Yeah. I know there were 3 preceding quarters. But let’s get to pleading the 4th. It might be summed up by this one play, see next. But to open the 4th quarter, Harrison Butker nailed a 3 pointer to extend KC’s lead to 26-13 at the 14 minute Mark. I felt the Chiefs were in command. Then? The freakin’ defense fell apart, well, whatever happened, happened. When that 4th Quarter started and the Texans were down 26-13, it was…
At the same time, all we: KC fans, pundits and authors were lamenting the lack of a 2nd-half defense. So, I went and looked at the film. Terrance Mitchell was right in the midst of the play. The pass by Watson had to be perfect and it was, otherwise it would have been a deflection. Mitchell was not perfectly positioned, but as the play crossed the goal line, the ball was taken in as Terrance reacted and it was one of those ‘almost a defense’ efforts, to fall just short. I wonder if Terrance Mitchell ever listened to the interview by Y.A. Tittle who made some almost miraculous plays for the N.Y. Giants of Yor’ so, that leads me to my…
Here’s the “YAT” Aside
The Giants of the late 50’s and early 60’s were a very tough team to beat. In 1963, YA Tittle came close—now here, for you youngsters, this was still the old NFL. The Super Bowl had not even been considered except in the back rooms of the fledgling AFL. 1963 was the year I became a Chiefs fan. I have been a huge supporter of KC since that season.
I have often remarked that the big thing was getting our own professional football team. At the same time, I caught on to the drama and some of creative moves by the owners of these new teams so from the start of this “game” and “fanaticism” for me, included the AFL. Plus, that meant even more because I became, at that time, an AFL West fan at the same time. I always wanted the Chiefs on top but when they didn’t make it, I would become a post season supporter of the usual other winner of the AFL—no, not the Broncos. It was the dastardly, cruel, dirty AFL West Oakland Raiders.
Back to Y.A.Tittle. He didn’t win the big game in the NFL. He came close. No cigar. So again, for you newbies, who know literally nothing about the history before the year 2000 most likely, then I wish to Honor the man:
Y.A. “YAT” Tittle passed away today (Oct. 8) at the age of 90. What a class player, class act and astute student of the game. He was an “Almost-er” I guess… and I am familiar with that category.
I noted my own following of the Chiefs that same year above but Tittle was an important figure in the NFL and since KC did not have a team, if you lived in the greater area, you watched what was going on in the NFL with a second eye.
In an interview a couple of years ago, he identified his nearly great career by observing that his whole athletic career could be summed up with the word, “Almost”. He didn’t win the State Championship, in college he lost in what was considered the National Championship game and in the NFL he was unable to defeat the Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field in 1963, for what was then the NFL Championship.
I am quite sure that young fans even then did not understand how a bald-headed old fart could play this game – of course his lack of hair made him appear a lot older than he was. The year that “YAT” didn’t win the big game, he was the MVP of the NFL. That says a lot about his ability. So, youngsters who don’t know, Pete Rozelle was the Commissioner of the NFL and this season was another “Controversy” for the NFL. Rozelle wanted the game to be played at Soldier Field. George “Papa Bear” Halas (owner) wanted it at Wrigley Field, where it was played. In those small confines I believe Halas felt the Bears would have the “noise” advantage. Another note: it was the 31st NFL Championship. The Giants record was 11-3, the Bears, 11-2-1. This was bound to be a very good game and it was. The way Rozelle approached the resistance of Halas, was to move the game time to something like noon-ish, because Wrigley didn’t have lights. Besides this, the Cardinals had not yet moved to St. Louis and their home stadium was Soldier Field (which had a lot more seating).
Under Tittle, the Giants were playing the championship game for the 3rd year in a row. It was destined to be their third loss and the same for Tittle. So, most of us don’t remember this time (Bert probably does) Succinctly, Frank Gifford (later of broadcast fame for the NFL and most viewers, fans and such knew of him in the broadcast booth), was a WR (in today’s game he would be considered a slot receiver most likely). Following is a review of that game.
