Well, that was a bittersweet ending to a wild and crazy Chiefs season.
Bitter because, like at the end of every Chiefs season, I realize it'll be nine months before I see my team in action once again.
Sweet because the Broncos continued their trend of wetting themselves on national television to conclude the regular season. Do you realize they've now lost four must-win regular season finales in the past six years (two at the hands of KC)?
Bitter because neither offense seemed poised to score points yesterday, let alone a touchdown, from the second quarter on, while I was forced to watch in a New Year's hangover paranormal state of mind.
Sweet because the Chiefs have bonafide momentum to begin the 2012 campaign, while I'm not sure any other AFC West team can say the same (barring a Broncos playoff miracle).
Bitter because the Chiefs are literally a blocked field goal away from preparing for a home playoff game at this very moment (not to mention a bonus week
or four of Best/Worst coverage).
Wait, nobody came here to read the Bitters and the Sweets of yesterday's game. You came to read the damn Bests and Worsts (of yesterday, AND of the season).
Lets get at this like an uncalled
Sabby Piscitelli Tamba Hali facemask...
The Best and Worst w/ His Dirkness:
Best man for the Chiefs head coaching gig - Big Papi, Romeo Crennel. I'm not in love with his past record. I'm not in love with his age. But Super Bowl howdy, am I in love with his defense. And I don't want to see it messed with. Is that a bad reason to want to stick with a head coach? I fear it's shortsighted, but hey so was the hiring of Frank Martin at K-State and he's worked out alright (the NFL and College Basketball work in the same ways right?). Following the bye week, this defense has put up stellar performances in 6 of 11 games (@Oak, Pitt, @Chi, GB, Oak, @Den). And they're young. They should get better. Find a long term nose tackle. Keep adding beef to the front line. Maybe add an inside linebacker (although I love Jovan Belcher's demeanor) or another cornerback (although Javier Arenas seems to get better every week). Oh yes, and retain Romeo Crennel.
Worst move the Chiefs could make now - Get rid of Dwayne Bowe. It was almost like yesterday's game was a sign from a higher power (No, no, not Tim Tebow. Frankly, I'd rather follow Tyler Palko at this point). Did you see the offense without D-Bowe in the game? After torching Chump Bailey for a half, showcasing his top-notch toe tap artistry once again, Bowe was lost to injury (nope, not the backwards foot incident that led to 53 Tebowers Tebowing). The offense became non-existent. I can't tell if there's people who actually want him gone or if it's just Chiefs pessimism coursing through their veins. But do whatever it is you have to do to sign him. Long term, franchise him, whatever. But make sure Dwayne Bowe is in a Chiefs uniform come 2012.
Best QB the Chiefs have right now - Kyle Orton. I was hoping he'd go nuts yesterday, leaving the Chiefs little choice with what to do going into next season. But he didn't. Maybe because the Chiefs thought they really didn't need anymore points the way Denver's offense was playing. Maybe because Bowe really is that important. But hag garnit, please don't make me go back to Mattiocre Cassel. PLEASE! We've seen that a real quarterback can throw downfield with this offense. It wasn't a lack of speed on the outside. It wasn't poor offensive line play. It was Cassel's complete lack of testicular fortitude. And please don't come at me with RGIII. It's. Not. Happening. Peyton Manning is a more realistic possibility at this point. However, with this defense, the (hopeful) return of a strong running game, and the promise of more Big Daddy Orton playaction fakes, count me in on Team Orton.
Worst Best/Worst interlude - Watching my Huskers fall apart at the seams against South Carolina. Yuck.
Best Denver Broncos stat - Kyle Orton is the franchise's all time leader in passing yards per game. Suck on that, John.
Worst sight to stare at with a hangover - Tim Tebow's cold sores.
