The Chiefs beat the Chargers and win the AFC West. Let’s take a look at the good, bad and ugly...
- The Chiefs beat the Chargers, and the Raiders lost to give the Chiefs the AFC West title, the No. 2 seed, and a bye week. That’s it. I could stop right there. But I won’t.
- This Box Score line for the Chargers punting (thanks, Tyreek Hill):
Net Punting Average -46.0
- Marcus Peters grabs another interception!
- Chiefs’ O 3rd down conversions: 66% (8/12)
- Chiefs’ D 3rd down conversions: 30% (3/10)
- Penalties: 4/19 accepted. That’s winning discipline.
- Chris Conley was clutch on the two-minute drill to get a FG. Good showing.
- Good stat line spread for these four guys:
Charcandrick West: 5-58-2
Chris Conley: 4-55-0
Jeremy Maclin: 4-53--0
Tyreek Hill: 5-46-0
The Chiefs can win with that sort of spread because that includes the rookie phenom, the elusive vet, a young guy no one pays attention to and the RB out of the backfield — all with approximately four catches and approximately 50 yards. No way to stop all of them. And when you try, Kelce takes over the game. Or Albert Wilson gets 42 yards on a screen pass.
- 17 Passing first downs!
- Daniel Sorensen’s season stat line: four pass defensed, three Interceptions, two forced fumbles, one TD ... in a pear tree. I think I’ve seen Pro Bowl safeties with fewer big plays than this.
- The Chargers fourth and fifth string RBs, running behind the Chargers second string o-line, ran for 128 yards and five yards per carry.
- The Chiefs backs averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.
- Kelce had one catch for eight yards.
- Chargers fourth down conversions: 100 percent (2/2)
- How much better would this win look, and how much better would Alex Smith look, if that one pass hadn’t been tipped, intercepted and run back for a TD?
- The Chiefs defense didn’t have any sacks. Against this o-line and at the rate Rivers had been sacked, this is kinda ugly. It is ugly rather than bad because: a) it also didn’t matter to the final score, and b) again, I kinda think it was scheme, keeping more defenders in the pattern rather than trying to get to the QB quickly, since Rivers has such quick release. It did work.
- Charcandrick West had some good runs and some good catches. He still had less than four yards per carry He can be serviceable, but the Chiefs need Spencer Ware back in the game for a deep run. He should be fine with a full three weeks of rest before the Chiefs HOME PLAYOFF GAME ... sorry, I couldn’t contain myself there. Maybe the point is when you look at the stats, West looks like a JAG, but when you watch the game, you see jukes and nifty moves.
This represents the fourth straight season of improvement for the Chiefs as a team. They won double-digit games and went to the playoffs in year one but did it against a very weak schedule. They had a better team and played better in year two but had a tougher schedule and so only won nine games and just barely missed the playoffs. In year three, the Chiefs won 11 games, made the playoffs, won a playoff game then lost by a touchdown in New England. Now, in year four, the Chiefs won 12 games, won the AFC West, have a home playoff game, and get an extra week to rest and scheme and train up the inside backers.
Considering the other teams in the AFC West, the only team that the Chiefs can face in two weeks that is dangerous is the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I think ... no, we’ll save that for another article later. The point is that for the team to continue to progress, and based on the talent the Chiefs have on the team and the coaching experience / skill, they must win a playoff game and advance. To lose again, at home, in the first game of the playoffs would be an embarrassing and unacceptable disappointment.
Look at what Trevor Siemian did to the Raiders’ D. Look at what the Chiefs’ O did to San Diego’s D. Look at what KC did earlier this season to the No. 2 seed in the NFC (Atlanta). The Chargers haven’t given up three TDs to an opposing offense since November. The Chiefs are looking pretty good right now.
For what it’s worth, San Diego has given up 30 points to an offense five times this season (other 30-plus scores included defense return TDs). Two of those were to the Chiefs.
I’m going to have to do a Good/Bad/Ugly Regular Season Summary, aren’t I?