Quite often when I'm reviewing film on one player, I end up getting sidetracked by fantastic (or terrible) plays by other guys on the field.
This is something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, my wandering eye leads to film reviews taking twice as long as they should. This is bad for my health. Not because I lose sleep or anything like that, but because it gets my wife one step closer to stabbing me in the eye with a pen (it's coming like a freight train, I just know it).
On the other hand, if it weren't for my inability to focus on one thing for longer than 7.6 seconds, I would miss out on a lot of things I'm happy to not miss out on (that's some tortured language right there. Yikes).
For example, the other day, Joel posted a screenshot of Dee Ford I'd taken showing him taking part in a zone blitz. The reason that play came to my attention wasn't that I was putting together some kind of "here's how I bet Dee Ford gets used in 2015" article. In fact, I was looking at a completely different player on a completely different part of the field: Ron Parker.
The play (a Ford sack in which he was on Philip Rivers faster than you can say "worst day ever." That guy's first step is unreal) caught my eye due to just how quickly Rivers was sacked. Other plays stand out for different reasons. Maybe a member of the secondary makes a great play on the ball. Maybe a linebacker blows up a running play in the backfield. Maybe the entire defense covers the field so well a quarterback searches for a full six seconds without finding any open receivers.
Or maybe you just see Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey demonstrating that they are MEN.
(Note: if you follow me on Twitter, you know where this is going. Good on you. Feeling superior in your knowledge about the Chiefs is just one of many benefits to following me on Twitter. That and better bowel movements. True story)
Let me set the stage first. Its the fourth quarter in Week 17. With 3:37 remaining in the game, the Chiefs lead 19-7 (plenty of time for Rivers, and you know it). The Chargers have the ball on the Chiefs 19-yard-line and are threatening to make the game at least kind of interesting. The Chiefs run defense holds up on 3rd down and it's time for 4th and 1.
Considering the problems the run defense had last year, one could very easily sympathize with the sense of impending doom we all felt at that moment.
Of course, all's well that ends well. The Chiefs defense stood firm. Here are back to back screenshots; one right as Rivers is catching the snap and one as the poor SD running back is about to hit a wall of red.
In the first picture, the San Diego offensive line is trying to fire off the ball and get some push for the simplest play in football.
The problem is (as you can see in the second shot) not only does the line fail to get any positive movement, they're actually moved BACKWARD by the Kansas City Chiefs defense.
Here's the crazy part. The part that forced me to write a quick article about a lone play from a season come and gone. The part that makes me think the run defense just might be OK this next year.
When the Chargers offensive line first made contact with the Chiefs and got no push whatsoever in the middle of the line, they had a four to two numbers advantage. Four to two. Twice as many (checks math... yep).
Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey do not care about such silly things as math.
Justin Houston, Josh Mauga, and Husain Abdullah all did their part a moment later. But for a glorious two-tenths of a second, Poe and Bailey stood alone against the nearly the entire Chargers offensive line and didn't give a freaking inch. They should write songs about stuff like this. It's practically Biblical. You will never convince me that Poe wasn't screaming "HOLD THE LINE" in his best General Maximus voice at that moment.
Poe and Bailey standing their ground gave Husain Abdullah JUST enough room to push through the line (the OL tried desperately to stop him but was already being shove backward by then) and meet the ball carrier in the backfield. The game was all but over.
Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey aren't men among boys. But it sure does seem that way sometimes.