Ugh. I feel like someone took a jackhammer to my bones and a sledgehammer to my head. I'm hungover, tired, and to make matters worse, I'm coming down with a cold or something. And I didn't even go to the game last night. Mad props to all the KC Faithful that were representing last night. You guys were phenomenal. Anyways, it's funny, because as bad as I feel right now... It could always be worse. Count your blessings. You could be Phillip Rivers.
Not only is his body likely feeling the effects of being Tamba-ed all night long, but his ego must be in shambles right now. Who the hell fumbles a snap on a QB kneel? Phyllis Rivers, that's who. Hahaha. At least our side came out with a big "W". It totally makes the headaches, sore throats and dragging asses today worth it. So pardon me if my post doesn't live up to the energetic smack talk and wit of my previous two. This one will reflect how we all feel today. Exhausted yet content... maybe even optimistic for the future. This week's menu consists of "MNF recap, Tambahawk and Defense!". Let's do it.
No doubt part of the reason I feel like crap today is because last night was an emotional roller coaster of epic proportions. Never, ever before have I started out a game expecting my team to dominate, had that expectation reaffirmed in the first quarter, then slide into a "dammit offense, WTF?" in the second quarter. Oh, but it doesn't end there. In the 3rd quarter the Chargers slowly started tacking on points with FG after FG after FG... it felt like one of those Halloween slasher flicks where the killer is slowly creeping up on an unsuspecting victim. Then, amazingly in the 4th, the offense came back to life and got us up 8. And then the O and D both faltered and let Rivers and the Chargers come roaring back. The play calling method was atrocious, and I swear that Haley and I must be kindred spirits because at the same time we both had this to say to Muir:
At the end of the 4th, with a Rivers led offense on our 15 yard line, I was packing it in. I was considering how to break the news to my kids that the Chiefs suck again. I was contemplating the probability of making the playoffs while 2 games down in the division, deciding that Halloween candy had a better chance at being around come January. It wasn't all bad though. I'd finally get to shave this infernal beard. In fact, rumor has it that Haley had a razor and shaving cream on the sideline, ready to go. Gillette's stock probably jumped up 30 points at about 10:45 last night, central time. Sitting on the couch, drunk and more concerned about raiding my kids' Halloween candy than watching the rest of the game... I was giving up. And then it happened:
In what can only be explained as a Halloween miracle, Phyllis fumbled the ball. On a snap. On what should have been a kneel. Take a moment to reflect on the rare play we just witnessed, because we will likely never see anything that absurd ever again. Facial hair all across Kansas City rejoiced as Andy Studebaker yanked the ball from the bottom of the pile. The Chiefs had a second chance. I went from sleepy and sick of football to rejuvenated and on the edge of my seat in an instant. It seems like all I could say was "No way... hahahaha.... no way... hahaha... are you freaking kidding me?". But the laughs didn't end there. Oh no. In what can only be explained as a stroke of luck that you just knew would make the Arrowhead Pride hall of fame, ESPN had the courtesy to cut to this shot... which will undeniably be one of the most epic gifs of all time:
At this point I was rolling. The game went from a shoot 'em up action flick, to a tragedy, to a horror story, to a comedy in roughly 3 hours. Unbelievable. So anyways... as we all know, the Chiefs go into overtime and lose the toss. At this point I'm nervous again, but have a much better outlook on the game, since at this point we're playing with house money anyways. And 'lo and behold... the Chiefs went all in. The defense forced a 3 and out, with big plays by our MVPs from the game, Hali, Studebaker and Johnson. And then out comes Matt Cassel, the Inconsistent One, and leads the offense down the field putting Succop in chip shot range. Unbelievable. Say what you will about Cassel... but he might be one of my favorite Chiefs. I just love his "Matt Cassel just fucked you up, dawg" attitude, and love for this team. The guy has a personality I want to root for, maybe more than any other player on this team.
Four in a row baby. Hells yeah. We won an ugly ass game against a team that should have Yosemite Sam as their mascot, seeing as how they are so proficient in shooting themselves in the foot. Not taking anything away from KC... our defense is progressing into a monster with an elite player at each level, and Matt Cassel showed some poise and leadership when it mattered most... but the Chargers totally snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. We should have lost that game. But we didn't. The Chiefs stood strong in the face of adversity, persevered, and won. 4-3. First place. It's a good day to be a Chiefs fan. In a play on words from Rivers' epic gif, I have to say... This was the best day ever.
Oh, one other thing. I was thinking.... you know how other NFL games have had cool nick names tagged onto them to label some of the most amazing/infamous plays in football history (Miracle in the Meadowlands, The Catch, Monday Night Meltdown, etc)? Well, I think this game, or at least the Rivers fumble needs a catchy nickname. Unfortunately I'm not at the top of my game right now, and am having a hard time coming up with anything good. The best I have is "Turnover at Terrorhead", but am open to suggestions. Leave some in the comments. This moment in Chiefs history needs immortalized with a cool nick name.
