What a topsy-turvy day.
Make no mistake, because of where the Chiefs stand at this point (up four games in the Wild Card race, presumably locked into either the 1, 2 or 5 seed in the AFC), they essentially played two games yesterday. One in Kansas City and the other in Foxboro.
All of which led to a giant water slide of emotions, if you will.
There were 24-0 leads, and six fumbles within 20 minutes, and eight lead changes (most in the NFL this season), and 31 points unanswered, and game
winning losing TD passes, and choosing the wind over the ball in overtime.
Oh, and this ... I don't really know what that was.
All in all, 1-1 on the day is good enough.
Because the Kansas City Chiefs are staying alive in the AFC West.
And whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother, that's all that matters at this point.
The Best & Worst w/ His Dirkness
Best part of Sunday - The Patriots dramatic comeback victory. With a Broncos win last night, they would have all but wrapped up the AFC West (they would own the tiebreaker over KC, with four very easy games left to end the season). Next week's game wouldn't have really mattered. But now, it's on. Ohhhhhhh boy, is it on. You might find a small part of yourself thinking, "So what, it's not gonna matter if Hali and Houston can't play." Yeah, maybe so. But we, as fans, get to hope and pray all week long, party all day on Sunday, and then try to scratch and claw out a win against our bitter rivals in the biggest Chiefs game at Arrowhead in years. All for the right to present Lamar Hunt's AFC Championship trophy IN Kansas City!
So you're saying there's a chance...
Worst part of Sunday - The injuries to Puff Puff Pass Rush. All you need to know is the Chiefs allowed three points in 28 minutes before Justin Houston's injury (Tamba already out at that point). Over the next 32 minutes, they allowed 38 points. The Chargers drives in those 32 minutes - TD, TD, punt (on a drive with an apparent bad call), TD, FG, TD, 3 and out, TD. So you could say ... Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are important. And I could just end the article right here...
But I won't quit. And neither will the Chiefs. Look, I know it's dry out there right now. Times are desperate. You hope there's still some Ganja Hali left in that 50-sack but you just don't know. Or the Chiefs pass rush might need to look for more product from a different source altogether. That is, if they want any chance of scraping that Super Bowl this year.
Worst news - This defense is slowly but surely getting figured out. Before you light me up with your Puff Puff Pass Rush comments, let me say that I was worried going into this game. At this point, everybody knows what the Chiefs want to do on defense - they're gonna come after the QB with The Mad Sutton's exotic blitz schemes and play aggressive man-to-man coverage on the outside. Opposing offenses are starting to beat this with bunch formations, crossing routes (Keenan Ivory Allen, nice to meet ya) and quick throws. Not to mention, running plays out of the shotgun (how both Philly and Buffalo destroyed them). There are known ways to beat this defense now, which you would've been hard pressed to say four weeks ago.
Worst position on defense - Free Safety. If you're looking for a positional weakness on the Chiefense, this is it. Neither Quintin Demps nor Kendrick Lamar Lewis do a great job helping over the top (as seen on the game winning TD toss). Demps is very instinctive and aggressive at moving towards the ball, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing, while Kendrick plays the game with intelligence, but is just so slow. He's rarely able to make a play out in open space. Both of these players had their chances to make game-changing INT's on Sunday but neither could take advantage.
Worst grade on Quintin Demps' 10th grade report card - Geometry. All of the wrong angles. All of them. C'mon Quintin, A² + B² = C²! Don't make me hit up Euclid on the celly. You won't like the result.
Worst blunder of the season - Andy Reid's timeout, end of game, with 15 seconds left on the play clock. It's tough to say the Chargers wouldn't have scored for sure given 15 fewer seconds, but it certainly lessens their chances (final drive would've started at 1:07). We all knew this was one of the two biggest knocks on Big Red (along with his reluctance to run the ball) coming out of Philly, so I can't really say I'm shocked. But I was about as mad as I could be at the head coach who turned my beloved team from a 2-14 laughingstock to a 9-2 contender, and is also personally responsible for this, this ("Ok, not an impressive throw"), and this (yes, again).
Best Pay Per View event of the year - Andy Reid vs. Philip Rivers: Hell in a Cell. C'mon Vince, I know you're reading this. Make it happen.
Best College QB in the NFL - Alex Smith. Does anybody else get this vibe from him? Maybe it's his penchant for making his best plays in an improv-Johnny Football-like fashion. Or maybe it's his physical limitations, which kinda demote him from ever entering the best of the best conversation. Or maybe it's because he likes to take off and run on 3rd down so much (or at least, he used to, did that go away?). Or maybe it's his frustrating college-level pocket presence. Whatever it is, this is how I look at Alex Smith. It's not a bad thing. I'd throw Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, and Rich Gannon into the same category, and all three of them made a Super Bowl (not to mention, my prior love affairs with Mark Brunell and Seneca Wallace).
Alex is what he is at this point. I don't think of him as the long term QB for this team. Never have (but damn, would I love to get his beautiful face tattooed on my arse). At the same time, you won't hear me complaining one bit if he's leading the team on clutch drives like he did yesterday, in what was (by far) his best game of the season. I do get the feeling his fate as the Chiefs QB of the future will come down to how he performs in the playoffs this year. A lot of minds yet to be made up.
Best trade of the offseason - AJ Jenkins for Johnny Baldwin. Alfred Alonzo pulls even with Johnny One Hand in receiving yards on the season with 28. 28!!! You bet your ass Jenkins has been active for more games though. *Winners*
Best player on the field - Eric Berry. Eight tackles, the team's only sack (broke the streak), three tackles for loss, a pass deflection, and three of the team's four QB hits. That's a great game for a LB. For a safety? That's a monster game.
Worst injury (going into the game) - Mike DeVito. Specifically, the goalline run defense without DeVito (usually very stout, allowed two easy TD runs this week). But that was mostly just my fancy lead in to say Eric Fisher and Jon Asamoah's absence served no impact whatsoever. Actually, that's not true. The OL looked immensely better with Geoff Schwartz and Donald Stephenson in the game, especially when running to that right side.
Which leads to an interesting conundrum. Not with Asamoah, he should be benched for Schwartz, no question. But Eric Fisher was the No. 1 overall pick. The Chiefs are heavily invested in him at this point, so you've got to take his mindset into consideration. Further complicating matters is that Branden Albert's contract ends after this season and he's the only OL consistently playing good football at this point. Somebody has to play Left Tackle for this team next season.
Best times behind us? - Marcus Cooper. It's starting to feel like that new relationship feel, with all its excitement, is starting to wear off a bit. If Peyton starts to pick on him next week (he's definitely going to try), don't be surprised to see Dunta Robinson or Sanders Commings get a shot.
Worst play you can see at Arrowhead Stadium - Kickoff out of bounds. Why do I feel like this happens in every crushing loss at home? Is it just because Jon Baker booted three of them out of bounds in the soul-crushing season finale loss to the Raiders in '99? Next time I'm at Arrowhead and this happens, I'm heading straight to home, not collecting my $200.
Bring your big boy voices next week. 137.5 ain't enough.
- The latest on Tamba Hali and Justin Houston
- What went wrong for the Chiefs vs. Chargers, Andy Reid's exchange with Philip Rivers and more
- Andy Reid: 'I've got tremendous confidence in the Chiefs D'
- Adversity strikes: How will Chiefs respond?
- Andy Reid's timeout: Right or wrong decision?
- Chiefs loss to Chargers: By the numbers
- Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 11/25