Luckily I took my laptop with me to the ledge. At some point during the middle of the night, I decided writing about my playoff loss angst was better than jumping. Ok, I'm joking...it was actually the snow storm that brought be back inside. But typing was like therapy, minus the co-pay.
As my preacher uncle used to say, "with a future like yours, why even talk about your past?" The local 53 surprised us all this year and gave us more hope than we've had in a loooooooong, loooooooong time. So, without further ado, here are 14 reasons why the Chiefs will win a playoff game in 2014, the 21st season since they last did the same.
1) Jamaal Charles - I mean, come on...he's freaking Jamaal Charles! The 2013 season revealed to the rest of the league what we in KC already knew...JC is the most dynamic, electric player in the game. He runs like a gazelle, cuts like Barry Sanders, catches like a guy that catches good, and blocks like a beast...all while keeping a big smile on his face. Jamaal still has several years of dominance left. Minus his injury in the first series of the Colts game, you probably wouldn't be reading my first FanPost. After all, I'm only typing this to help me deal with my sad, miserable feelings.
2) Alex Smith - "We want a franchise QB!", shout the angry masses year after year. Aren't you glad we didn't draft Geno Smith? The former Mountaineer was no more a savior to the Jets than Jon Baldwin was to the 49ers. Alex Smith, putting up career numbers in several categories this season, exorcised the ghosts of Todd Blackledge, Tyler Thigpen, and Brodie Croyle from Arrowhead Stadium. Call him a game manager all you want, Alex Smith got exponentially better as the 2013 season wore on, finishing with a masterpiece in the wildcard loss to the Colts. Now that Alex has a year in Andy Reid's system, we should expect more wildcard-like performances next season.
3) Andy Reid - Like him or not, he's a winner. What Andy did for this Chiefs team was amazing and more than I expected. There is no reason to believe next year's team will be any less competitive. How 'bout those Chiefs?!
4) John Dorsey - John Dorsey does two things well: rock a sweatshirt and build winning football teams. Growing up relying on King Carl and Pioli to make my dreams a reality left me a sad, hopeless individual. Dorsey has restored my faith in football executives. What this man did in one season...ONE SEASON...gives me even more hope. See that glaring talent weakness at the free safety position (lookin' at you, Kendrick Lewis) in 2013? Dorsey will address it. Think we need more talent at WR? No worries. Dorsey will work on it this offseason. That, or he'll suit up and catch the ball himself. That's how much faith I have in him.
5) Roster Depth - Two words...Week 17. Did anyone else pee a little bit during the first drive of that game? I have a lot of Chargers fans as friends. Knowing our 2nd string would be absolutely demolished by Phyllis (yes, I meant to type "Phyllis") Rivers, I started typing things on Facebook before the game even started, like "before you brag, remember that you will be playing the bottom half of our roster". Then we scored on the opening drive. Then we played an awesome game. Then we came within a blown call of beating the Chargers best, with our worst, on the most important game of their season. We couldn't field a competitive team with our best 22 in 2012. One year later, we sit our best 22 and still compete fiercely, mostly thanks to reasons #3 and #4 above. This team is solid top to bottom, and will only be better in 2014 after another offseason to add good players.
6) The Gut-Check - They say the true mark of a winner is one who hates to lose more than he loves to win. The wildcard loss is going to leave a sour taste in the mouths of 53 very competitive individuals. The Chiefs teams of the past 10 years didn't seem to mind losing. I believe this team is different.
7) Dontari Poe - Very well could be the best defensive lineman in the NFL. Remember Kelly Gregg? Yeah, I blocked that memory too. Thank you, Mr. Poe. You've been referred to as a "dancing bear" and a "rhino who can chase down a gazelle" by announcers this year. Keep building that legacy!
8) Special Teams - Colquitt isn't the highest paid punter in the league for nothing; he works hard for the money. Succop has been reliable, a trait which is coveted by many teams who would love to have a kicker of his caliber. The return game had unprecedented success in 2013. Dave Toub...enough said.
9) Eric Berry - Had an amazing year and took his rightful place as Ed Reed's successor to "best safety in the NFL". Remember Sabby Piscatelli? Yeah, I blocked that memory too.
10) The Linebackers - I remember watching the Steelers in the mid-90's and thinking their linebackers were so awesome. How did one GM get Kevin Greene, Levon Kirkland, and Greg Lloyd on the same team? Fast forward to 2014. How did the Chiefs get DJ, Tamba, and Houston on the same team? 3/4 of our LB unit were pro bowlers last year. DJ and Tamba are aging, but still playing at a high level while Houston is just getting started. This group still has several productive, dominating years left in the tank. Nom, nom...time to eat!
11) Offensive Line Gelling - For all of our fallacies over the years in the QB department, we can hold claim to having some amazing linemen. The 2013 group (a very young group, btw) gelled toward the end of the year and will only be more cohesive in 2014. Even if Brandon Albert leaves via free agency, Stephenson and Fisher have proven that they can be starting-caliber in the NFL.
12) That Familiar Feeling - Red Sox/Yankees. Cardinals/Cubs. Eagles/Cowboys. Chiefs/Raiders. There's a reason great sports rivalries exist...because these teams play in the same conference and are guaranteed to play each other year after year. Five-Head and the Donkeys took our lunch in Game 1 this year. We almost took theirs in Game 2. Manning will be one year older...I know, I know...he just came off a record-breaking year, but physics are physics. I didn't pay much attention in Physics class, but I'm pretty sure a 50 year old cannot sling the rock 1,000 times a year, at least not effectively. The Chiefs will beat the Donkeys in 2014, at least once, and truly challenge for the division. Home field advantage is back at Arrowhead...challenge accepted.
13) 13 is an unlucky number. I think we've had enough "unlucky".
14) It has to happen sometime, amirite? - Seriously, the law of averages has to catch up at some point. I didn't pay attention in Statistics class either, but this crap has to even out sooner or later. We're due for a decade or two of playoff success. Otherwise, my college professors have got some 'splainin' to do.