Dear Kansas City Chiefs fans,

The preseason is now over, and the fun is about to begin. Stock up on the barbecue charcoal and fill up the propane tanks. Tailgate season is here. In less than a week, the games that matter in the National Football League will commence.

You have endured the years where your hope rested upon quarterbacks such as Damon Huard, Brodie Croyle, and Tyler Thigpen. No longer will the Dwayne Bowes of the world be wasted with guys like the Tylers or a guy who can’t even put his hat on his head.

Those of us who love the game of football know what you guys have been through as Chiefs fans. We have seen the wasted careers of Hall of Fame greats such as Derrick Thomas and Will Shields. It’s crazy to think your roster had Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, and Eric Berry on defense and never made it to a Super Bowl.

While the Kingdom has had times of hope, a dragon always came to haunt them and kill the dream of taking home the Lombardi trophy.

A new era in Kansas City

Long gone are the times of despair in the Chiefs Kingdom. You have weathered the years of mediocrity, and a new era has been born in Kansas City. A dragon slayer has come, and he resides in KC.

The kid from Tyler, Texas, is under center now, and he can make magic happen and has brought new meaning to the word showtime. Patrick Mahomes, the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, is now your starting QB. Never in your storied franchise history have you been able to make such a claim and here at Pro Football Network, we feel like it won’t be his last as he is favored to repeat.

For the first time since maybe ever in Kansas City, you have a receiving core that features pro bowlers and playmakers everywhere you look. The trio of Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Sammy Watkins might be the best tight end and reciever threat in the NFL. Throw in Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman and its hard to see how a defense can game plan for this electrifying offense.

You also have a running back group that consists of the pro bow vet LeSean McCoy, the breakout star in waiting Damien Williams, and the rookie phenom Darwin Thompson. All three are big-play threats waiting to happen, both running and passing, in a system catered to ballcarriers.

Top it off with head coach Andy Reid, who is arguably the best offensive mind in the game, and you see why this is an offense every fan base will envy.

Transplant in the heartland

As impressive as the offense might be, the heart and soul of the team is on the other side of the ball. Since the 1969 team own the Super Bowl, the defense has always been something that defined the Chiefs. In recent years, that heart seemed to need a pacemaker. Kansas City general manager Brett Veach did one better and gave it a transplant in the form of Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu.

As I stated before, Johnson, Hali, and Berry once had that heart pumping strong. No matter what players came into the organization, they instantly got better when they got around those three. One of those players is Chris Jones, who kept the heart pumping last season.

If you are a fan of Kansas City, you know what Jones’ role was on the team last season. Not only was he the heart of the defense, but he was also the heart of the fanbase as well. The team still had Berry, but he was a shell of himself and didn’t seem all that focused. By his own admission, he did not “feel it in his spirit.” They also had Justin Houston and Dee Ford, who both played well, but they didn’t have the same energy as Jones.

Now with Clark and Mathieu joining Jones, the Chiefs once again have the leadership and energy that will make everyone around them better. Both have made it clear that they are not willing to play the “little brother” role to the offense and you can already see the effect it has had on the D.

The defense is out there trying to make plays, rather than just trying to prevent them from happening. They seem to be playing with a new swagger and are ready to prove that it’s not the same squad from last season.

In 1969, Kansas City had Johnny Robinson, Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell, and Buck Buchanan. The 1995 defense had Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith, Dan Saleaumua, and Dale Carter. Most recently, we witnessed Houston, Berry, Hali, and Johnson. The new era brings us Jones, Clark, Mathieu, and rookie Juan Thornhill.

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