It was a rough start this year for the Chiefs, who entered Sunday’s game at 0-2 and facing an uphill challenge in the Superdome against the Saints.
After the Chiefs made that uphill climb even steeper by erasing an 18-point deficit and won the game in overtime via a scoring drive that included a gutsy decision to go for a first down on fourth and short, I spoke with coach Romeo Crennel.
“How are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m better,” Crennel said with a chuckle.
“We got the first pickle out of the jar,” Crennel said later in the conversation. “Now we’ll see if we can get another one.”
Crennel explained it was “almost” the biggest win of his head-coaching career. “Green Bay [last year] was a big one,” Crennel said. “This one was needed.”
He then explained the attitude he spent the week communicating to his players. The goal is to “keep fighting,” Crennel said, ignoring bad plays and preventing things from going bad to worse.
That mindset worked on Sunday, when the Chiefs somehow turned it around in the third quarter, sparked by a 91-yard touchdown run from Jamaal Charles.
But wasn’t Charles’ surgically-repaired knee still bothering him? “I tried to tell everybody he wasn’t hurt,” Crennel said, explaining that Charles didn’t return to the Week Two game against the Bills after banging the knee because the other running backs were running well.
Charles ran extremely well Sunday, with 233 yards on 33 carries. Still, Crennel said the goal is to “still try to spread it around, because we have other good people who can run the ball.”
The win should bring a temporary end to some of the heavy criticism in Kansas City regarding the team’s performance during two consecutive losses to open the season. “I try not to listen, but I know how the game is,” Crennel said. “There was a lot of [criticism]. This reinforces we are headed in the right direction.”
And if they continue in that direction, there will be plenty of pickles.