The Kansas City Chiefs were left for dead on Christmas Day. Coming off their worst performance of the season in a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs weren’t going to have home-field advantage in the conference.
There were doubts outside the Chiefs organization Kansas City would reach the Super Bowl, having to pass through Buffalo and Baltimore on the road to get out of the AFC. Kansas City won both games en route to the Super Bowl.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told Football Morning in America that he texted Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce before Super Bowl LVIII, thanking him for waking up his football team.
“I texted him,” Reid said. “I just said, ‘Hey, nice setup, first of all. And I appreciate that you kicked us because you taught us a lesson. You are complacent in this business, the margin between winning and losing is tiny. You better step up.”‘
“There’s a time and a place for these players that have been here before. You know what it takes. If you’re the veteran who drops the ball or you’re the veteran who takes the penalties, you better figure it out. get out quickly. This season will go down.
The Chiefs didn’t lose a single game after that loss to the Raiders, winning six straight to capture the Super Bowl title. Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie also admitted that after the AFC championship win over the Baltimore Ravens, the Raiders’ loss was motivation for them – although in a different way.
“We heard it all year, from the first game when we lost to the Lions,” McDuffie told CBS Sports. “Everyone doubted us, but the good thing about this team is that we don’t hear anything. You feel me? We don’t care what people have to say. We trust each other to go out on the field and win games, and we ended up in Las Vegas.”
The loss to the Raiders fueled the Chiefs, who were “the Chiefs” only after that loss.