The week before the Detroit Lions contest has provided a major wake-up call for the Kansas City Chiefs. Coming off of a 10-win season, the Chiefs were expected to compete atop the AFC West once again for a second straight divisional title and the young core on both sides of the ball gave Chiefs fans high expectations for the years to come. Perhaps some of those are still in place but an abysmal preseason followed by an embarrassing home loss has given everyone involved a reality check.
Apparently the reminders are still coming, even from other teams. As the Raiders prepare to head to Buffalo to face Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills, defensive lineman Tommy Kelly came out with a declaration to the Bills that they won't go lightly. The bottom line, he says, is that "we ain't the Chiefs." Kelly was respectful overall of the Bills efforts on the road at Arrowhead last week, and locker room talk like this is par for the course. But it means something different in Kansas City.
For the Chiefs, this is about how easily the bubble burst after such a successful season. The Steelers lay an egg and they're still a top team in every Power Rankings list around. The Falcons get beat handily and no one denies their chance to still make the playoffs and contend. The Colts do the same and everything is making excuses because of the one player who isn't there. The Chiefs lose, however, and everyone wants to throw them back into the divisional basement.
It's a long season and the Chiefs have yet to come together in a way that most expected them to do so. But at some point, the Chiefs will get the chance to play Tommy Kelly's Raiders -- twice, actually -- and show what it means to be the Chiefs. At this point, Chiefs fans are hoping it means a lot more than the 34-point beating laid on the team last Sunday.