Chiefs give Kansas City another holiday gift, capping one of the - KCTV5 News

Chiefs give Kansas City another holiday gift, capping one of the franchise’s brightest eras

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KANSAS CITY, MO (FOOTBALLKC) – In honor of the holiday season, perhaps the best way to truly gauge this era of Chiefs football is to fill the shoes of Ebenezer Scrooge and take a trip back with the ghost of Christmas pasts.

When Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt relieved Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel of their duties just after the 2012 holiday season, what did Chiefs fans wish for the most? After five losing seasons in six years, team and city optimism was low.

Five winning seasons, four playoff appearances and back-to-back division crowns would have been considered an undeniable success. After all, that had never been done in the previous 53 years of Kansas City football.

But that’s just what happened. A rip-roaring 9-0 start kicked off the tenure and the Chiefs have gone from one of the league’s basement dwellers to a respected member of the adult table when the Christmas playoff ham makes the rounds.

The likes of Brady and Roethlisberger still get the bigger, shinier gifts, something that the 2017 Chiefs fan would want changed soon. But as you look through the upstairs window, down at the playoff picture dinner table, with Kansas City back among the NFL’s best, there should be a sense of satisfaction.

Regular season success is far from guaranteed in the NFL, just as postseason success is even tougher. But you can’t reach the ultimate goal without first making it across that first plateau, and Kansas City has crossed it in flying colors.

It may be a steep fall, and at the end, disappointment, but it’s still success. It’s still a present for the holidays.

Because even when you open a gift from under the tree that maybe isn’t your favorite, you still say thank you. Because it was an effort, and not everyone gets a gift.

Andy Reid’s Santa Claus has delivered many gifts to Kansas City over the past five years, and while no, that brand new bike hasn’t snuck its way behind the tree just yet, it’s still better than what many past holidays have been, and what many current holidays are for some.

Kansas City has a quarterback that played arguably one of his best games as Chief, turning in a 304-yard day that put him over 4,000 yards for the season. Alex Smith is just the fourth quarterback to reach that mark as a Chief, and his 26th touchdown passes on the season is also the sixth best in team history.

Yet again Smith failed to turn the ball over, a hallmark of his game. It’s his 11th game without an interception, and he’ll likely finish his season with 26 touchdowns to just five interceptions. That ties his career low when starting 10 or more games.

It’s this level of consistency that has kept Kansas City in almost all of the game’s Smith starts, one of the main reasons that the Chiefs have had such sustained regular season success. While many start to look ahead at what rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes might bring in the future, Smith’s tenure of competitive play is rare in the NFL and should not be undervalued.

As for Reid, this team’s turnaround can all be put at the feet of the coach who came into a 2-14 locker room in 2013. He’s never had a losing season, and after the departure of general manager John Dorsey in the offseason, it’s clear that his finger prints are all over the team’s highs and lows.

Head coach can be a very turbulent carousel in the league, and Reid’s consistency and stability is a trademark that just like his quarterback, is rare in the NFL.

The postseason will go through Kansas City once again in 2017 - a fact that Chiefs fans have come to expect over the past five years.

The duo of head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith has reached the playoffs four times in their first five seasons, an accomplishment that no other quarterback and only one other coach have ever accomplished in Kansas City.

The results after week 17 are ultimately what fans will talk about and remember, and plenty of that will be done when January rolls around, but for now, this is a significant moment in team history.

The Chiefs are a founding organization in the NFL, their original owner and founder’s name is on the AFC championship trophy and 19 individuals have plaques in the NFL Hall of Fame with the Chiefs name underneath.

In Kansas City’s 58th year as a franchise, the team and its players accomplished feats that no one before them have. Regardless of what happens in the future, that isolated success should be acknowledged and celebrated.

Now, Reid and Smith will have to buck their recent playoff consistency and make a statement. A win at home is a start, as Arrowhead has only seen two home playoff victories in its existence, but another divisional round loss would put the franchise right back to where they’ve been the past two years.

It’s the most pressure anyone on this Chiefs team has faced, but it’s also one of the best Chiefs era’s in team history. If anyone can prepare for the pressure and uphill battle that this team has to fight, maybe they’re built better than most.

Time will tell.

But for the time being, enjoy the holiday gift that the Chiefs have given Kansas City, again, because the future is no guarantee. And maybe, just maybe, this is the year for fans to finally unwrap that special gift when all is said and done.

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