The Kansas City Chiefs are in a Playoff Run. Is Call of Duty the Key?
Heading into this weekend’s playoff matchup against the Bengals, the Chiefs are a red-hot 11-1 in 12 games. Their magical run may have started with a midseason game of Call of Duty®.
Team chemistry — it’s the ability team members have to complement and support each other, and the AFC’s top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs have it as the team rides a wave of momentum into this weekend’s playoff matchup versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
But the season didn’t begin that way for the Chiefs, who lost two of the previous four games going into Week 7.
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That all changed when the Chiefs caught a spark in their matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. And the difference maker, according to the Chief’s Pro Bowl wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, might just have been a team-building game of Call of Duty®: Warzone™ between the Chiefs All-Pro quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, and the receivers in the run-up to their much-needed win.
“You want to talk about chemistry and trust? Imma tell you what got us the chemistry we needed this game,” Smith-Schuster said to reporters after the game. “Friday night, it was me, Pat [Mahomes], Travis [Kelce], and MVS [Marquez Valdez-Scantling]. We were playing Call of Duty together. Warzone. We won three games back-to-back and got off like, damn... The chemistry and communication between all of us, it was like we were in the game. It showed on the field.”
You can hear more of Smith-Schuster’s thoughts on the Call of Duty effect as well as Mahomes’ take in the clip above.
Even that Week 7 vital match-up got off on a sour note. MVP quarterback Mahomes tossed an interception on the Chiefs’ first possession, and the team trailed 10-0 in the first quarter. But the Chiefs kicked it into gear for the remainder of the game, going on a 44-13 run and winning by more than 20 points.
As Smith-Schuster said, chemistry and communication between Mahomes and his receivers appeared to be at an all-time high after the first quarter, as both Smith-Schuster (124 yards) and Valdes-Scantling (111 yards) had season-highs in receiving yards and Mecole Hardman added three touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving).
The team had plenty of time to build on this performance (and get in a few more rounds of Call of Duty) during the week as they prepare for their fifth straight AFC Championship Game and seek to reach their third Super Bowl in the last four years.
In 2020, the Chiefs took home the trophy against … the 49ers. Anyone else believe in omens? 🤔
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