How bout those Chiiiiiiiefs?
Andy sure has gotten good at that. Although, I suppose it gets easier after doing it for six straight weeks.
7-5 feels like a good time for reflection. Did you know this team was 1-5 earlier this season? Seriously, look it up.
Yes, they gave up two touchdowns in the final three minutes at home to a team who got James Thrashed by Blaine Gabbert yesterday. Then they went to Minnesota with their season on life support and willingly pulled the plug sometime in the first half.
Their Super Bowl odds plunged to 30,000-to-1 after that loss. For those of you who aren’t degenerates, that means a bet of $1, a Duke & Duke special, would’ve netted you $30,000. Those same odds are down to 20-to-1 today.
This season is turning out to be quite the epic tale. But we all know, a story is only good as its ending.
My biggest concern for the Kansas City Chiefs right now is fatigue. How much will they have left in the tank down the stretch? That was a tired, broken down team playing in a tired, broken down stadium yesterday.
Crawling back from 1-5 is no easy task. And right now they’re banged up, especially the big boys up front. Multiple injuries have led to OL playing out of position and DL getting over-used the past few weeks. Not to mention, the old legs in Tamba and DJ playing nearly every snap (Tamba with one of the slower walks back across the line of scrimmage you’ll ever see at the end of the game).
If they're unable to get healthy, then we’ll have to appreciate this turnaround for what it is - A valiant effort to resurrect a lost season by a team we should all be proud to call our own.
But if they can get healthy, then I like the Chiefs chances of a proper ending to this storybook season.
The Best & Worst w/ His Dirkness
Best explanation of how KC won - Derek Carr wasn’t good. He blew it, simple as that. Carr had six interceptions on the season coming into the game and threw three of them in the fourth quarter alone. A quarter where he actually threw the ball better with his left hand. The Chiefs may have cracked a code in there because they were bringing the house at him in the second half. Every single play. And the Raiders hopped along for the ride, dialing up 16 consecutive pass plays at one point. But the biggest plays of the game were more Carr’s undoing than the Chiefs’ doing. He missed a wide open Michael Crabtree, who probably scores if hit in stride. The very next play, he held on the ball way too long on Mauga’s oxygen-evaporating INT return. And I have no explanation for what he was doing on Peters’ INT - miscommunication? The Chiefs won yesterday, but it was Derek Carr who lost that game.
Best Alex Smith compliment - In a vacuum, he doesn't lose you games like Carr did yesterday. At the same time, he won’t win you as many games as a QB like Carr would. Alex is very safe. We all know this. His favorite Thanksgiving food is turkey. His favorite beer is probably Bud Light. He is polite and he is rarely late. And he becomes even more risk averse with the way he’s coddled by Father Andy. This can be excruciatingly frustrating to watch at times, but it also saves you from games like Carr had yesterday. The closest he's come to that as a Chief was last year’s Titans game, but that was more of a systemic failure from top to bottom. Now lets have some fun with some Alex Smith interception stats, shall we?
- Alex Smith has the third longest streak of passes without an interception, three behind Bernie Kosar for second, 30 behind Tom Brady for the individual season record, and 53 behind Brady for the longest streak period.
- Alex Smith has thrown 16 INTs as quarterback of the Chiefs. Peyton Manning has thrown 17 this season.
- Alex Smith ranks sixth all time in career INT percentage, just ahead of Steve Bono and Rich Gannon, and just behind Donovan McNabb and Neil O’Donnell. Weird list.
Best timing - "The Raiders said they can’t let Alex Smith run the ball today." Alex Smith runs for a TD on the next play.
