The Kansas City Chiefs needed a miracle to make the NFL playoffs and came up just short. Kansas City has officially been eliminated from the playoffs despite beating the Chargers 19-7. The Baltimore Ravens are taking the final playoff spot.
The Chiefs did their part by beating the San Diego Chargers on Sunday but two other teams they needed to lose -- Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans -- ended up winning. There was a time in the second half where it appeared that the Chiefs might make it into the playoffs because the underdog Browns were beating the Ravens and the underdog Jaguars were beating the Texans. Alas, it wasn't meant to be this year ...
Here's what we learned in the Chiefs victory over the Chargers on Sunday.
Justin Houston sets Chiefs new sack record
Derrick Thomas held the Chiefs single-season sack record with 20 sacks set back in 1990. That changed today as Justin Houston recorded his 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd sacks on the day to become the Chiefs new sack king. Incredible.
Houston is a free agent at the end of the season. Don't worry though, Chiefs fans, he's not going anywhere. The Chiefs brass will franchise him if they can't agree to a long-term deal. He'll be a Chief in 2015.
Chase Daniel played a good game
His numbers aren't amazing but it was a good game for the Chiefs backup quarterback making his first start since last year's Week 17 game vs. San Diego.
He started off the game 9-of-9 with a couple of scoring drives and looked sharp while doing it. He also ran the read option a couple of times to pick up 16 rushing yards. He was different from Alex Smith in that he seemed to target players down the field more often, even if the ball was incomplete. Daniel seemed to attempt throws that Smith wouldn't even think about attempting. I'm not saying he's better than Smith but Daniel did play better than I thought he would.
Chiefs streak of no WR TDs continues
A Chiefs receiver did not catch a touchdown catch ALL SEASON. As if you haven't heard that already. The Chiefs were so, so close to getting a receiver touchdown when Chase Daniel hit Dwayne Bowe near the goal line. Bowe felt into the end zone and appeared to have the touchdown but fumbled the ball only to be recovered by Travis Kelce. The refs reviewed the play and ruled that Bowe fumbled and it was recovered by Kelce, who got credit for the touchdown.
Also, please vote:
Favorite #Chiefs near-WR TD of the year? A. Wilson dive that came up short B. Tipped pass to Fasano while on ground C. Bowe's fumble today— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) December 28, 2014
Best pass rushing performance of the season?
There is an argument that it is. The Chiefs had six sacks on a day that Philip Rivers was not dropping back to pass 50 times. Kansas City's Justin Houston is obviously the star of the group but Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey and even Dee Ford added sacks in the game. The Chiefs pass rush was terrific. I have to think they're the reason that the Chargers didn't pass the ball more.
Observations during the game
Dee Ford came up the middle on the blitz and sacked Philip Rivers.
The stutter-step and quick swim Dontari Poe just threw on his way to a sack was special!!! WOW!!!— Duke Manyweather (@BigDuke50) December 28, 2014
Dustin Colquitt dropped a punt at the 4-yard line.
De'Anthony Thomas had a 41-yard punt return to the Chargers 7-yard line.
DAT also had a 30-yard catch from Chase Daniel.
Jamaal Charles passed 1,000 yards for the season.