A Lesson For The Future

From the FanPosts  - Woodman

Is there anyone who would like to stand up and explain the logic behind a 3-13 NFL team losing its last game of the season in order to move up in the draft?

Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Chiefs fans, I want you to remember this day.  While we all hope that we'll never again find the Chiefs in a position where that discussion might take place going into the season's final game, the NFL can be kind of a funny place.

Sure... I know.  We don't want to even think about that right now.  But let's man up: it might happen again.  Maybe next season.  But hopefully... just someday.  Like maybe... after we're all dead.

But if it does happen before you go under the hood in that big instant replay booth in the sky, I want you to remember the day that Todd Haley told his team that it was time to put the 2009 season behind them, and play the first game of the 2010 season.

Here's the lesson Todd Haley was giving his team.  And you:

Screw the draft.  Drafting early is like being named Miss Congeniality at a beauty pageant.  It's for losers.  In the NFL, the object is to win.  Period.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, their 44-24 victory over the Broncos won't go in the record books as the first victory of 2010.  But whatever you are feeling right now in the wake of this huge upset victory - the Chiefs' first-ever at Invesco Field - I want you to multiply it by ten.

Because that's exactly what Chiefs players are feeling right now.  And with luck, that incredible feeling will be enough to carry them through their first actual victory of 2010.

I've been expecting the Chiefs to win this game ever since the victory over Pittsburgh.  But I didn't expect them to win any of the games in between.  Just this one.

Not because I thought the Chiefs would be motivated to knock Denver out of the playoffs, or because I thought Todd Haley would cleverly use the New Year as a motivational tool - or even because I thought that Jamaal Charles would set a franchise record, rushing for more yards all by himself than Denver did in their crushing victory over the Chiefs just four weeks ago.

In fact... it wasn't even because my own season prediction was 4-12.

No... I thought they'd finish the season 1-5 - beating Denver in the final week - because that's what bad teams do.  They lose games everybody expects them to win - like the Buffalo and Cleveland games, which have been marked with a W on the pocket schedules of many Chiefs fans since... oh... about April, I guess - and win games in which they're supposed to be blown out.

Think back.  The night we were all reveling in the victory over the defending Super Bowl champions, Denver had just been hammered by the Chargers.  Yes... it was their fourth loss in a row - but they had started the season with six consecutive wins.

The scenario was easy to forsee.  The final game of the season.  A division opponent.  In their stadium.  Playoff implications for them, but none for the Chiefs.  So it was pretty obvious to me that this was the one game the Chiefs would win down the stretch.

But please don't think I'm being smug about this.  In 2008, I predicted the Chiefs would finish 9-7.  Even a blind squirrel can win two games. No... wait... I meant to say that even 22 guys off the street are right twice a day.  No... that's not right, either.  Hmmm.  A broken clock finds an acorn every once in a while?

You know what?  Never mind.

In pure football terms, this victory isn't much to write home about.  The Chiefs defeated an average team.  They gained a ton of rushing yards against a team that actually gives up quite a few of them.  They allowed Jabar Gaffney to give an all-too-realistic impression of his suspended teammate Brandon Marshall.

But I should stop right there.  Who wants to rain on this parade?

After all, the player-who-shall-not-be-named's previous franchise record of 211 yards came against a less than stellar rushing defense, too.  And Jamaal Charles demolished that mark.

(The only really bad thing I can say about it is that it was another excuse for a headline writer - this one at - to think they were being quite clever by coming up with another lame "Charles In Charge" riff.  Would someone please shoot the next bozo who starts to write this somewhere?)

He may be a yo-yo in the eyes of Todd Haley (and more than a few Chiefs fans) but Derrick Johnson showed why the Chiefs thought he was worth a first round draft pick.  A score of defensive backs have returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns in a single game, but it's been fourteen years since another linebacker - Ken Norton - has done it.

Dwayne Bowe didn't even drop a pass in this game.  OK... so what if the Chiefs decided to let Champ Bailey wither on the vine by throwing Bowe just one pass?  Bowe didn't drop the blessed thing, did he?

Here's another pop quiz, kids.  How many games did the Chiefs have to play before scoring on the opening drive? How many games did Glenn Dorsey have to play before recording his first sack of the season?  And how many games did the Chiefs have to play before going a whole game without giving up a sack?

Anyone?  Anyone?  Shut up, Bueller.

Yep... the answer to all three is fifteen.  You can throw all those goose eggs away now.

You know... I'm feeling so good about this game, I won't even criticize Todd Haley for once again letting a trick play burn a hole in his pocket.  Even I am willing to excuse something like that when the Chiefs head coach, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, statistician, sign writer - and fashion plate - throws the long ball when it's smart (instead of when it feels good) doesn't press when he doesn't need to, and finds such an effective way to motivate his team.

While the opponent didn't carry quite the cachet of a defending Super Bowl champ, this win - like the one against the Steelers - was one the Chiefs definitely deserved.  They played hard and well, and fought on every snap with the hearts of champions.  There wasn't a thing in the world on the line - except the promise of a bright future.

And tonight, that promise looks pretty damned good.

Class dismissed - until sophomore year, that is.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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