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Ten Year Challenge: Chiefs Edition

With the new decade officially here, I thought it would be a good idea to look at where the Kansas City Chiefs were 10 years ago. This team has certainly come along way since then. It was the end of the 2009 season, which was the first season of the Scott Pioli/Todd Haley era. The final game of the ’09 season certainly left fans with a glimmer of hope as the Chiefs throttled the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium. Denver hasn’t necessarily been a place where the Chiefs have found much success, but in a time where Chiefs victories were few and far between, this was a welcomed one.

Also, this game was a breakout game for Chiefs legend, Jamaal Charles. Charles ended the game with 259 yards and 2 touchdowns. Though Kansas City finished the season 4-12, there was a real expectation that this team was going places. That expectation would last throughout the 2010 season as the Chiefs would finish 10-6 and win the division.

But that success would be short lived as the next two seasons would result in fourth place finishes in the division, including a 2-14 finish which was the worst in the league. Both seasons saw a head coach firing of Todd Haley and his successor, Romeo Crennel. It was also evident that there was a glaring need at the quarterback position as Matt Cassel proved that his 2010 performance was a fluke. The 2012 season saw one of the worst tragedies in the NFL with the suicide of linebacker Javon Belcher. By the end of that season, it was apparent that the Chiefs needed a full overhaul in the front office, in the locker room, and as a culture.

Enter Andy Reid.

Since Andy Reid has taken over as head coach in 2013, the Chiefs have never had a losing season and for the last four seasons they have won the AFC West. The Chiefs have won two playoff games under Reid, which is a considerable feat since they had not won a playoff game since 1993. A winning atmosphere had been instilled in Kansas City and it was mostly due to Andy Reid. But what the Chiefs had always been missing was a homegrown franchise quarterback.

Enter Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes came to the Chiefs as the understudy for Alex Smith. While Smith was a suitable quarterback, nothing can compare to how well Pat took off. In his first year as a starter, Mahomes racked up 50 touchdowns, 5000 yards passing, and the NFL MVP Award.

Today, the Chiefs are nothing close to the team of 2009. Mahomes is the reigning NFL MVP. Division titles aren’t just expected, they’re almost a guarantee. Playoff wins are becoming expected and they were a penalty away from making it to the Super Bowl last season. Now, with a first round bye in the playoffs and regular season victories over the top-seeded Ravens and the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots, the Chiefs may be able to close out the decade by hoisting the Lombardi trophy.

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