Hey. Football Gods. Good to see you!
The Kansas City Chiefs were not the best team on the field yesterday.
They were the smarter team. They were the tougher team. They were the ballsier team. They were even the luckier team. And that was enough to make them the winning team.
It reminded me a lot of the Kansas City / San Francisco tilt five weeks prior, where I believed the Chiefs were the better team that day. But that game, much like yesterday's, came down to a few select plays, all made by the victors (fake punt, Brandon Lloyd's spectacular catch, Alex Smith's interception).
The 49ers were at their best when it mattered most, which was enough to win a game where the superior team never seized full control. You see it all the time in the NFL.
That's what you saw Sunday, with the key plays going in the Chiefs favor this time: 4th and 1, McKelvin's McMuff, and The CBS Swat-a-Thon hosted by Ron M.F. Parker.
The Football Gods giveth, and the Football Gods taketh away.
And just to prove this was in fact divine intervention, a few specks of evidence they left behind:
- Total yards: KC/SF: KC +92, KC/Buff: Buff +86
- Time of winning score: KC/SF: 8:46 in 4th quarter, KC/Buff: 8:59 in 4th quarter
Well, now that I see that, I can't wait to erase a 28 point deficit in this year's playoffs, commencing a streak of 20 straight seasons with a playoff victory. And you thought the Royals making the World Series was crazy.
The Best & Worst w/ His Dirkness
Best place to throw Dwayne Bowe the ball - "In the dirty areas. The manhood areas," according to Solomon Wilcots. As ridiculous as that in-game commentary sounds, I think it's actually kinda sorta spot on. There were questions abound about how this team, and this team's quarterback, would handle a two score deficit (something we haven't seen since The Red Wedding of Week 1). They may have answered a few of those yesterday, and while the final solution wasn't necessarily Dwayne Bowe, he was definitely an integral part of the equation. Down 13-3, with a stifled running game, an overmatched offensive line and a dwindling clock, the Chiefs turned to Da Show on a 10 play drive, five of which went in Bowe's direction, resulting in four catches for 45 yards. He was who the offense turned to when all else was failing, and he was the original catalyst for the comeback.
Best chase of history - The Chiefs' all time leading WR going over D-wayne Bowe. He now trails Otis Taylor by 414 yards. (BTW, he still trails Tony G by over 4,000 yards. Yep.) Now what makes this so interesting is the very good chance he is released following this season (bad contract, his arrest frees up the cap for the team). That means he needs to average 59.5 yards a game to break the record by season's end. He's averaging 61.3 yards a game in 2014. This one's coming down to the wire.
Best mind freak - Yesterday was Bowe's most receiving yards in a regular season game since Week 4 of 2012. This is interesting for two wildly different reasons: That seems like a long time between what would now be considered a mildly productive game for an NFL WR. Ironically, it seems like such a short time ago in the prism of where the Chiefs were as an organization then (that was the first of eight straight losses, and just a few games shy of planes flying over Arrowhead Stadium demanding the head of every important Chief) to where they are now (proving the people who expected regression this season because the team overachieved so hard last season wrong). Sometimes perspective is fun. Just let that soak in for a minute.
Best bet - I used ironically wrong in the prior paragraph. But I wanted to put it in an article just once. Oh well, I got nothing on Kirk Herbstreit taking a knife to the throat of the English language. Literally!
Best AFC defender of Week 10 - Primetime Parker. What a game. An absolute herculean effort from the Safety / cornerback / Gawd to preserve the Chiefs' preposterous streak of no rushing touchdowns allowed (Best question - Would the TE, who should've easily recovered the fumble in the end zone, counted as the first rushing TD?). Then Ron breaks up three of the four most important passes of the day, in what shall now be known as the Trey Parker Shutdown. He should win AFC Defensive Player of the Week, but I don't think he will because he lacks quantifiable stats. Ironically, had he caught the INT on fourth down, which would've technically been the worse football play, I think he wins the award. (Nailed it that time!)
Best play you probably forgot - Kurt Coleman's shoestring tackle of Bryce Brown, stopping what appeared to be a sure touchdown on the drive following Parker's heroics. The Bills inexplicably threw the ball on the next two plays, both incomplete, and settled for the field goal. If the Bills score a touchdown on either of those two drives, they almost assuredly win the game.
Worst coach on the field - Doug Marrone. 13-3 lead. 48 pass attempts. 22 rush attempts. And four straight passes on the biggest set of downs in the game (The Trey Parker Shutdown). Maybe the sight of multiple Andy Reids in the house got to him. There's a bit of a dirty little secret about the Chiefs right now that worries me, involving their run defense. They are fourth worst in the NFL in yards per carry allowed. But the only team that has really stuck to the running game was San Francisco, who, un-ironically, was the only team to beat the Chiefs during this hot streak. I don't think that's a coincidence. I'm also stressed that Seattle realizes this.
Best way to relieve stress - Jamaal knows all.
Worst offensive lineman - Needs to be benched. The time is now. Donald Stephenson is too good to be wasting away on the sideline while the offensive line performs like they did yesterday. Marcel Dareus drank Zach Fulton's milkshake. He drank it up. And I've already slapped the worst player on the team label on Mike McGlynn this season. Just give Stephenson a shot. See what he can do.
Best play we never saw - Travis Kelce screens. Look, if a national website is writing an entire article talking about how Kelce is revolutionizing the TE position with his ability to gain yards on screens and swings, then you'd better get YAC Master Kelce the ball.
Best call - The false start on Buffalo. Obvious. It almost looked like he was flinching on purpose to try and draw the Chiefs offsides but subtly enough that the refs wouldn't see it.
Best habit - I've only picked up on this recently, but it seems like Tamba is constantly sniffing out screen passes. I feel like it happens almost every game now, where he'll be right in the QB's throwing lane just reading his eyes. Tamba Hali: Destroyer of Screens.
Worst habit - Fielding punts inside the 10. This is the second time we've seen it this season. Frankie Hammond Jr. committed this same sin twice against Miami. Does this aggression stand with Toub? Does he risk the poor field position for a chance at an explosive player getting his hands on the ball? Because if not, his returners are being very un-Toub like.
Best play design of the season - The fake toss to DAT, inside trap to Jamaal, who was lined up as a deep fullback. The Chiefs ran something similar to this earlier this season and Kniles Dave scored a 21 yard TD, but this play was destined for Jamaal and DAT. Oh, so glorious.
Best / Worst flashback - I loved the call on 4th and 1 yesterday. Precisely the type of high risk, high reward call you need to make when trailing by two scores on the road. However, I couldn't help but think I had seen that play before. And then it dawned on me. A 4th and 1 call even bigger than yesterday. Sadly, it was the 2010 playoff loss, remembered by many as a blowout, but a game that was actually competitive up until this very play (the 3:33 mark to be exact).
High risk, high reward. You win some. You lose some. Football Gods.
Wash your hat Todd,