FOOTB-AHHHHHHL, WHAT THE HELL?
The Kansas City Chiefs returned to playing meaningful football yesterday ... Sort of.
What a disaster. The suspensions. The injuries, both before and during. The game plan. The in-game coaching. The offensive line. The receivers. The looming schedule. Rich Gannon saying OWfense.
Remember Forget The Titans game, while I prematurely celebrate Festivus with my own personal Airing of Chief Grievances.
I GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE, NOW YOU'RE GONNA ... oop, there goes my Achilles.
The Best and Worst w/ His Dirkness
Worst long term result - Derrick Johnson's injury. Just a heartbreaker. You could see the wind knocked out of the Chiefs' sails after the legend, just 15 tackles away from becoming the franchise's all time leading tackler, went down. No heart. No passion. And the score was only 7-3 at that point. I believe we'll see DJ in a Chiefs uniform again, but at his age, with this injury, you'd have to think his best football is behind him. Damn, damn, damn shame.
Worst game as Chiefs head coach - Andy Reid. What an indefensible performance from the source of my biggest reason for optimism heading into 2014. Lets run through this from best (that means the least terrible, in this case) to worst:
"Bestest" - Travis Kelce played 18 snaps. Yes, the offense's biggest receiving threat (with Dwayne Bowe out) played less than one third of the team's snaps. Meanwhile, Hammond (54), Fasano (52), Hemingway (33). Why? WHY???
"Best" - I'm pretty sure nobody else will complain about this, but I LOATHED it. Punting the ball, down two scores, with four minutes left in the game. 4th and 15? Don't care. Own 15 yard line? Don't care. The objective is to win the game. You take the chance there. You risk a slightly worse loss for any chance at a win. And yet, coaches do this all the time to make the final score look prettier. Lipstick on Andy.
Worst - The deep pass from their own two yard line, with 38 seconds left in the half. The beginning of the end. You can't give away free points in a game with two low octane offenses. I'll rarely complain about aggressive strategy, but there was so much more to lose than gain at that juncture. Total head scratcher.
Worstest - Not enough Jamaal. It's never enough Jamaal. Andy Reid's number one flaw as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. In fairness, we knew this about him coming in.
"Best Day EVER!!!" - Ryan Succop's status update on Facebook, immediately following the game.
Worst position to put Alex Smith in - Down two scores. First off, say this aloud with me: Yesterday was not about Alex Smith. It wasn't. He was actually having a pretty good day up until the INT just before halftime. After that, it felt like everything was forced, which is most definitely not his game.
So I did a little research last night, here's what I found: Alex Smith has come back from two scores down to win a game only twice since 2006 (vs Detroit and Philadelphia, both in 2011). For perspective, Andrew Luck did it three times last season. As did Russell Wilson. Hell, Matt Schaub has done it three times over the last two seasons (I'd offer more examples, but research for this was time consuming, I couldn't find any comprehensive data on it).
Alex Smith is a quarterback that needs to play with the lead, like he did for most of last season. Is that a problem for a guy you just dished out $68 million to? You're damn right it is. I don't want to be stuck paying a QB big money if I feel like the game is over at 17-3. And yesterday, it felt like it was over.
Best use of a single snap - Vance Walker: One snap, one sack. Play this man!
Worst positional group in the NFL - The Chiefs guards. One is a sixth round rookie. And the other was signed a day before the Chiefs' last preseason game, and was rated as the 74th best guard in the NFL by Pro Football Focus last season. His name is Mike McGlynn. And he was an abomination yesterday.
Best use of the Ugly Friend Effect - The Ugly Friend Effect is when a lady surrounds herself with less attractive women to make herself look like a 10. Well, the Chiefs have officially surrounded Eric Fisher with less attractive offensive lineman to make him look like a first overall pick. And It worked yesterday. We actually arrived at this conclusion towards the end of our Postgame Show last night (Every Sunday here on Arrowhead Pride, 30 minutes after the game), but it was good enough to rehash.
Best question to ask now - Is the season over? Well, if you would have asked me at any point yesterday, my answer would've been a resounding yes. But I calmed down and did a little research. I had remembered feeling this way after the season opener before. But what actually happened in those instances? Lets check it out:
- 2006 - Trent Green nearly gets decapitated in loss to Cincinnati. Team handed over to Damon Huard. Season over? Nope, Chiefs go 9-7 and make the playoffs.
- 2011 - 41-7 loss to Buffalo at home. Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki torn ACL's (hmm, sounds familiar). Season over? Not quite. Chiefs go 7-9, missing out on a (very weak) division title by two blocked field goals from Richard Seymour.
In other words, a single game does not a season make. And if your team is really bad, you probably won't know until closer to midseason, like with the 2012 Chiefs. In related news, I have way too much experience in judging disastrous football teams. As a side note, kill me.
And stop chit-chatting it up with Dexter!