Speaking on his Fox Sports show on Tuesday, Colin Cowherd brought up the Kansas City Chiefs. Cowherd came in... uh... hot:
The AFC is Officially Over:— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 22, 2019
“Patrick Mahomes is not and will not be 100% the rest of the year and has no defense... Hi Patriots fans, see you down in Miami.” — @ColinCowherd pic.twitter.com/xnGteQ3VGo
“I’m going to say something — and nobody has heard me say this — ever,” said Cowherd. ”It’s over. The AFC is over.”
”Maybe Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees... maybe they can beat New England. [But] the AFC’s done. The Kansas City Chiefs? Really? They couldn’t get Jacoby Brissett off the field. They don’t do anything well on defense. Last year they at least got sacks. Now they don’t get those.”
”And now Mahomes is not — and will not be — 100% the rest of the year. And has no defense. And watches more of the game than he plays because of that lack of defense.”
”The AFC is over. Sorry to break your heart. But Andrew Luck and a healthy Mahomes with that defense last year were absolutely threats. Kansas City’s defense can’t get average quarterbacks off the field. Jacoby Brissett’s a nice kid, but he’s not Andrew Luck.”
It’s hard to know where to begin with this.
We know, of course, that Cowherd is well known for these kinds of takes. But we hadn’t previously been aware of his medical degree; apparently, Dr. Cowherd is able to provide prognoses through his television without even examining the patient. It’s really quite impressive. You’d think that with that kind of skill, he’d be able to make a living as an M.D. — but for some reason, he hasn’t chosen to do that.
Dr. Cowherd has noticed that the New England Patriots are currently 7-0, but it doesn’t appear he’s noticed which teams they’ve played through seven weeks of the season. In fact, using the SoS metric that is part of the SRS system used by Pro Football Reference, the Patriots have faced the NFL’s easiest schedule thus far — almost an order of magnitude easier than the Dallas Cowboys in second place.
That’s almost exactly what happened in 1972, when the Miami Dolphins became the only team in NFL history to go undefeated all the way through the postseason. It’s an achievement the Dolphins richly earned, but over the decades since then, people have forgotten a legitimate point raised at the time: the Dolphins faced the league’s easiest schedule — almost an order of magnitude easier than any other team.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs have faced an average schedule through seven weeks. And Dr. Cowherd appears to be unaware that the team’s best pass rusher — not to mention two starters on the offensive line — are on the sidelines. They’ll all be back in a matter of weeks.
In fairness to Dr. Cowherd, we should note an uncomfortable fact: he could be right about a couple of things. The performance of the Chiefs’ defense against the Denver Broncos could easily have been an anomaly rather than a significant step forward. Patrick Mahomes might be unable to play at his usual level when he returns to the field.
But that said, Dr. Cowherd has made an all-too-common mistake: he’s taken the idea that the quarterback is the most important player on the field to mean that the quarterback is the only player on the field.
And he’s forgotten something else, too: it ain’t over until it’s over.