Back to where it all began.
From 2015, where the Kansas City Chiefs shellacked the Houston Texans in the season opener by a deceiving final score of 27-20.
All the way back to 1994, where the Chiefs won their last playoff game, playing in a different stadium against a different franchise. That may seem like a problem for Kansas City. But let me offer the counter-argument to that real quick…
No, Houston, YOU have a problem!
Twenty two years. Twenty two years of missed field goals, lost fumbles, wrong QB choices, quarterbacks scoring touchdowns on fumbles, halves without first downs, passing yard totals in the double digits, more missed field goals, phantom offensive pass interference calls, touchdowns ruled out of bounds, injuries, 99.9 percent win probabilities, and one final missed field goal (Morten, how could you?).
I say embrace it. Because when things finally do go in the Chiefs favor, when they catch that elusive playoff win, that pain immediately turns to joy. You think these fans who’s teams go to the playoffs year in and year out with their fancy pants franchise QBs really cherish it? Not like we will. No, sir.
So embrace it all. Say the name of the Kicker That Shall Not Be Named. Go on. Say it with me: Linnnnnellllliotttttt. There. That wasn’t so bad, was it? Yes, you can take a shower now.
Repeat those inconceivable numbers of two years ago - 38, 10, 44, 45. Hell, I’m gonna throw them in the lottery this week.
It’s playoff time, baby. Christmas was cool. New Year’s was aight. But the true holidays are now upon us.
The Best & Worst w/ His Dirkness
Best winning streak in franchise history - The Chiefs won 10 games in a row for the first time in franchise history. If nothing else, the 2015 Chiefs engineered one of the greatest turnarounds — not only in franchise history, not only in NFL history, not only in sports history, but in the HISTORY OF MANKIND. Dang, I think I took that one step too far there.
Worst NFL playoff team, according to Vegas - The Houston Texans. It was a wild day of AFC playoff scenarios with the Jets and Patriots both losing and the (top seeded?) Broncos struggling with the Chargers up until Peyton Manning handed the ball off better than Brock Osweiler. But I’m satisfied with how it all panned out. A playoff win is my number one goal, anything beyond that is gravy. Well, the Chiefs drew the weakest team in the field, according to the folks who know best. And they return to the scene of their last playoff win, which feels significant. Feels like everything’s coming full circle. It feels like it’s the Chiefs time.
Best case scenario - Easing Puff Puff Pass Rush back into the lineup against a backup LT. There’s been a hazy cloud of uncertainty hanging over the status of Justin Houston lately. He’s seemingly been "day-to-day" for about a month now. Fortunately, he picked a good time to get injured, and the Chiefs were able to manage a slew of terrible offenses while the city ran dry. However, to be a true Super Bowl contender, they need Fiddy Sack back and close to 100 percent. I was hoping he'd get to shake off most of the seeds and stems yesterday, but hopefully Saturday serves as that transition game with Duane Brown, the Texans’ stud LT, going down.
Best QB in a playoff game - It’s been a while for the Chiefs. Luck over Alex. Flacco over Cassel. Peyton over Trent x2. Elway over Elvis. Harbaugh over Bono (had to look it up). 33 year old Marino over 38 year old Montana, probably. The year before, Montana was better than Jim Kelly, but he got injured early so that one's disregarded. Which leads us, not coincidentally, to the last time they won a playoff game, when 37 year old Joe Montana held an edge over Warren Moon, or at the very least, the week before against Neil O’Donnell.
But Alex Smith is unquestionably better than the Texans' Brian Hoyer. A few stats on AS11: He averaged 17.7 yards rushing his first seven games of 2015, and 41.6 over the final nine games. He hasn’t cracked 200 yards the last four weeks, but hasn’t really needed to either. And my favorite stat, Alex Smith’s pass attempts over the last five games: 22, 23, 25, 22 and 24. Right where he needs to be. We’ve quietly moved beyond the weekly reminders for Andy Reid to run the ball ever since Jamaal Charles went out, strangely enough. Lets hope Saturday is no different.
Best hands in the NFL - Jeremy Maclin, who finished the season with one drop on 120 targets. And he was credited with a reception on a pass he probably didn’t catch against Buffalo, so really I think this evens out to zero drops.
Best play - Demetrius Harris. I knew he had in him all along. I never stopped believing.
Best year? - Dustin Colquitt, who broke his career mark for net yard average, which I would’ve never guessed.
Best Brazilian pass in NFL history - Was also the first. This guy was the first one to pick up on that fact.
Best hope for the return game - Don’t lose games. Kniles Dave appeared to lose his job yesterday. Chris Conley didn’t look good filling in. We know Frank Hammond isn’t good at it. So lets just avoid the gamebreaking mistake next week. Fair catches, touchbacks, and two hands on the ball are all I ask out of this year’s version of the Not So Special Toubs.
Best runner on the team - Spencer Ware. Sunday, Ware went 16-76, while Chark went 13-34. For the season, ThumperWare is averaging 5.6 yards a carry, while DubStep sits at 4.0. I love the Rich and Rare combo. And Chark still deserves a role as the team's passing back, but Ware is the better runner. He’s the most physical RB this side of Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson, and I only mention them because they’ve done it for so much longer. But he should be healthy and he should have fresh legs for Saturday. I wouldn't mind seeing 20 carries out of him.
Best matchup for DeAndre Hopkins - Marcus Peters. Sean Smith is great, I repeat -- GREAT. He’s my choice for Team MVP. But if there’s one skill he lacks, it’s top flight speed - see Watkins, Sammy. Well, Hopkins is of the same mold. He's the only true gamebreaker on the Texans offense. I'd kinda like to see a strategy I’ve seen the Patriots use a few times in recent years, where you put your second best CB on the opposing team’s stud WR, but give him safety help all game. On the opposite side, you leave your top CB in single coverage against an inferior WR. In this case, Smith Peninsula on Cecil Shorts. Just my two cents. You know, if you're reading this, HeisenBob.
Best game in the last month - JJ Watt, yesterday. One sack in three games with his cast on and three sacks yesterday after it came off. Eric Fisher was a late scratch in the season opener vs. the Texans (remember that?). He’ll get the chance to complete his turnaround season, and reverse his narrative in Kansas City for good, going up against the best the game has to offer on Saturday.
Best game of his career - Zach Fulton, when he started at center this year. Just in case Mitch Morse can’t go on Saturday.
Worst QB in NFL history - Brodie Croyle and Zach Mettenberger (tie). It wasn’t all good news on Sunday. Croyle lost sole proprietorship of the worst record for a starting QB in NFL history. Gosh, I hope Kelli doesn’t leave him now (I know you were all thinking it!).
Best dog ever - Milhouse. Some of you may have noticed my signature over the past few months, which serves as a sort of tribute to my buddy, who passed away over the Chiefs’ bye week. Well, since then, obviously, the Chiefs haven’t lost a game. And things just seem to keep falling their way. We all have our own superstitions, but this one’s been tough for me to ignore. He seems to have his Alex Smith-sized paws all over this team right now. I just hope he’s got a few more left in him.
Everything ----> Milhouse,