Well, that was a tough, horse-sized pill to swallow. I knew I should've ordered the horse tranquilizer instead.
Reds on reds on reds on DEAD.
I'm okay though. Don't get me wrong, Sunday night was about as bad as it gets. The Chiefs got put on Dexter's table on national television and didn't even put up much of a fight in the process. An absolute bludgeoning. This coming off a loss to their 0-10 rival, who then immediately got spanked 52-0 by a 4-7 team.
Well, when you put it that way...
But here's the thing: I don't think I learned anything new about this Chiefs team that I didn't already know. I never liked their chances falling behind early in a game. And I knew they couldn't stop the run. And that's what this game came down to. Both of this team's biggest flaws reared their head in the ugliest of ways in the biggest game of the season.
The Chiefs shat the proverbial bed. Twice in a row.
It's okay. I'm over it. (Ahh, the perks of writing on a Tuesday!) I had more or less chalked up this game as a loss already. I did kind of, sort of expect to attend a competitive sporting event, but whatever. Who am I to be greedy?
The season isn't lost though. The playoffs are still right there, out of reach by the slimmest of margins right now. The only way Kansas City's season will be defined by Sunday night's annihilation is if they fail to bounce back and handle their business down the stretch. If they're able to do that, this season will be made or broken by that 17th game of the season (shaping up to be Indy or Cincy).
Just like last season.
Now lets just hope the Football Gods have grown tired of literally Dustin Colquitt'ing the hearts of Chiefs Nation come January. Literally.
The Best & Worst w/ His Dirkness
Worst realization - This Chiefs team isn't constructed to come from behind in any way, shape, or form. The offensive philosophy: Small ball, possession style, power running game. The defensive philosophy: Bend but don't break. The personnel on offense: Alex swoons over two yard swing passes. The offensive line is built to run block, but can't handle a stunt for the life of them. I just had to look up what a wide receiver was in the dictionary to remind myself. The personnel on defense: Excellent against the pass, can't stop the run. The coaching: Andy Reid kneels the ball from his own 38 yard line with 10 seconds, two timeouts, and a 13 point deficit (with Denver getting the ball first after halftime).
What does it mean?
1. These types of games are going to happen.
2. The Chiefs are fine so long as they don't get behind by two scores. And if they do, you hope they're playing the Raiders or the other team forgets to run the ball like the Bills.
3. The first quarter is of the upmost importance for the Chiefs.
4. The most important drive of every game is the Chiefs' first offensive possession, which means this team lives and dies with Andy Reid and those scripted opening plays. A lot of pressure on Andy, but that's why Kansas City paid him the big bucks.
Worst way to lose to Peyton Manning - Never even force him to be great. Peyton was the third or fourth biggest reason the Chiefs lost that game. He was good on the opening two drives, and that was enough. He never even made it to foreplay on Sunday night before the Chiefs rolled over and went to sleep (Hell, Travis Kelce got closer). The Broncos would've won that game with His Mediocreness at quarterback (I'm thinking either Ryan Tannehill or Kyle Orton).
Look, Denver is better than Kansas City. That doesn't mean KC can't beat them. But the Chiefs have to be tremendously better at the little things. Stuff like a personal foul on an extra point, or a 22 yard punt return, both of which let Peyton start drives near midfield. Also, the breaks can't all go Denver's way: The punt that was so bad it was good, bouncing off Marcus Cooper's leg and right to a Bronco. The tipped INT that bounced right to a Bronco. Both crucial plays in the third quarter. It'd be easier for me to stomach this loss if Peyton carved up the secondary (like he did in 2013) than it is to catch him on an off night and just get ran over and commit mistake after mistake like the Chiefs did on Sunday night. Very frustrating.
Best known for, Joe Mays - Being a "thumper" style MLB. As in, he eats up blocks, tackles well, and plays run defense like a man. Something this defense desperately needs. The tape is out there on the Chiefs' dirty little secret now. They might have the worst run defense in the NFL. I don't know if he fixes that, but Mays needs to be starting for this defense on Sunday.
Worst PFF grades of their career - Dontari Poe, Josh Mauga, and Husain Abdullah. All due to their run defense grades. Are they the culprits? I have no idea. Mauga was noticeably bad, missing tackles repeatedly. Maybe Abdullah got exposed as the box safety? The first sign of missing Eric Berry? As for Hungry Hungry Poe, he may have had a bad game, but I'm certainly not staying mad at him.
Worst opening quarter - Bob Sutton. I was sitting 20 rows up in
Section Austin 3:16 and I was diagnosing the coverages the Chiefs were using, which means Peyton was double fisting cans of whoop ass. If you're going to blitz Peyton, you need to disguise it and confuse him. The Chiefs didn't. And that's the bottom line, cause His Dirkness said so. However, as the game went on, Sutton dropped more and more into coverage to much greater success. A tiny glimmer of hope for a potential rematch, so can I get a hell yeah?
Best players who won't receive much credit after that game - Sean Smith and Phillip Gaines. The Chiefs' secondary actually matches up well with the Broncos receivers. Smith is big enough to handle Demaryius and Gaines is quick enough to stick with Emmanuel. As for Welker, I'm not convinced he isn't clinically deceased, yet still plays football somehow (either way, I look forward to his next drop in a big game). These two are your reasons for hope in a potential rematch come playoffs, or on into next season.
Worst coincidence - The fake punt. They say one is a fluke, two is a coincidence and three is a trend. Well, one more and Dave Toub will be trending in Kansas City.
Worst decision of the season - To honor the Punt, Pass and Kick winners at halftime, and not bring out Andrew Ried, the greatest PP&K competitor of all time is asinine. Inexcusable.
Worst response - With everything that had gone against the Chiefs, the game was still competitive when somebody finally stepped up and made a play. Justin Houston Fiddy Swipe's the ball away, giving KC possession at Denver's 23 yard line. This is the chance they needed, to bring the game within one possession and send Arrowhead into a frenzy early in the third quarter. And the offense did ... nothing, culminating with what might've been Alex's worst pass of the season, missing a wide open Bowe on 3rd and 8. The Chiefs had their chances, even in the second half.
Worst play - Another chance. Down 13, facing a 3rd and 1, and the Chiefs line up in shotgun and run a read option. Well, isn't that just cute, Andy? The real boner is that the play would have absolutely worked if Alex handed the ball to Jamaal. Instead he keeps it and loses enough yards that I can't even boo Andy for punting it on 4th down, just for lining up in shotgun on 3rd and 1.
Worst improvisation - The two point conversion. They try to hit Fasano leaking out the backside. A play I adore (although I prefer it in the open field, not on the goalline). But once Alex looks and sees the defender right with Fasano, he can't throw that ball. He needs to improvise. And he had tons of room to scramble and make something happen too. Instead, a de facto fade pass to a 30 year old TE with a 7 inch vertical leap. Blown opportunities.
Worst game of the season - Alex Smith. For the three reasons listed above. For his inability to get the offense going (through three quarters: 66 yards of total offense, four first downs, no third down conversions). For holding onto the ball too long. For the lack of faith his home crowd has in him (Arrowhead was half empty with 7 minutes left in a two score game). Alex Smith hasn't played well since the Jets game four weeks ago. That's three poor outings and an incomplete (Seattle). It's time for him to step up.
Free Joe Mays,