Rumor has it there is a beast that roams the field at Arrowhead that scalps Left Tackles and eats Quarter Backs. Half man, half bird of prey, this monster shows up once a week for 60 minutes then vanishes into the bowels of Arrowhead, not to be heard from until it's next feeding time. The Tambahawk is no urban legend. Just last night, there were reports of this ravenous creature terrorizing a group of posers from San Diego that thought they were above the Tambahawk's wrath. Oh no. No one escapes this beast's rage on his home turf. The Tambahawk is reported to have forced the Left Tackle to commit 5 penalties - 3 false starts, a hold and an illegal use of hands, all of them totaling 35 yards. At one point the Tambahawk got bored and decided to toy with the Right Tackle. This resulted in another hold and 10 more yards. But the onslaught of this monster didn't end there. Oh no.
The Tambahawk still managed to successfully drop the opposing QB twice, including forcing a fumble when the beast swiped at his prey with one talon when the San Diego posers were approaching their goal. The amount of pressure the Tambahawk applied is immeasurable. The QB must have sensed the hot breath of this beast sneaking up behind him at least another 6 times. By my count, the Tambahawk in some way effected at least 15 plays, either by penalty, sack or hurry. A legendary beast for sure, the Tambahawk is sure to go down as one of the most fearful, violent creatures to ever walk the halls of Arrowhead.
Rumor has it that the screams of the victims were heard last night:
Rivers: "McNeill! What the fuck was that?"
McNeill: "I don't know Phil... it got around me so fast that I couldn't stop it. I think it smells blood."
Rivers: "Well damn dude, how am I supposed to win this game for us if you can't stop that thing?"
McNeill: "Sorry boss. You want me to tackle it?"
Rivers: "Nah... not yet. Try holding it back first. I don't want you to piss it off anymore than it already is"
Snarling and roaring in the background
Rivers: "Shit... he's moving over to Clary's side... Clary! You alright bro?"
Clary: "Ummm.... sure Phil. I'm Fi... AAAARGGGHHH!!"
McNeill: "Fuck it. I'm tackling this thing." (turning into the darkness) "You hear ME?!?! I ain't going down without a fight!!"
In all seriousness, Tamba Hali really was a monster last night. I don't say this very often about professional athletes... but even with his new contract that guy isn't getting paid enough.
A week ago Brandon Flowers won AFC Defensive Player of the Week with his 2 pick, TD performance against Our Most Hated Rivals, in what was another amazing game. It's ironic that last week Flowers got the award, because a lot of people (including Flowers himself) thought that Derrick Johnson deserved it with his quiet yet pivotal game of 12 solo tackles and 4 straight plays where he annihilated the Faiders and kept their sorry asses out of the end zone. What's even more ironic is the fact that Derrick Johnson is likely going to win the DPotW award this week, with his 13 tackle, 1 sack, 1 INT stat sheet last night... yet this time Flowers was the one to quietly impact the game in a more meaningful manner.
Not trying to take anything away from DJ, because he was straight beasting last night. But Brandon Flowers played like the best CB in the NFL under the Arrowhead lights. Actually, Flowers and Carr both were silent assassins of the Chargers offense. But Flowers neutralized Rivers' #1 target early on, and continued to do so all game. Romeo Crennel was a mastermind, again, using safeties and LBs to double up on Gates, and trusting his stud CBs to handle their opponents man to man on the outside. Lewis is showing ability as a ball hawk over the top, and Tamba... well shit. Tamba is the best individual pass rusher in the NFL.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that our defense has finally arrived. We have elite players at three different levels in Flowers, Hali and Johnson. We have a solid DL that handles gaps and blockers well. We have a ball hawk safety, and a legit Defensive Coordinator to put it all together. The biggest weakness I see is overall pass rush, and our SS. McGraw was hit or miss last night. He goofed big time on some coverage, but he also had a couple of tackles for losses and forced a fumble that Lewis recovered. I think with the right personnel packages we can get a better pass rush, but it'd be nice to have a better base 34 defense that can do it all if we need them to (play the run or the pass). Not dissing Gregg, Dorsey and TJax. Those guys have been phenomenal in run defense. But if just one of them could consistently get an inside push, then this defense would move onto the next level... and IMO be considered elite.
Sigh. Oh what could have been if The Enforcer was healthy. Eric Berry on this defense would make it phenomenal. But oh well. It's cool to see this D progressing in a manner that makes me think it might be a top 10 unit, even without Berry. 2012 is looking promising.
And to think... we're not even done with 2011... not by a long shot. First place AP. 4-3 getting ready to host MIA. Let's do this Chiefs Fans. Sole possession of first is the goal. But we have to stomp our next two opponents to make that happen. For now though, let's continue to rejoice in the win, neglect our beards (Dammit... 2 more weeks of beard growth is going to be gnarly), and admire this defense packed with all star talent.