Much has been said about the Kansas City Chiefs and the surprising start to their season. And by that, I mean there has been much skepticism, many Kansas City fans overjoyed and many critics underwhelmed at the Chiefs.
Then, that game in Denver happened. You know, that Sunday Night Football game in Week 11 that drew 600,000 more viewers than Game 7 of this year's NBA Finals, per ESPN's Darren Rovell.
Kansas City suffered its first loss of the season (against a hobbled Peyton Manning who somehow can still get the ball out of his hands in under three seconds with slabs of wood hinged to his ankles), pulling the Chiefs into a tie atop the AFC West with Denver—each at 9-1.
The difference, though, is that we know how the Denver Broncos got to 9-1: Peyton Manning leading a historic offense, the acquisition of Wes Welker and the development of both Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas, along with a defense that is just tough enough. The Chiefs, though? The Chiefs formerly of 2-14 stature just one year ago? How did they get here?
The Kansas City defense, of course, is along the same historic realm as the Broncos offense. That much is clear. However, when crystallizing specific moments or dissecting lasting themes hovering over Kansas City thus far, the shift in culture and fortune is more dispersed than national narrative would imply.
These are the top 10 most important aspects of the Kansas City Chiefs' one-year overhaul. Some of them are among the best moments of the season—some of them not so much—but each and every one has contributed to how the Kansas City Chiefs have evolved from just one of the NFL's 32 teams into one of the NFL's best.