KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs entered Sunday afternoon shorthanded without MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes and five other starters when Arrowhead Stadium was filled with a sea of purple, as Vikings fans fled the winter of the north to battle Chiefs for attendance supremacy.
For the second straight week NFC North stands flooded the seats of Arrowhead, as the Chiefs lost in primetime a week ago to Green Bay when the stadium was split between Packers and Chiefs fans. While the Chiefs were coming off of three straight home losses for the first time since 2013, they had an even bigger chip on their shoulder with the large amount of Minnesota fans that filled the arena.
“We had a rough time, especially with being at home,” Chiefs running back Damien Williams said. “And to just see how much purple was in our stadium, I feel like we took that as disrespect. We are at home, we want to look like we are at home. So having to see that, everybody kind of looked at each other like ‘hey this is our house and we need to protect our house’ and that’s what we came out and did. I saw too much purple, I’m glad they traveled well to see that.”
While the Chiefs have their signature “Tomahawk Chop,” the Vikings have a cheer of their own called the “Skol Chant” that was deafening on multiple occasions Sunday afternoon. The Vikings cheer fueled the fire in the first half for some Chiefs players, and the defense responded with a sack on a third-and-7 with 3:44 to go in the second quarter.
“Minnesota (fans) kind of pissed me off by doing that in our stadium,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said. “You’re not going to come into Arrowhead and do that. We had to respond big. We had the opportunity to rush on third down. (Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) called one hell of a play and we executed.”
Although the Arrowhead crowd was divided with both allegiances, the Chiefs were able to come out on top with a 26-23 victory. When it came down to it, Chiefs fans drowned out Vikings fans late to help end the home losing skid, coach Andy Reid said.
“The crowd was phenomenal. There was a lot of purple and they just voiced them out. The whole thing clapping over the head and all that, I think our PA guy did a nice job of cranking up the Arrowhead pride there. They were yanking the music out and nulled out that clapping deal. It brought us right back to home,” Reid said.
The Chiefs walked out of Arrowhead Stadium with their second home win of the season, and the first at Arrowhead since September 22 against the Baltimore Ravens. As Kansas City hits the road and has its bye week in the next three weeks, the Chiefs won’t be back in Arrowhead until December 1, and hope to have a bigger turnout when they host AFC West rival Oakland Raiders.