KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs are riding high on a four-game winning streak behind a strong defense and punishing running game, both of which positioned the team well for a postseason push.
There is little doubt the Chiefs have looked good on the field the past two games, outscoring opponents 62-16 while totaling six interceptions and eight sacks.
But the past two games are arguably more than just about dominating performances to the keen observers.
The Chiefs made a fashion statement, sporting white-on-white with red socks against the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers, and the players felt good wearing the color scheme.
“Man, it just brings swag when you see that,” defensive lineman Jaye Howard said. “I was actually in the room thinking about that today (Wednesday). The last two games we won we had on white, so I think we need to keep that going on.”
Before Week 10 against Denver, the Chiefs last wore white-on-white uniforms in the AFC Wildcard game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 4, 2014. And the red socks with the ensemble were last seen during the final home game of the 1962 season when the Chiefs were the Dallas Texans.
The last time the Chiefs wore white-on-white for a home game came in Week 1 of the 2006 season.
Unfortunately, the Chiefs won’t be able to wear the road uniform of the past two weeks for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. Home uniforms are required to be submitted to the league before the regular season and the Chiefs accomplished that on June 15.
Still, who was the brainchild of changing up the uniform on the road?
“I’ll guarantee it didn’t come from the chubby guys, that part I’ll guarantee you,” coach Andy Reid said. “But I don’t know. I mean, these guys, uniforms are a thing right now. They’re a thing at the college level, they’re a thing at this level and hey, that’s great, man.”
The 6-1 Howard, who weighed 330 pounds in training camp, agreed emphatically with Reid on not being the player to recommend the all-white uniform, which isn’t flattering on the big guys.
“On me, I’m like dang, constantly pulling on my shirt making sure my gut’s not out,” Howard said with a chuckle. “But it’s working for us, man, so we’ll just continue doing it.”
The Chiefs under Reid have broken from tradition before, going with his recommendation of a red-on-red uniform for the first time in team history in the regular-season home opener of the 2013 season. The Chiefs have since worn that uniform four times at home, amassing a 2-2 record.
Reid, however, didn’t play a major role in the decision to go with the white-on-white and red socks uniform. And it turns out the head coach was correct on the physique of the player responsible for pitching the idea to Chiefs chairman & CEO Clark Hunt, who has the final decision.
“You’ll probably have to ask (cornerback) Sean Smith about that look, it’s probably something he wanted to have,” cornerback Jamell Fleming said. “We like the white-on-white look, how slick it is, how clean we look.”
For his part, the 6-3, 218-pound Smith said he wanted to change up the road uniform because he grew weary of the white-on-red look and the choices were limited.
“That’s the only other option, that’s it,” Smith said. “We’re wearing white-on-red, I said let’s go all-white for a change. We all wanted to do it, something new. Everybody else can wear an alternate, so why not go all-white?”
Defensive end Mike DeVito was among the players in the locker room to support Smith’s idea to adjust what the team wears on the road.
“Whatever it takes,” DeVito said. “We’ll be out there in pink if it helps us win.”
The suit makes the man, as the cliché goes. And, of course, it could be argued how one feels with what is worn affects performance.
A superstitious person would say something is working because the Chiefs are 5-1 when wearing white pants and 0-4 when wearing red pants in 2015.
But wide receiver Jason Avant preferred to not place too much stock into what the team wore during the wins. The 10th-year pro chose to allow the results to speak for itself.
“I don’t think it’s white-on-white, I don’t think it’s that,” wide receiver Jason Avant said. “We’ve just been playing better, protecting the football and scoring points.”
Howard agreed with his offensive teammate, but added the white-on-white and red socks outfit will likely make another appearance when the Chiefs hit the road in Week 13.
“At the end of the day, you have to line up and play ball,” Howard said. “But the players committee, they voted for it and we’re rolling with it.”