|After upset win on road, Chiefs settle in for long home stretch|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2007 01:53|
Privately, they seethed last spring when this banana peel of a schedule came out. With a second-year head coach and a team in transition, the Chiefs would have to play three of their first four on the road, and then when cold weather set in, take to the road for three of their last four.
It seemed unfair. And with two of those initial road games being against 2006 playoff teams, it seemed very unfair. But the Chiefs persevered, and pulled off a 30-16 victory in San Diego on Sunday as 12-point underdogs to even their record at 2-2.
Now they've won two in a row, are tied for the lead in the AFC West and have a division road win in the bank as they head into the sweet part of a schedule that suddenly seems much less treacherous.
Starting with Jacksonville this Sunday, they play four of their next five and six of their next eight in Arrowhead Stadium, where their home-field advantage is unmatched by any club in the NFL since 1990.
``Obviously, we wish we were in better shape than we are now,'' coach Herm Edwards said Monday. ``But we are what we are. We're 2-2. But you're looking at the games at home, you've got two at home, then you go on the road and then you come back for three out of the four at home again.
``If you're going to make a run at anything, you're going to have to make your run there.''
After opening with losses at Houston and Chicago, the Chiefs' rapidly improving defense has held both Minnesota and San Diego scoreless in the second half of their last two games, allowing a slow-starting offense to dig out of double-digit holes and take the lead for good.
``You'd like to be in a situation where you're kind of getting some momentum,'' Edwards said. ``All of a sudden, you've won two and you feel a lot better about yourself. We've still got a long way to go. But hey, we're playing at home and that always helps. It doesn't guarantee a victory but it helps that you're playing at home.''
With the Chiefs tied with Oakland and Denver for the AFC West lead, a loud and festive sellout crowd of around 79,000 now seems assured for the Jacksonville game.
Just two weeks ago, when they were 0-2 and trailing the Vikings 10-0 at halftime, most fans were probably ready to write them off. Hardly anyone thought they had a prayer against the Chargers.
Now the talk shows are buzzing with happy Chiefs chatter. And if fans want more good news, it's there in the injury report. Eddie Kennison, the No. 1 receiver, may be able to play this week for the first time since injuring a hamstring on the first offensive play of the season.
Combined with rookie sensation Dwayne Bowe, who set a team rookie record last week with 164 yards receiving, they could give the Chiefs the best pair of wide receivers they've had since Carl Peterson arrived as general manager in 1989.
It's what the Chiefs envisioned last spring when they drafted the big, rugged Bowe in the first round out of LSU - just about the same time the league announced this year's schedule.
``You have a plan. Sometimes it doesn't work out, and when it doesn't, you adjust,'' Edwards said. ``You try to adjust. That's the thing about our game, you're always adjusting.''