Hey, did you know the Chiefs haven’t won a home playoff game in 25 years?
Of course you did. You either remember/are haunted by that fact, or a friend has brought it up, or it’s been mentioned by media members countless times.
That historical disappointment has been hanging like a cloud over Kansas City this week.
But for some people who watch the NFL on a regular basis, what happened in the past won’t mean anything in Saturday’s AFC divisional-round contest against the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium.
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Peter Schrager said this week on the NFL Network that this year’s Chiefs team has something the previous squads didn’t: an elite quarterback.
“Nothing against those guys, (Steve) Bono or (Elvis) Grbac or (Trent) Green or (Rich) Gannon or Alex Smith or (Matt) Cassel, those guys were all fine quarterbacks, but those Chiefs teams that lost those six games did not have the likely MVP suiting up for their team,” Schrager said.
“Guys, the Red Sox couldn’t beat the Yankees until they did it. The Cubs couldn’t win a World Series until they did it. In the ‘70s, the Royals could not beat the Oakland A’s until 1976 when they freaking did it. It is time to get rid of the curse and the difference is that man: Patrick Mahomes. ...
“Don’t live in fear, believe, believe, believe. Saturday afternoon is a new day and it will all change because a 23-year-old future MVP is going to exorcise demons for everyone in Kansas City this weekend. It is a new day, Kansas City. It’s OK to breathe.”
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Mike Tirico, host of NBC’s “Football Night In America” said the NFL has evolved to the point where playoff history has nothing to do with the here and now.
“The reality is what happened years ago has absolutely nothing to do with what will happen on Saturday,” Tirico told The Star. “We get so caught up in the historical stuff in sports in general and for fans you understand that. The reality for the players and coaches is they’re pretty transient.
“If you had the old NFL, let’s say, where the Niners were (Joe) Montana and (Jerry) Rice and all those guys for so many years, and the Cowboys had their players who we saw for years, then you’d have a trend. Here, with the league rosters (overturning) a quarter to a third per year, new stars coming on the horizon, it’s hard to make those historical parallels. Other than memories for fans, I don’t think the historical impact will really be a part of who wins or loses a football game, especially at this time of the year.
“Joe Montana playing 25 years ago has not one drop of significance as to what Patrick Mahomes does.”
Finally, Nick Wright of Fox Sports firmly believes that Patrick Mahomes will make the difference for the Chiefs against the Colts.
“Patrick Mahomes has been the best player in the NFL this year, and he’s at home and the team is the healthiest it’s been all season, and he’s going to have the fullest complement of weapons he’s had, absent Kareem Hunt, since Week One of the season,” Wright said this week on “First Things First.”
“And I think they have a tactical as far as schematic edge with (coach) Andy Reid. For all those reasons, I trust Patrick Mahomes, even though it’s his first career playoff start ... I trust Patrick Mahomes as much if not more than I trust any quarterback in the NFL right now, because over the course of 16 games, he’s been the best player in the NFL.”
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