KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs give credit where credit is due. Head coach Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes both said it wasn’t just the play calling and forced Cleveland turnovers that elevated the Chiefs to victory Sunday at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Both coach and player acknowledged the fans had a huge role in Sunday’s comeback win for the Chiefs.
“It was loud down there—very, very loud,” Reid said after the game. “Arrowhead is loud anyways—how you load this thing up and you say you can’t come here for a year you know, and you just open the gates.”
“I mean it was insane, probably one of the best crowds I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Mahomes said. “I think that was a momentum swing in the game that kind of got in our favor.”
This is the first regular season game for the Chiefs without COVID-19 attendance restrictions in place since the end of the 2019 season. While fans were allowed inside Arrowhead for games last year, the size of the crowd was strictly limited. This season capacity is back at 100%, and the Chiefs said they could tell.
“Our fans were unbelievable. We let them out of the cage. I mean, they were wild,” Reid said. “I loved every minute of it, and it made a difference. When you can get a punter to drop a ball, that’s pretty good for all your fans.”
Reid referred to the dropped snap by the Brown’s 27-year-old punter. It came after the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill scored on a 75-yard touchdown pass. The Browns went three and out in the next possession. The Browns’ Jamie Gillan dropped a snap to him inside the red zone with less than 9 minutes left in the game. Instead of trying to kick the ball, Gillan picked it up and ran before getting tackled. With great field position, the Chiefs ended up scoring a go-ahead touchdown.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes agreed that the crowd helped the defense step up when the Chiefs needed it.
“When we’re at Arrowhead and that crowd is rolling, it gets the defense going and translates to the offense,” Mahomes said. “I’m just glad we found a way to win against a really good team.”
The Browns led the game for nearly 53-minutes, but plays like Hill’s 75-yard catch and an interception by Chiefs defensive back Mike Hughes, helped swing the momentum late in the game and seal the win for the Chiefs.
“It felt good to get out here in front of our home crowd and be able to make a play in front of everybody to show everybody what I can do on the field,” Hughes said. “It felt great man.”
The Chiefs have a lot to improve on before they travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens on Sunday night Football in Week 2, but for now, they’re going to savor Sunday’s win.
“These wins are hard to get in this league, so we’re going to enjoy this one, but we’ll get back and make sure we grind through some of the things we need to get better at,” Reid said.