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The saddest thing about the Chiefs’ season

Titans 22, Chiefs 21 | Five takeaways and your comments and questions

Arrowhead Pride postgame live: Titans 22, Chiefs 21 | Five takeaways and your comments and questions

Posted by Arrowhead Pride: For Kansas City Chiefs Fans on Saturday, January 6, 2018

It is a dreary, rainy day in Kansas City, and that is fitting.

It is not “Victory Sunday.” There is nothing to celebrate.

You won’t be watching the Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game wondering where the Chiefs are headed next week.

The season is over, and it is heartbreaking—I’d argue the most heartbreaking loss since 2013, when the Chiefs transformed from a perennial joke to a team you could count on to make the playoffs.

Before Saturday’s game, I tweeted about how we really do not know the futures of several players that have been so important to this franchise during that five-year span, and even some, well before.

Dustin Colquitt and Albert Wilson are unrestricted free agents. Alex Smith will probably be traded. Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali, the 2005 and 2006 first-rounders who never showed their age, this season finally did.

And there are more players on this list, and with general manager Brett Veach’s first full offseason upcoming, the moves involving them become all the more difficult to predict.

What is sad about it all is that this team, this group, the guys that made you feel good about football in Kansas City again, they deserved better, and many of them will leave with nothing to show for it.

“The tough part about this obviously is that it’s final and the season ends up being over, you’re never the same team,” Andy Reid said in his opening statement after the game. “That’s just how this thing works, but the guys coming back, we’ll make sure we feel this and then change it. But we have to wait awhile to do that. That’s the problem with games like this.”

What is Murphy’s law again? Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

That was Saturday night for the Chiefs.

10 years from now, the things you’ll remember are Travis Kelce’s concussion and Marcus Mariota’s self-pass (the first one since 1997). You’ll remember the questionable forward progress calls in a contest already being referred to as the “Forward Progress Game” by local influencers.

The Chiefs had an 18-point lead at halftime and they fell into quicksand. The offensive gameplan was thwarted by Kelce’s departure and the run defense reverted back to midseason form.

And in a flash, this version of the Chiefs gave away its last shot at any kind of Kansas City folklore.

Looking back, Alex Smith will be spoken about in the same manner as Trent Green—a good quarterback who made the Chiefs competitive.

And that is not necessarily a bad thing. But it isn’t Len Dawson. It isn’t George Brett or Eric Hosmer.

In sports, there is a lot of real estate to become great, but to become legendary, you must win championships.

What makes me somber about Saturday night is that this group was good enough to do that. Smith was good enough, and Hali and Johnson deserved to ride into the sunset on top after all they have done for this team and city the past decade.

But they won’t. And to me, that is the saddest of all.

And now, five items of note.

1. Former Chief and SB Nation’s own Geoff Schwartz was baffled by the Derrick Johnson forward progress call, too.

Andy Reid refused to comment on the calls, saying that the referees are protected. The ref said he was right and then retired. No, seriously.

Derrick Johnson was not happy: “Yeah, I don’t know how you can call a guy down or blow the whistle when he didn’t hit the ground yet, especially on a sack.”

2. This article is all about how the group (of players) won’t be together again. Well, here is your unfriendly reminder that that may include coaches.

3. This Marcus Peters video went viral Saturday night

Chiefs fan to Marcus Peters: “Let’s go Marcus!”

Peters: “S—, where we going? Home?”

Peters after this scene:

Peters is probably the most polarizing Chiefs player, but one thing I love about him is he is 100 percent himself all the time. This was another example.

4. This stat is not for the faint of heart

The Chiefs now own two of the four worst postseason losses in history.

5. Postgame quotes of the week

Would you agree that the offense took their foot off the pedal? “Yup.”

On whether the rumors he was coaching for his job affected him: “Yeah, I don’t think it is fair to my family. So when it has an effect on my family, it has an effect on me. So yeah, I would say it had a big effect on me.”

You’ve been in a lot of close games this year. How confident were you that you could come back and win this? “No one in this locker room was worried. There was no panic in anyone’s face. We were all confident. We all knew we had a job to do and we all did it.”

How much changed when Travis Kelce came out of the game? “Well he is a good player. He is a player that can change the game so I am sure that changed some things on their side. We took out double Kelce coverages. He is a big time player for them so that certainly did not help them.”

How tough is this loss for you? “We had a lot of hope coming into the playoffs of going extremely far. So it was definitely a shot. We thought we had a lot of football left to play, so it hurts.”

On the Chiefs in the second half: “I think they played a little tight in the second half, conservative. And, we let it loose. They had like 30 yards receiving or something. They did nothing the second half. They didn’t score a point. We had our quarterback out there making miraculous plays. We had some bad breaks, but we still responded. We played a bunch of guys who had nothing to lose – a bunch of guys who are underrated, undervalued, who came from different places, and who were trying to do something special. We believe that.”

Does the result of this game have an impact on what decision you might make, career wise? “No, I’ll go back to Texas and be with my kids and chill out a little bit. I’m definitely playing ball again. That’s not a question. But it’s not the time to talk about where I am going to be playing. I’m a Chief. I’ve been in this league 13 years. Opportunities like this don’t come around a lot.”

Do you want to be back here next year? “Yeah, I mean are you kidding? I signed a contract, I’m under contract for another year. So like I said, I’m not thinking about anything else. Right now obviously disappointed. Like I said, I felt like we had a good chance, and it’s gone. It’s over.”

There was a miracle in Music City a few years ago. This was pretty close to a miracle don’t you think? “I think I heard someone say that the only way the Titans could win if there’s a win in Music City. There must have been a miracle then because we got it done.”

Should fans expect more from this team and the organization? “The players expect to win the championship and the coaches expect to do the same thing. I’m on board. Everybody, let’s go.”

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