There's a lot to like when your favorite team wins a postseason game by 30. It's even better when said team shuts out their opponent. But for some of my favorite moments, I'd like to take a closer look at the obvious and maybe not so obvious from the Kansas City Chiefs overwhelming win over the Houston Texans on Saturday.
Eric Fisher: NFL Bully
Sure, Fisher turned the corner earlier this year, but this was his true arrival. Chiefs fans have watched Fisher switch to right tackle and back again this season before cementing his role as the starter and then blossoming into an at-times dominant performer. On a national stage, on the road, in the postseason, against a vaunted Texans defense and a player who garnered more pre-game coverage than any other, Fisher did this:
JJ Watt's foot slipped on the turf, took a little abuse after going down pic.twitter.com/7RUXTCKLGp— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) January 9, 2016
This is what the Chiefs mean when they talk about more toughness out of Fisher. Chiefs fans know a great offensive lineman when they see one. They're the sort of players the heartland loves to root for, a behemoth who forces a defender to question whether they really want to contend with him. They can be teddy bears off the field, but they're all-out nasty before the whistle blows. And that play? That's all-out nasty. Fisher's arrival is definitely a favorite moment.
Knile for Miles
This is obvious as well. But for a guy who watched not one but two complete unknowns jump him for every carry Jamaal Charles couldn't make in a contract year, Knile Davis has handled himself with professionalism and grace. Seriously, he deserves so much more credit for that. So it's nice to see him get a moment like this:
Spencer Ware's truck stick
Speaking of the guys who jumped over Knile, this perhaps shows you why guys like Ware and Charcandrick West are getting the lion's share of carries these days. Check out the Madden-esque move from Ware here. Talk about imposing your will.
Allen Bailey, Man Beast
Bailey is usually the eighth or ninth Chiefs defender mentioned when announcers are talking about the team's playmakers. That speaks of the Chiefs defensive depth more than it does Bailey's talent, who would be a breakout star on another team devoid of such great stories. After all, on a unit that include Eric Berry, Justin Houston, Marcus Peters, Sean Smith, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson ... you get the idea.
That said, Bailey is a man beast. There's no other way to say it. His incredible size and strength and athleticism have few peers at the pro level, which is why he's getting so much better each year with coaching and experience. Two sacks against the Texans showed his skill set, from collapsing the pocket to the strip sack in the fourth quarter. Just an amazing all-around game from a player who deserves a much greater spotlight.
Closing it out
Even as the Chiefs headed to the locker room with a 13-0 lead, Twitter looked a lot like this:
"Something something Andy Reid sucks."
"Something something Chiefs should lead by 20 millionty."
Then in the second half, even on the drive where they lose Jeremy Maclin to an unfortunate knee injury, the Chiefs drive 94 yards to finish in the end zone with a Chris Conley touchdown. In the fourth, they march another 71 yards before Spencer Ware ends the drive with a five-yard touchdown run. Cairo Santos wouldn't kick another field goal until late in the game, as if Andy heard fans' frustration at halftime and said, "Watch this."
Special teams are truly special
From the Knile Davis record-setting kick return to Dustin Colquitt's perfect placement, from flawless punt return coverage each and every time to consistent touchbacks that removed any potential playmaking threat for Houston, Dave Toub's special teams were sharp at nearly every turn. Some questionable flags were thrown, but by and large, but this was an excellent display for Toub's men.
Special teams and defense will make any team a very tough out in January, and the Chiefs have the look of a real contender here. Here's hoping Toub gets his share of the credit for the team's incredible win on Saturday.
Feels like I'm already going on for a long time, and I haven't even touched Jaye Howard or Travis Kelce or Alex Smith or any number of other performers from Saturday, but if I have room for one more, it's gotta be the guy in the middle who kept shedding blocks, one after another. There's no physical equal in the game to Dontari Poe, a freak athlete who is also a boulder in the middle of the defensive line.
On Mauga pick, Dontari Poe just humiliated the center for quick pressure. That's a forced error, not a gift. pic.twitter.com/2Uf4NxsHmG— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) January 10, 2016
It's a real gift to watch Poe when he's playing like this, the sort of thing you tell your kids about or reminisce with friends about over drinks. When he forced Brian Hoyer to throw off his back foot for Josh Mauga's interception, it was watching a superstar at work, shedding both blockers assigned on him only to penetrate the pocket and deal with another couple of bodies. He is literally unstoppable at least 5-10 plays each game.
Let's hear your favorite moments, plays, or key players from the game.