By Jordan Wevers @JordanWevers on August 22, 2014
In 2013, the Chiefs got off to a torrid start, winning their first nine games. They limped into the playoffs after losing five of their final seven contests before an embarrassing playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts where they squandered a 38-10 third quarter lead. Andy Reid and Alex Smith immediately made Kansas City better, but 2014 will be no walk in the park early on for the Chiefs.
The AFC West has gone through Denver the last three seasons. The Chiefs faced the Broncos in Weeks 11 and 13 last year, and that factor contributed heavily to the Chiefs' second half blues. It's a big game against a division rival and the defending AFC champions. A positive beginning to the season is important.
The media will be having a field day about Alex Smith facing his old team and Colin Kaepernick, the man responsible for Smith's demise in the City by the Bay. Even if Smith attempts to down play its significance or denies taking this game personally, he absolutely will. He wants to win this one bad.
St. Louis is less than four hours east of Kansas City down Interstate 70. A day trip for Rams fans is easily doable. Expect a lot of them to head butt their way into Arrowhead Stadium on October 26. The environment should be a lively, raucous one. It's the Heart of America pitted against the Gateway to the West for best in the west bragging rights and what could ultimately be a huge momentum game at mid-season for either club.
If the Chiefs are to be a true contender in 2014, playing the defending Super Bowl champions will be an apt way of gauging if they may in fact be pretenders. KC is lucky enough to get the Hawks at home, but this will still be a stiff test if both teams are for the most part healthy.
Andy Reid and Co. need to show their fans something they failed to do in 2013 -- winning big games down the stretch is attainable. With a horrible second half last season, this one is big for so many reasons if the Chiefs are fighting for a postseason berth. It's against an AFC West foe, it will feature Peyton Manning with a national audience on NBC and it's a chance for redemption after losing both regular season games to the Broncos in 2013.
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