it comes to talent, so the Chiefs will have to play short-handed. That’s just another factor that they will have to overcome if they want to win.

November is about to turn into December and there’s a huge difference going into the last month of the season with six victories or seven. The Chiefs must stop treading water in the AFC; they need to get their feet on solid ground.


  • NFL – fined the Denver Broncos $50,000 and head coach Josh McDaniels $50,000 for an incident during the team’s trip to London where a videographer for the team filmed a San Francisco 49ers practice. The team self-reported the violation to the NFL saying the tape was never used. McDaniels was fined for not immediately reporting the infraction.
  • BILLS – placed LB Shawne Merriman on the injured-reserve list (Achilles) ending his season; placed LB Keith Ellison on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season; signed WR Naaman Roosevelt and LB Thomas Williams off their practice squad.
  • GIANTS – released DE Alex Hall; signed CB Michael Coe off their practice squad.
  • REDSKINS – released WR Joey Galloway; signed Terrence Austin off their practice squad.

8 Responses to “Another Important Sunday … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 28, 2010  - MarkInTexas says:

    As you’ve said, Bob, it’s just fun for the Chiefs to be relevant again going into December.

    A win today in Seattle sure adds credibility to a 10-6 scenario. Wins today and next week (Nonhandshake Bowl II) would create some cushion to absorb a couple of losses down the stretch…likely in San Diego and maybe against the Titans.

    San Diego still scares me to death. If they get to 10-6, the Chiefs will be beaten on the division record tiebreaker. A 9-7 scenario for the Bolts surely must include a loss in Indy today. The most likely 7th loss of the year would then be in one of their final two games on the road…in Cincy or in Denver.

    I think the Raiders get at least three more losses…at San Diego, against the Colts, and in Arrowhead. A loss today against the Dolphins would be a bonus shovel of dirt on their coffin.

    Today’s game in Seattle is a great contender/pretender test for the Chiefs. I am hopeful, but truthfully do not know what to expect. The losses in Oakland and Denver shook my faith a bit.

    Thanks, Bob, for continuing to deliver the best Chiefs coverage in the universe. Go Chiefs!!

  • November 28, 2010  - Brad says:

    Our fate is in our own hands. Run the ball, play defense and we will make the play-offs. It really is that simple.

  • November 28, 2010  - mike says:

    Even if the Chiefs don’t make the playoffs this year we should have some kind of idea what kind of coach we have when we do. The next 6 weeks will feel like a playoff situation with SanDiego and possibly Oakland nipping at our heels. I remember all the good years under Marty and the heartbreak in the post season. He just couldn’t seem to turn it loose like most coaches who always seemed to win in the playoffs. You never want to miss out on the post season when you’re close, but how many of us thought we wold even be discussing playoffs this late in the season when training camp started? With all the holes in personnel we still have I think this coaching staff is doing a remarkable job so far.

  • November 28, 2010  - Craig says:

    This is as big a must win as we have had. It will demonstrate to the rest of the nation that we are contenders, if we win. It will give us a chance to put some distance between us and San Diego. If we lose we will be labeled pretenders. However, We have had far more sucess this year than anyone could imagine. Go Chiefs!!

  • November 28, 2010  - el cid says:

    It does not get any better than this. The fate of the ’10 Chiefs is in their own hands. If they play like they did in oakland or denver, well, they are what we thought they were. If they can win, then the sky’s the limit (and I am talking about going deep into the playoffs). We do not need anyone else in the NFL to win or lose, it is totally up to the Chiefs. This is what it is all about, we could not ask for more (note: I am not talking about some distant future, NOW).

  • November 28, 2010  - el cid says:

    PS before anyone tries to fry me in oil. I am talking about today and next sunday and the next. Not just this one game. Get over it, I want in the playoffs this year.

  • November 28, 2010  - Rick says:

    Do you prefer canola or peanut oil :) hahaha

  • November 28, 2010  - Thomas says:

    Now it’s time for KC to payback the “Donkey’s”. The Chiefs will need to play a complete game from all facets and let Arrowhead Stadium get loud. No time to let up. Keep the momentum going.
    Go Chiefs.

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