Kansas City Chiefs finding their identity at key time in season

Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Since Patrick Mahomes became the Kansas City Chiefs‘ starting quarterback in 2018, the team has mainly kept the same core around him.

It’s a core highlighted by star pass-catchers Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, head coach Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, a competent offensive line and a defense that won’t give up too much that the offense can’t surpass.

But many like many players and coaches say, teams change from year to year: new personalities, new attitudes and new mentalities.

When the Chiefs began the 2021 season with a 3-4 record and a struggling offense, many fans were quick to write this season off and throw any three-peat Super Bowl appearances out the window.

But throughout their struggles, Chiefs players and coaches were adamant that the struggles would subside after some time.

Now the Chiefs are heading into a highly anticipated fight with the 7-2 Dallas Cowboys on a three-game win streak as a team that’s back to its high-flying ways.

“Some teams start fast, some teams start slower. Sometimes you have everybody back, sometimes you have an influx of players,” Reid said Friday. “So I think it’s everybody. I think it’s coaches, players — we’re all working through it to make everything right and get to know each other and so on.”

An overhaul of the offensive line has paid dividends. Rookie center Creed Humphrey is already being recognized as one of the best rookies in the NFL and one of the best interior offensive linemen in the league.

“It shows how good of a unit we’ve been so far with having guys like Joe (Thuney) and Trey (Smith) by me, things like that,” Humphrey said. “Everybody is working together well, and that’s the biggest thing for us. So that’s more a reflection of how well we’ve all worked together.”

The Chiefs defense has come alive during the win streak as well, which several coaches and players like lineman Chris Jones credits to having players come back from injury.

“Everyone’s getting healthy, getting our legs under us and coming together as a group, staying after practice, making sure we’re doing drills,” Jones said.

“I think it’s the players committing to one another, making sure we’re getting the best out of one another and [Steve Spagnuolo] dialing up schemes and plays where we can get one on ones, and that’s what we harp ourselves on, winning one on ones.”

With the Cowboys bringing the no. 1 offense without impactful WR Amari Cooper to Kansas City on Sunday, the Chiefs may have a small advantage over America’s Team.

But Reid said this team is always ready to rock Arrowhead Stadium.

“We look forward to the challenge of playing the Cowboys. We know they’re a good football team, obviously, and we know our crowd will be electric come Sunday. So we welcome them in with that.”

Catch the game right here on FOX4 on Sunday at 3:25 p.m. CT.

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