Welcome to the AFC Championship edition of Let’s Argue!
Inspired by a video series created by music reviewer Anthony Fantano, Robert Rimpson’s weekly series takes a look at hot takes, unpopular opinions, wacky predictions and more from Kansas City Chiefs fans.
“The Tennessee Titans have the Chiefs’ number — and Andy Reid can’t beat them”
That the Titans have the Chiefs’ “number” and Andy can’t beat them— Julia Meader (@jmmeader) January 14, 2020
In this case, can’t is a very strong word.
That’s not only because of the old NFL adage any given Sunday, but also because both of the Chiefs’ recent losses to Tennessee were absolutely winnable.
Those two games were lost by a combined four points; it took several Chiefs miscues (and unlucky plays) for the Titans to win either of them. The last time, it took a fumble-six, intentional grounding on a field goal attempt and a blocked field goal to finally put the Chiefs away.
So it wasn’t as if the Titans just had a superior game plan; I don’t feel like Andy Reid was significantly outcoached in either of those games. So it’s hard to say he doesn’t have the ability to beat them.
The Chiefs certainly can beat the Titans — and in the eyes of many people, they should beat them. But just because they can doesn’t mean it’ll be easy — so I understand the nervousness.
“Tyreek Hill should not return punts any more”
Tyreek Hill should not return another punt. Jet is the guy now. Stick with the guys who practice it most.— Bill Welch (@SillyBilly1961) January 14, 2020
Mecole Hardman’s 58-yard kickoff return may have been the most important play in the Chiefs’ 24-point comeback against the Houston Texans — and Tyreek Hill’s muffed punt may be the biggest reason why Hardman’s play was even necessary.
Since he hasn’t done it much this season, it is possible that Hill may have become a bit rusty catching kicks — and Hardman has more than proven he’s capable of doing the returns on his own. But this isn’t the first time Hill has made a mistake on special teams — and I have a feeling it won’t be the last. But you live with those mistakes because of how electric he can be in the return game. Hardman is a great return man — but Hill is the best.
I have no issue with Hardman doing the majority of the returns. But Hill is way too big of a weapon to keep on the sideline when you’re this close to a Super Bowl.
“Dave Toub needs to be replaced”
Dave Toub needs to be replaced. I think he’s lost the room.— Brett Myers (@bamafan7) January 13, 2020
I understand people’s frustration with the special teams — especially after it almost single-handedly turned a one-score game into a 24-point deficit.
But don’t forget: it was mainly special teams that dug the Chiefs out of that gigantic hole. Hardman’s big kickoff return, the stop on the fake punt attempt and Daniel Sorenson’s forced fumble on a Texans kickoff — all of those plays were needed to erase the huge lead the Titans ran up.
As bad as special teams have looked at times during this season, they have also had great moments. Despite their struggles this season, Football Outsiders ranked Chiefs special teams as the league’s second-best during the regular season. Dave Toub’s unit may have struggled to begin Sunday’s game — but if it’s fair to blame him for a bad start, it’s just as fair to give him credit for rallying his guys to turn it around.
“The Chiefs defense is back to being awful”
Giving up 31 points the defense is back to being Terrible— Pez Mahomes II (@jaypez25) January 13, 2020
Don’t let the 31 points scored by the Texans fool you. In my opinion, the Chiefs defense played an amazing game on Sunday.
The first drive of the game was definitely a lowlight; the secondary was fooled by a fake screen, allowing the Texans an easy 54-yard touchdown pass. But the other 17 points scored by the Texans in the first quarter weren’t the defense’s fault; a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, a muffed punt inside the 10-yard line and three straight offensive drives ending in punts all had much more to do with it.
After the first quarter — where the Chiefs stopped turning the ball over and making mistakes on special teams — the defense only gave up one score in eight drives.
Once the Chiefs offense started scoring, the comeback would not have been possible if the defense couldn’t get the stops they needed. While they didn’t recover any fumbles or force interceptions, for the vast majority of the game, the defense did its job .
Despite what the scoreboard may tell you about Sunday’s game, the defense did what was expected of them — and maybe a little more.