In the film Stand By Me, Teddy Duchamp is always trying to put fear in the eyes of Vern Tessio. “Two for flinching,” Duchamp says before punching Vern twice in the arm if he blinks. Parallels can be drawn between the classic movie and the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs, but flinching isn’t one of them according to coach Andy Reid.
“With every game that you have a chance to play and be with these guys, you get to look in their eyes and see what it’s all about,” Reid said of his team. “The great part about it is that I don’t see any flinch in these guys at all.”
The Chiefs began the season as a small market clan that no one expected to do much. They had lacked past direction and lost fourteen games last year. Under a new regime they couldn’t possibly bond in their first venture together and challenge the Denver Broncos for the AFC West, right?
Denver was coming off a 13-3 campaign, and had been just an overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens from playing for a shot at Super Bowl XLVII. The victors got the spoils as the Ravens went on to become World Champions last season.
The Broncos have hit Kansas City in the arm twice now; winning both at home and on the road. The Chiefs, however, have not been run over by the locomotive of Denver’s Peyton Manning led offense. In the Broncos eight wins (outside of those against Kansas City) their average margin of victory is over seventeen points.
Denver has won by two possessions or more (16 points) six times. They’ve beaten the Chiefs by an average of 8.5 in two outings. The Broncos may be pushing other teams around, but not Kansas City.
Denver has been leach-like in their wins over the Chiefs. They’ve latched onto big plays early when Kansas City was still treading water and sucked out just enough blood to survive.
In Week 11 it was a 54-yard field goal by Matt Prater and a 70-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas (that led to a touchdown) in the first quarter. Ten points was the difference in the contest. On Sunday, a Wesley Woodyard interception in the end zone on the opening drive came back to bite Kansas City in the underpants. The Chiefs were first-and-goal at the two when it happened; at game’s end seven points separated the two teams.
In the flick, a group of maturing boys set off in search of a missing person and, in the process, discovered their own identities. They band together against a group of older bullies in the culminating scene to defend what they believe they rightfully deserve.
Don’t close the book on the Chiefs just yet. They are a game back of the Broncos in the AFC West race and Denver holds the tiebreaker. Kansas City’s team has however come a long way through much adversity this season and at journey’s end will have a “body” of work to defend.
They won’t be flinching.
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia.