I woke up this morning disoriented. I had to check the calendar. Did I somehow blur through the holiday season, and the kids being home for two weeks for winter break?
You’ll forgive my confusion because the Thursday night game between the Chargers and Chiefs felt like it took place in January. It marked the first loss at home for Kansas City this season, and yet felt so familiar. Arrowhead has been the site of one of the best home field advantages in the league for the last thirty years–until the playoffs arrive. The Kansas City Chiefs are 6th in home/road win percentage split since 1989, yet they haven’t won a playoff game at home since Ace Ventura was a hit movie.
And this one had a lot of familiar tones. It was just a year ago that the Chiefs had a 21-3 against Tennessee at halftime and could not score again, in the game that ushered in the start of the Patrick Mahomes era. For Chiefs fans, who have been here through Lin Elliott, and losing at home to the Broncos and John Elway in 1998, and losing to Peyton Manning’s Colts in a game they never punted, the ending seemed like it was made for January.
Kansas City had the chance to put the game away on several occasions. They could not do it. They could have picked up key first downs. They could have made a 4th and 7 stop. The officials could have called an offensive pass interference on Mike Williams.
Patrick Mahomes seems like a trend buster. Fourth and long is not impossible. Being pinned deep doesn’t feel daunting. Anything seem possible. For one night, though, it felt really familiar, and way older than Mahomes. We will find out shortly if that was one last Arrowhead ghost gasp, or foreshadowing of what is to come.