Well, that blows.
In a day where everybody else took care of business, the Kansas City Chiefs left far too many of the Oakland Raiders' on-the-field presents unopened (and unblocked).
Worst game of the year for the Chiefs - Oakland at home. Five in a row. Seriously? My nightmares extend all the way back to blowing a 17-0 lead in the 1999 season finale to miss out on the playoffs (most crushing defeat of my Chiefs' viewing career). Throw in last year's momentum killing season finale, and my Tebow (oh wait, that's been proven false?), END THIS STREAK ALREADY.
The news isn't all too tragic though. My hope wasn't that the Chiefs would just make the playoffs, but that they'd be dangerous once IN the playoffs. Once I saw that the offense wasn't clicking at the same level as it was the week before, my ultimate aspirations had been lost. I don't need another Ravens (or Steelers) beatdown to establish that the Chiefs are not the best team in the NFL this year.
Frankly, I felt overjoyed that I was even watching a Chiefs game with playoff implications on the line in the first place. I have no idea how, with everything the Chiefs have been through this season. And now (for the fourth time this year) I officially declare the Chiefs season over and done with.
Lets revive this game like the career of Thomas "The Suddenly Well Used Down" Jones...
The Best and Worst w/ His Dirkness:
Best news about Kyle Orton - If THAT was "Bad Kyle Orton." Yes, he threw two picks, one throw behind a WR, and the other into the end zone when he decided to wear a blindfold on the play (best explanation right?). I don't care. He still threw for 300 yards. When the Chiefs get "Bad Matt Cassel," they typically throw for under 100 yards. Plus, Big Daddy Orton got it done when it mattered. As of now, I am 100% on the Kyle Orton for 2012 bandwagon.
Worst move the Chiefs could make now - Start Dick Stanzi (on the case!) next week. I'm not sure how prevalent this talk has been, but I've heard a few murmurs on it. Please stop. Stanzi isn't the man for 2012. Right now, Orton is the Chiefs' best hope going into next season. With the Matt Barkley news, the Chiefs won't sniff a rookie QB unless it's Nick Foles (ehh), Ryan Tannehill (please no), or Laundry (as in, I'll be doing your laundry in three years) Jones (no means no). Not to mention, this Chiefs defense is ready to win now. A rookie QB will take 2-3 years to mature into the position (unless Cam Newton and Andy Dalton are the rules and not the exceptions). So unless the Chiefs can make a deal for a QB in the offseason (Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, or What's in the Box?!? The Box! The Box! Awww, it's Derek Anderson), Orton is the man. Or, atleast, I hope so. But lets find out what he can give us when he's super motivated (and he will be super motivated next week). I predict Orton goes nuts.
Worst move by Muir - Not running the ball enough. I'm back and forth on if seeing what you got in Kyle Orton or winning this game was more important to the Chiefs on Sunday. But if you wanted the Chiefs to win the game above all else, then running the ball more was imperative. I HAVE settled on the opinion that Pooh Bear Muir should not retain his job as offensive coordinator.
Worst move by Crennel - Going with a cover 2 defense on a 2nd and 18 (the Raiders first big pass play of the game). The Cover 2 is vulnerable to deep parts of the field. Offenses can split the safeties deep down the middle, or with enough time, can match the speed of a WR with a deep safety 1-on-1 (advantage: WR). It was almost identical to the Broncos' big passing play against the Chiefs a month ago. However, the defensive call made sense against Tebow and the run heavy Broncos, while it was a poor strategy against the vertically enthused Raiders on a 2nd and 18 play (especially with Reshard Langford at safety). Do I feel good about criticizing a defense that allowed two, and only two, plays the entire game? No, no I don't. In fact...
Best non-factor to see - The Raiders' running game. Non-existent. 71 yards on 25 carries from a top rushing team in the league. This defense....Wow. Built to stop the run and the pass now. The biggest weakness will be restored by a (hopefully) 100% Eric Berry. I'm having dreams of a Top 5 defense in 2012.
Best kept secret - Tyson Jackson > Glenn Dorsey.
Best hustle play of the game - Dexter McCluster on Orton's end zone INT. It took me till the second viewing to appreciate, but if Buster McCluster doesn't hustle his tuckus off then Matt Giordano (Piscitelli's third cousin) takes it back to the house (a possession the Raiders got no points on).
Worst short yardage team in the NFL - The Chiefs. Have been for two years now. Why no QB sneak on 4th and one? I'd do it every time. It's mystifying to me that teams don't. Watching Tom Brady sneak in two touchdowns from the one yard line in the postgame highlights didn't help the matter.
Best NBA Jam player - Dwayne Bowe in the 4th quarter. Bowe takes one away from a defender for 15 yards (Boomshakalaka), breaks a tackle on his next catch for 13 yards (he's heating up), catches a TD pass (he's on fire!), and finally snags one for 25 yards with under 15 seconds left in the game (is it the shoes?). Yes, Bowe dropped a TD pass (that led to no points - Orton INT), but he more than acquitted himself by almost single-handedly pulling that game out for the Chiefs.
Worst job security on the team - Steve Hoffman. I hate to keep bashing on the man because he shares the same name as one of my best friends from childhood, but damn son! How many blunders can you have on special teams in a matter of two weeks? A 90 yard kick return to start the game, a fake field goal for a touchdown (nullified, but not forgotten), and conceding two blocked field goals this week. Looking for a strategical error to criticize are you? In field goal formation, why is Barry Richardson on the left side of the line, while Branden Albert is on the right? Anybody?
Worst rule clarification - You cannot jump up to block a field goal from under the posts. Damn, that sucks! I've always wanted to see a player attempt what Brandon Flowers did, ignorant to the fact that it's illegal (don't think it should be). And in case you're wondering if that is yet another knock on Hoffman - Yes, yes it is.
Best game up until the worst possible time - Kendrick Lewis. The most improved Chief of 2011 had one of the best games of his career (pass breakup on big 3rd down was awesome), up until the big play in overtime (I blame lack of pass rush, speed of WR, and good throw from Palmer all ahead of Lewis).
Best Christmas present never received - A Sebastian Janikowski missed field goal. And he thought he did too, you can see him breathe a sigh of relief (and of course, out popped a Polish Sausage).
Best highlight show of all time - NFL Primetime with Chris Berman and Tom Jackson. It's such an easy formula and yet, every other show screws it up. Just show highlights. I don't need analysis from Michael Irvin on anything outside of drug trafficking. Just give me 2-3 minutes to tell the story of every game from Sunday. It's that easy. Unfortunately, Berman and TJ's return was only a one week special, so I'm back to scramble mode for next week's highlights.
Worst news of the loss - We don't get Orton v. Tebow for all the marbles. This would be a huge game, not only around KC, but throughout the entire NFL. And we still get it, there's just way less at stake for the Chiefs now. However, I still want to keep the Broncos out of the playoffs BAD. As much as I hate the Raiders, I hate the Broncos that much more. In fact, I'm curious which rival Chiefs Nation hates most these days. (Cue poll.)
Best guess on Broncos/Raiders hatred - It's divided by generation. If you grew up on the Chiefs in the 90's (like me), then it was the Broncos who consistently ripped your heart out, while the Raiders were more of a joke than anything, therefore leading to more hatred for the Jackasses. A generation older would most all come down on the Raiders because of their success in the 70's and 80's. Younger than me? Might hate the Chargers for all I know. Sound off Chiefs Nation...
Cheer up Chiefs fans. There's still plenty of reason to cheer next week. We can finish off yet another late season Broncos choke job. We can drive a stake through Tebow's mystique. And we might get a glimpse of our future QB at his very best.
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