Best homecoming - Tyvon Branch. However, the Marcus Peters saga is infinitely more interesting. Peters grew up in Oakland. He idolized Charles Woodson and got to shake his hand at the pregame coin toss. He wore red from head to toe both before and after the game. During the game, multiple reporters commented how they’d never seen a player as "locked in" to the game as Peters was. And he played the part in the first half (outside of a bogus PI call). He began to unravel in the second half after what he thought was a pick play, getting flagged for shoving Crabtree after the play. He seemed to lose himself to his emotions for a stretch. And then Carr laid one up to him on a silver and black platter, which he celebrated by doing the technicolor yawn. Then his body completely gave out on him. And finally, he capped his day by saying all the right things after the game, about his emotions getting the best of him, and his teammates helping him overcome that. Yep, we were treated to the full Marcus Peters experience yesterday. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Best game nobody may have noticed - Derrick Johnson, who racked up a new career high in solo tackles with 13 yesterday (according to Pro Football Reference).
Best defensive stats - The Chiefs won yesterday's game on the backs of their interception returns for a touchdown and to the two and 12 yard lines of Oakland. Who’s up for some more fun with stats?
- The Chiefs had 162 INT return yards. Alex Smith had 162 yards passing.
- The Chiefs 162 INT return yards were more than 21 NFL teams have in the 2015 season.
- The Chiefs lead the NFL with 333 INT return yards on the season.
- Marcus Peters leads the NFL with 141 INT return yards on the season.
- The Chiefs are second in the NFL with 17 interceptions for the season.
- The Chiefs had six interceptions TOTAL in 2014. They’ve had seven in three quarters of action against Peyton Manning and Derek Carr this year.
Worst call - Roughing the passer on Derrick Johnson. Last week I talked about how a majority of the calls went KC’s way. Well, it was quite the opposite yesterday. I didn't think Maclin ever had control of his reception, but that could’ve gone either way. The defensive holding call on Nick Williams was ghastly. Alex got whistled for a false start, which you rarely see. A Raiders WR clearly tried to trip Peters on his INT return. But the call on DJ, my goodness. Lets just say, I bet the ref who called that loves using the phrase "a rule is a rule."
Best asset, which also serves as his worst enemy - Wet Hot American Kelce’s ability to run after the catch is what makes him such a special player. But he's got the fumbles. And he continues to do so at what seems like the worst times. Do we need to bring Tiki Barber in here? He shored up his fumbling problems once upon a time. On a side note, can we please throw him the ball in the end zone like five times a game? Did you see him go up and get that two pointer? Made it look so easy.
Best I could tell - Albert Wilson should’ve laid out for the ball when he got behind the defense in the second quarter. Hard to say for sure with only the TV angle to judge, but it seemed like it was right there. Wilson did make up for it later with a dynamite block on Maclin’s first touchdown.
Best catch of the day - Michael Crabtree’s touchdown. He paid a price for that one. The full $29.
Worst first round pick of the John Dorsey era - I think Dee Ford is now pulling ahead of Eric Fisher. Neither were good yesterday, but Fisher has been solid throughout the season. Meanwhile, the Raiders’ gameplan coming in was to run directly at the Chiefs’ LOLb, Dee Ford. He did come through on Flogging Mauga’s INT, finally getting to Carr on his 27th pump fake of the play. But the debate of whether to play Zombo or Moses over him is real and it is … not all that spectacular.
Worst two game stretch of his career? - Dustin Colquitt. He was uncharacteristically bad punting the ball last week. And this week, he couldn’t hold a ball to save his life. That being said, Cairo Santos’ mother’s comments about Colquitt dying of ghonorrhea and rotting in hell were completely out of line. Would you like a cookie?
Worst coaching, collectively, across the NFL - Teams never take advantage of kicking off from the 50 yard line (like the Raiders did yesterday following the penalty on Peters). Think of all the potential game changing options there are to choose from. Kick it high inside the five and stop them short of the 20. Kick it low and hard and hope for a lucky bounce somewhere. Try a surprise onside kick that only yields them the ball at the 35 or 40 yard line. Kick it high and short and race them to the ball. Force a player who isn’t used to handling the ball to handle the ball. Nope. "We’re gonna kick it as far out of the end zone as we possibly can." - Every NFL team.
Best way to beat Oakland - Stay patient, and eventually they will Raider themselves. Commitment to Excrements since 1960. (I’ve been using these lines in my article for the past four years, and in no way is that depressing.)
Everything continues to come up Milhouse,