This is gonna be fun.
What a stupendous NFL season so far. Who's the frontrunner right now? I'd lean towards the Denver Broncos (The Paper Champs), but even they are fresh off an ass kicking from the Patriots, who are still somewhat fresh off an ass kicking from the Chiefs, who still have an ass kicking on their resume from ... the Tennessee Titans?!?
The AFC, especially, is one giant cluster of F's right now. At the moment, eight of the 16 teams have exactly five wins. The Chiefs are in a four-way tie for the sixth and final playoff spot, with a team they've already beaten (Miami), a team they play this week (Biffalo Buffs), and a Cleveland team that got spanked by Jacksonville just two weeks ago. That same day, the San Diego Chargers hosted Kansas City as the conference's top seed. Fifteen days later, they've dropped all the way down to 11th place!
The NFL is a flat circle. Good luck making sense of it all.
As unforgettable as the 9-0 start for the Chiefs was last year, it made for a somewhat anti-climactic finish to the season, when only the two games against the Broncos truly mattered (the Chiefs were basically a lock for the five seed unless they could beat Denver). And frankly, I think playing that string of inconsequential games down the stretch hurt the Chiefs in the end.
Not this season. The Chiefs are in heavy competition with all of these teams. The stakes for each game grows exponentially from the previous game. And every team remaining on KC's schedule is alive in the playoff race, well, everybody outside of this guy's "team."
In other words, don't expect many more games like yesterday's butt-nanza, because (sh)it's about to get real. And spectacular!
The Best & Worst w/ His Dirkness
Best. Thing. Ever. - The Butt Touchdown. I love that such a thing exists. I love that it happened to the New York Jets again (tired of hearing about them). I love that we now have The Butt Fumble, The Butt Slide and now, The Butt Touchdown all at our disposal. I love how they've all become historically innertwined just because of the word "butt." I love Do-Re-Mi Fa-Sa-No's reaction to the tipped ball and recognition to dive in the end zone on the play (that shouldn't go unnoticed, a really nice play). I love it all.
Best stretch I can remember - Alex Smith, who's just been shredding lately. I don't think I'll ever come around on the financial side of it all (a conversation that's only relevant in the offseason), however I am slowly but surely coming around on Alex Smith: The Quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs. I've been really impressed so far this season, in two facets of his game, especially:
1. His consistency. I've hardly written about him this year because there hasn't been much variance from his best (New England or San Diego) to his worst (San Francisco - remember, that Tennessee game never happened) performances. But that's kinda nice. I know exactly what I'm getting from Alex every week, which is crucial because it'll keep the Chiefs in contention every game they play.
2. What Alex is doing on third downs. The Chiefs have now converted on 50 percent or more of their third downs in seven straight games. That's absolutely why this team is playing at such a high level right now. And before you say that's because the running game is picking up third and shorts, or leaving Alex with third-and-manageables, check this: Alex Smith is the NFL's best quarterback at converting third-and-8+ pass attempts into first downs this season (a whopping 57.7 percent !!!).
So I say that the last seven games have been Alex's best stretch (obviously, all relative). Most would probably lean towards the end of 2013 because of the numbers, but those were enhanced greatly by a five-TD screen pass day against this guy's team. Also, a certain soul-crushing playoff defeat still looms over that time period. Where as now, I've reached a point where I feel a sense of confidence with Alex Smith under center, the first time I can truly say that since he's been a Chief.
Best way to beat a bad team - Pounce on them early, never give them any hope. Here's how yesterday's game started: KC Touchdown, NYJ three-and-out, KC touchdown. Game. Over. For bonus butt touchdowns and slide tackles, it's nice to immediately respond to any threat from the opponent. Example: After the Jets scored to make it 14-7, DeAnthony took DAT ensuing kickoff 78 yards, and four plays later Travis Kelce was saluting Eric Hosmer in the end zone with a backpack dance. (Really? A backpack dance? Kids these days...)
Worst call - Tripping on Cairo Santos. Should've been a red card. Chiefs should've been forced to cover kickoffs with 10 men the rest of the game. Actually, I kinda love this idea. The NFL should start handing out cards instead of ridiculous fines during the week that amount to 1/500th of a player's salary.
Best moment yesterday - Priest Holmes' induction into the Chiefs' Ring of Honor. I feel like this event was totally under-publicized, but was glad to know I had my ticket when I heard the news. Priest is my favorite athlete of all time, which made yesterday very special for me. Without much else to add, remember when Arrowhead put in that digital Ring of Honor for like two minutes? Thank
God Priest that cooler heads prevailed on that one.
Best random Chiefs alumni guest - John Tait. There was a bunch of former Chiefs in attendance for the ceremony, and this one really caught me off guard. Wasn't he in a hurry to skip town after that whole fracas with King Carl?
Best position for Ron Parker - Safety. I'm not sure what Marcus Cooper did to draw the ire of the Chiefs' coaching staff, but that cut must run deep. Parker is a good safety with one fatal flaw (poor tackler), but a below average cornerback. I know Cooper had a rough start to the season, but I don't think he was bad enough to force this hand. Hopefully, Chris Owens comes back soon, so HeisenBob can trot out Sean Smith, Phillip Gaines, and Owens in the slot. The bigger point here, is the Chiefs No. 1 pass defense, despite the rotating cast of characters at cornerback (now up to six).
Best noon tailgating options: 1. Biscuits and Gravy. 2. Screwdriver. 'Nuff said.
Sorry today's article isn't as all-encompassing as usual, but my writing always suffers a bit when I spend Sundays with 74,126 of my closest friends,