Chiefs again chasing rare playoff win at Arrowhead Stadium
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Andy Reid could spend hours waxing poetic about playing at Arrowhead Stadium.
He'll extoll the virtues of the crowd, which set a Guinness World Record last season for loudest outdoor stadium in the world.
He'll praise the die-hards that show up hours before kickoff, pouring into the parking lot and creating a college-like atmosphere on game days.
He'll point out that the venue is one of the toughest places for an opponent to play.
What Reid won't discuss, either by choice or by ignorance, is the fact that the Chiefs have not won a postseason game in their 44-year-old home in more than two decades.
''I love bringing teams in here,'' Reid said Monday, ''and now a playoff game - it was rocking and rolling that game where they set the decibel record. The ground was shaking. And I can't wait for this.''
The Chiefs welcome the Steelers on Sunday in the divisional round of the playoffs, a rematch of a lopsided Week 4 loss in Pittsburgh.
It's the first time Kansas City has hosted a playoff game since 2011, when the Ravens romped to a 30-7 victory, and the first time there has been a divisional round matchup at the stadium pitched just off Interstate 70 since a loss to Indianapolis on Jan. 11, 2004.
Not surprisingly, the Chiefs are gearing up for a big weekend.
Team president Mark Donovan spent time Monday discussing the game-day events that are planned, and how parking lots will open for eager tailgaters earlier than normal. Donovan said tickets were sold out and that the crowd could be one of the biggest and loudest in years.
But asked about the Chiefs' playoff futility at home, Donovan was caught a bit speechless.
''I don't know if you have to win games to restore or solidify the iconic nature of Arrowhead,'' he said. ''I had the good fortune of working for the NFL and traveling to all the markets and being in all the stadiums, and there's something special about Arrowhead, and the playoffs will magnify that.''
Perhaps that's true, but that ''special'' feeling has nothing to do with playoff history.
Kansas City has lost four straight home playoff games, three of them in the divisional round, since beating the Steelers - coincidentally enough - in the wild-card round on Jan. 8, 1994.
Three of them were one-possession games, only underlining the frustration experienced at home.
In fact, the Chiefs have only won two playoff games at home in their history, even though they proudly remind people that they were a founding member of the old AFL. The other came against the then-Los Angeles Raiders in 1991, also in the wild-card round.
Their saving grace may be that Reid and Co. were not around for any of those letdowns, and the longtime Eagles coach has actually fared quite well in defending the home turf. He was 7-4 in postseason games played in Philadelphia, many of those wins coming in the divisional round.
Since arriving in Kansas City, Reid is 23-9 in four seasons at Arrowhead Stadium.
''We know the fans will be here and do their part, and now we have to do our part,'' Reid said. ''Rain, snow, it doesn't matter. They'll be here and do their thing and that's exciting.''
Make no mistake: Playing a home game sure beats the alternative.
The Chiefs haven't exactly been good anywhere in the playoffs, losing eight straight games before a win in Houston last January.
But their regular season-ending win in San Diego coupled with Oakland's loss to Denver gave them the benefit of a home game - along with a much-needed week off.
Now, the Steelers have to turn around after their lopsided wild-card win over Miami and catch a flight to Kansas City, where they have lost three of their past four games.
''It's loud. It's the loudest stadium I've ever played in, them and Seattle,'' Steelers right tackle Marcus Gibert said.
''They came here early on in the year and felt a little embarrassed by how they played in all three phases. We don't expect to see that this time around.''
Notes: Reid said OLB Justin Houston (knee) and RB Spencer Ware (ribs) would practice as usual this week. Asked whether that means both will play Sunday, he replied: ''Just practice and see how they do.'' ... MLB Justin March-Lillard has not played since early in the season, when he broke his hand. But he came off IR a few weeks ago and could play Sunday. ''We'll see,'' Reid said, ''just see how that works.''
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