The Chiefs are home. Like a good medicine, I’m hopeful Arrowhead will help the Kansas City Chiefs get back on track against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Chiefs are home. Like a good medicine, I’m hopeful Arrowhead will help the Kansas City Chiefs get back on track against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Despite losing two in a row, they’re still exceeding expectations – for the most part. The defense, for the first time, didn’t hold its own in the fourth quarter – allowing 21 points to the Houston Texans – but it didn’t lessen how fans feel about it. The Texans have an efficient offense and with Indy, Peyton Manning took a deep breath after each field goal. With seven minutes left, the Chiefs held a 10-point advantage over the Texans.

Let it sink in, but last season’s 4-12 Chiefs could have been 5-0 headed into tomorrow’s game. Not wishful thinking, but it’s been that close.

Todd Haley says the Chiefs have more to do, but even with the construction, I love what I see. Still, this is football not “IF”-ball. The Chiefs as a whole are very young, especially on defense, but this is the happiest I’ve been after a two-game losing streak. I have no doubt, and I mean that, of where the Chiefs are going. Things are looking way up for the Chiefs.

BEST COACH SINCE MARTY? A fan said so and it got me thinking. I can’t help it, but Marty Schottenheimer is my measuring stick.

I’m young enough to say Marty’s when I first took note of the Chiefs, so when I look at Haley, I compare what he does to Marty. Last season I had a hard time gauging Haley, but with a better coaching staff and more time to coach, Haley’s turned a corner.

Last season the Broncos’ Josh McDaniels started 6-0 and Haley began 1-5. Many speculated on who got the better man. It looked as though the Broncos caught the bigger fish, but the last game of the season between the Chiefs and Broncos changed everything. What fans see today is a continuation of that, because the Chiefs are in front with the rest of the division a game and a half behind.

The Denver Post may ask what’s wrong with the AFC West, but in Kansas City, all is fine.

Schottenheimer had things he did, but the one I was most fond of was watching Marty explain everything to his players. Marty made it a habit to teach his guys no matter the position, or even if it had nothing to do with them. He just wanted them to know. Marty was big on the “why,” but Schottenheimer was dialed in. That sort of comfort zone is showing up with Haley.

Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe catch flak, but you won’t see Haley throwing them under the bus. Haley smiles, thinks long and answers in a way that leaves them with their dignity. Bowe gives us reasons to question, but who’s Cassel going to play harder for? Did Bowe have the sort of game he did (108 yards and 2 TDs) against the Texans because of what fans thought, or was it because of what Haley didn’t say about Bowe? Haley sticks up for Bowe, and I can’t say for sure, but it would make sense that Bowe would want to show Haley he’s right.

To steal one from “Remember the Titans,” attitude reflects leadership. Haley has the right mindset and going for it on fourth down shows his tenacity. Come on, admit it, but when it’s fourth-and-inches, you know you want the Chiefs going for it. I do! Remember, the team may be growing, but Haley’s in his second year as a head coach. Like a player Haley is maturing and getting better.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: I’m hearing a word I don’t like, especially when the Chiefs are favored. It’d be nice if there were games that were automatic, but from what we know about the NFL, there isn’t. The last thing the Chiefs are thinking about Jacksonville is “easy.”

The Jaguars may be down, but it’s the NFL, a single snap can change it all. The Chiefs are 2-6 in regular season play against Jacksonville, including a 1-2 record at Arrowhead. Florida teams give the Chiefs fits, so the Chiefs need to take advantage in this contest.

A stat that caught my eye is how the Jaguars fare when held to less than 20 points. When kept to that, the Jaguars are 1-21 in their last 22 games, including seven consecutive losses. The Chiefs are 52-5 when holding opponents to less than 20 points at Arrowhead going back to 1995. Currently the Chiefs are ninth in the NFL, allowing 18 points a game. Keep that in mind, because until the Texans, the Chiefs were holding teams to 14 points a game. The Jaguars offense is averaging 18 points a game.

That’s the golden nugget for the Chiefs. If the defense holds true, and the Jaguars aren’t the Texans, then the Chiefs should win. But stats are numbers and numbers change from week to week.

What’s not as quick to change is how a team is playing. The Jaguars are hurting, quarterback David Garrard is back, but he’s not practicing and isn’t expected to play Sunday. The Jaguars are struggling, and there’s nothing hinting toward a fast recovery. The Chiefs are surging and at Arrowhead, there’s plenty to think that the Chiefs win.

The Chiefs have the edge, but I want a total team effort, not just defense. Last week the Chiefs had their best showing from the offense, but the Jaguars defense isn’t any better than the Texans, I fully expect the Chiefs to resume their offensive ways.

But remember, nothing’s easy. You still have to play. For the first time all year, the Chiefs are favored and they’ve been playing like it all along. They’re trying to take on the playoff image and the fan in me thinks against the Jaguars, we’ll see the Chiefs’ best game yet.

But that’s me. I’m anticipating Arrowhead to be jam-packed. It’s standing room only, so I know the 12th man will be there in force doing what they do best, and that’s wreaking havoc on the other team. I’m excited for this one! Go Chiefs!

Good day, Chief fans!