Players happy to end playoff drought, keep championship goals alive

Jan. 9, 2016; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) is congratulated by teammates after a touchdown run during the second half against the Texans. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Jan. 9, 2016; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) is congratulated by teammates after a touchdown run during the second half against the Texans. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

HOUSTON – Offensive lineman Donald Stephenson entered Saturday fully aware of the Chiefs’ playoff blues.

The Chiefs ended that drought by defeating the Texans, 30-0, in the venue next to the old Astrodome, the site of the last playoff won against the Oilers on Jan. 16, 1994.

Stephenson wasn’t aware of the history because he is a member of the team. There is more to it for him because of where he was raised.

“We’re happy about it, especially me,” Stephenson said of Saturday’s win. “I’m from Kansas City.”

While the native of Blue Springs, Mo., was excited to come away with a win, Stephenson said he and his teammates have loftier aspirations.

“It’s a big deal, but we got bigger goals in mind,” he said. “We’re going to celebrate with the city, but it’s not good enough for us. We want more.”

That prize, of course, is making it all the way to Super Bowl 50.

“We’re just getting started, baby,” linebacker Dee Ford said. “We’re glad to break the curse, but I can’t even be prouder of this organization and I’m blessed to be a part of it.”

Left tackle Eric Fisher agreed, adding the Chiefs will stay focused with hopes of getting to the championship game.

“I think we have our eyes on the prize and it’s going to take four weeks,” Fisher said. “We knocked out the first week, so we’re going to take it a week at a time. We just got to come with the same mentality the next three weeks.”

The Chiefs next stop is in Foxboro, Mass., to face the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Should the Chiefs defeat the Patriots, the team will advance to the AFC Conference Championship game on Jan. 24. Make it past that game and the Chiefs will play for it all on Feb. 7.

The Chiefs will now focus ahead instead of the past streak of no playoff wins, and offensive lineman Zach Fulton points out the clock can stop ticking on the latter.

“What’s it been, 22 years?” Fulton said. “It’s zero now.”

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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