Best two games of his career - Dexter McCluster, this week and last. Ever since I outspokenly declared my distaste for the guy (he fumbled, he didn't make plays, and he was always the guy to cap off poor offensive drives) he has become a legitimate threat for this team. Before these past two games, I would've been upset if he was on the roster come 2012, but now I'm all for moving foward with ol' Buster McCluster.
Worst chant in all of sports - In. Com. Plete. It celebrates nothingness. It's the only play of no consequence in football. It'd be like having a chant for a foul ball in baseball.
Worst mindset to take into big games with you - Those of conservative nature, i.e. the Broncos not attempting the field goal before half. It wasn't terrible strategy, but it's that overall fear of what could happen that leads to coming up short in big games.
Best team to root for in the Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers. Seeing a defensive team with a shaky QB win a Super Bowl would give all of Chiefs Nation some much-needed hope for the future. My actual pick? I'll say Saints over Ravens.
Best 10 Chiefs of the 2011 season -
1. Derrick Johnson - Finally matured. Seemed to make 2-3 game changing plays every single week.
2. Romeo Crennel - You have to wonder if the Chiefs would be in the playoffs had he replaced Todd before/after the Colts game.
3. Tamba Hali - Cemented himself as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL, even after getting his pay day.
4. Dwayne Bowe - His numbers don't reflect his dominance due to four games with Plinko at the helm. Pay this man.
5. Branden Albert - Don't get the sentiment of wanting to move him on down the line, he's rock solid
right left where he is.
6. Brandon Carr - His ball skills are impressive enough that I think he'd make a successful NFL WR. The better Brandon. Pay this man.
7. Kendrick Lewis - Downright ecstatic to see he and Eric Berry together once again. Better tandem than Tongue and Woods?
8. Jackie Battle - His body was begging to get abused by the Chiefs this year, but Todd/Muir never obliged.
9. Steve Breaston - Provided what this offense needed most in 2010, a weapon opposite D-Bowe. He's The MagYAC Man.
10. Justin Houston - Gotta find room for my boy. Gives this defense a chance to be special in 2012.
Worst 5 Chiefs of the 2011 season -
1. Barry Richardson - Risked it this year with the hope that B-Rich would improve. He digressed. It was he who gave up the blocked field goal vs. Oakland.
2. Todd - You're a total asshat. Thanks for not playing Jared Gaither at all. Also responsible for Palko (who gets a pass from me because he should have never been playing).
3. Piscitelli Primavera - Anybody else see the play where he stood at the line unblocked, appearing to spy Tebow, but really not doing anything, a play that resulted in a completed third down pass? I did.
4. Thomas Jones - Ran hard the last few games. Respect his leadership. However, The Wasted Down's lack of production is just too noticeable to ignore.
5. Dick Stanzi (on the case!) - Couldn't beat out Tyler Palko.
Best part about the Kansas City Chiefs' 2011 season - It was seriously dramatic. I like to sit back at the end of every Chiefs season, look at it as a whole, and ask myself "If this were presented to me as a movie, would I be entertained?" The answer this season is an unequivocal yes. We were even treated to three separate acts this year: The Matt, Todd, and every good player we have has a torn ACL travesty, the complicating Todd and Tyler love tale, and the protagonists Romeo and Orton's triumphant conclusion to the season. Ups and downs, signings and firings, good guys and bad guys - Yup, just another season for our Kansas City CHIEFS!
It's been an absolute joy to write these Best/Worst's for all you Arrowhead Prideassions. I'd like to give thanks to Joel Thorman (you sly dog) for taking a chance on such a young, good looking man this season. I intend to be back next year, and hopefully throughout the offseason as well. In the meantime, I'll be chumming it up on my very own, recently-neglected website - HisDirkness.com - where I'll be keeping up on the rest of the NFL, College Basketball, and even some NBA (they don't call me Dirty Dirkness for nothing). With that, I'll conclude this Chiefs season the same way I've concluded every Chiefs season of my lifetime, with one simple belief - Next year is our year, baby.