Kansas City, Mo. The memories of last season are already fuzzy for the Kansas City Chiefs, who tried to purge just about every one of them from their minds over a long, difficult offseason.
It helps that they’re quickly being replaced by happy thoughts.
The Chiefs pounded the New York Giants 31-7 on Sunday to move to 4-0 for only the third time in franchise history. They also joined the 1980 Detroit Lions as the only franchises to reel off four straight wins a year after winning two or fewer games.
“I don’t even remember last year. We’re doing so good right now,” wide receiver Dwayne Bowe said. “The team is totally in, the coaches, the players. It’s all a family right now. We’re a family organization. On all three sides of the ball we’re doing good.”
On offense, the Chiefs have scored at least 26 points in three of their four games, and they have only turned the ball over three times — all against the Giants, none resulting in points.
On defense, they’ve allowed just three touchdowns all season, and the way they’ve gotten after opposing quarterbacks — they have 18 sacks so far — has been downright startling.
On special teams, Dustin Colquitt has performed like the Pro Bowl punter that he was last season, and Dexter McCluster electrified Chiefs fans with a punt return touchdown on Sunday.
So yes, on all three sides of the ball the Chiefs are doing well.
“We try not to even think about last year,” said Bowe, who was part of the team that stumbled to a franchise-worst 2-14 finish. “Every day we go day-by-day, and right now we’re 4-0 and the target is on our back, and we have to keep pushing.”
That could get more difficult as injuries begin to mount.
Coach Andy Reid said Monday that right tackle Eric Fisher will be monitored this week after sustaining a concussion against the Giants, and his status and that of several other key players will be in limbo as they begin preparing for Sunday’s game at Tennessee.
“When you look at it, he really hit more of the shoulder area than the head, which I think is positive,” Reid said of his No. 1 overall draft pick. “I mean, I’m not a doctor. I don’t evaluate these things. But he didn’t take a direct blow, that big blow to the head, which I think is a good thing for him. That’s the most important thing.”
Reid also said that the feet of running back Jamaal Charles were a “mess” because of blisters that sprouted during the game.
Charles, who is expected to be OK for the Titans game, ran for just 65 yards but also had five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown against New York.
“He wants the ball, which you appreciate. I really appreciated it after I saw his feet and the blisters on them,” Reid said. “The kid is a tough kid. He likes to play.”
There are a slew of other injuries that the Chiefs will be watching closely.
Top cornerback Brandon Flowers was inactive for the Giants game because of inflammation in his knee, and Reid wasn’t sure Monday about his status for next weekend. Starting guard Jeff Allen missed the game with a lingering calf strain, No. 1 tight end Anthony Fasano was out with an ankle sprain and backup tight end Travis Kelce is still dealing with a bruised knee.
“Obviously, Flowers wasn’t able to answer the bell or Fasano, and it wasn’t lack of effort,” Reid said. “They tried, as did Allen, but hopefully we get them back next week.”
Even without them, the Chiefs kept on rolling.
Alex Smith has flourished since getting traded from San Francisco, joining Joe Montana and Mike Livingston as the only Chiefs quarterbacks to win their first four starts. Smith threw his first two picks of the season against New York, but also threw three touchdown passes.
One of them went to Sean McGrath, the first of his career.
In fact, McGrath may be the epitome of how everything is going the Chiefs’ way this season. He was cut loose by Seattle and picked up off waivers by Kansas City just before the start of the season, and has proven invaluable in filling in for Fasano and Kelce at tight end.
When asked whether he’s having any fun with the 4-0 start, McGrath’s response spoke volumes.
“Are you kidding me?” he said. “How could you not have fun?”