Tittle had 36 TDs that year (an NFL Record, no I didn’t know this, I had to go look it up). What were the Giants known for? Defense. They were called the Monsters of the Midway and these guys were a bit mean. The DC was later a head coach, George Allen. Now I followed Allen throughout his NFL career from this point on. He was a very astute coach but had some weird ideas.
Allen was HC for the LA Rams and later the Washington Redskins who later won the Super Bowl winner in 1983 (long after Allen retired). John Riggins, a steam-roller, hard hitting RB who literally tore defenders apart). Those were the days when Joe Gibbs was coach but, I confess: I was a George Allen fan at the time.
Anyway, in the 1963 championship it was indeed a Defensive game and the Bears won 14-10 with everyone thinking Tittle would pull it out but, failed as neither team was able to score in the 4th Quarter.
Back to the Sunday Night Game
The Chiefs this weekend won a shootout. This seemed improbable to me, but I knew it was possible. Alex Smith led the Chiefs with with 3 TD passes. He was 29-37 in that department with 323 aerial yards, his second 300+ game of the season. He used his feet to escape danger and when he didn’t throw it, ran for positive yards. On the scoring play to Charcandrick West, Smith escaped to his “left” and threw the TD to West to his “right.”. I thought that was a pretty big play in itself for Smith.
— NFL (@NFL) October 9, 2017
Travis Kelce took a monster hit, and continued play after he was in Concussion Protocol and passed it. But during the break, he couldn’t recall what happened, and so he was held out. To that point, Kelce was The Biggest beneficiary of the Smith aerial game was (8 Receptions, 98 Yards).
Of course, I am touting the offense and the players. I was very sad to see Conley go down and it turned out that it was, indeed, an Achilles tear. He is out for the rest of the year. Dang it! Now that provides the opportunity for Demarcus Robinson, because everyone knows I am not a big fan of Albert Wilson when other guys are behind him but have ton’s more talent – and no, I am not yet to take a bite of crow. Maybe the blackbirds flew the pie, but Crow? Out here it’s Ravens. Yes, Albert has speed, and recently, his play has turned it up 3 or 4 notches it appears.
Be that as it may, my #2 WR, if you will, Chris Conley is done for the season. Meanwhile, RB Kareem Hunt gained 107 yards on the ground, Chris Conley made some big receptions and later, Charcandrick West scored twice in the 4th quarter on the scoring end of Alex Smith’s passes. Meanwhile, when Conley went down, Demarcus Robinson finally got his time in the lights
Who Would Like More Numbers?
The Chiefs won the first down battle, 29-20. They won the ToP with control of the ball for 38 minutes. Meanwhile, the overall game for the Chiefs was they moved the chains, didn’t punt much, they scored at will with a 56% (9-16) third down efficiency. The Chiefs ran rampant over their opponent with 450 total yards to 392, in favor of the Chiefs.
THE CHIEFS OFFENSE RAN 73 PLAYS
Think about that. I made a note about Hunt – another 100+ yards rushing (107). But here, the Texans out-gained the Chiefs on the ground 144-127. Hmm. KC had no turnovers, Houston had 1, which the lost the ball. Dave Toub’s Special Teams had their 11th TD since 2013, and trail the leader here by a single TD at this point to date.
Huh. Here is one: Alex Smith sustained 1 sack. Watson 3. I am not so much focused on this but think on it: The Offensive Line, without LDT, without Mitch Morse (or last year’s starter at LG: Parker Ehinger), only gave up 1 single sack.
The Chiefs led 3-0 early after a 35-yard field goal by Harrison Butker on their first drive. Watt was injured on the play before the field goal and fell to the ground while being blocked. Watt, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, but the team announced that he sustained a tibial plateau fracture. The defensive end returned this season after missing the last 13 games last year after his second back surgery.
During this game, Alex Smith finally was finding WR Chris Conley who made several plays exactly when it was needed to move the chains. The Chiefs were up by six when Smith found West on an 8-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-0 in the second quarter. Kansas City’s Charcandrick West caught two touchdown passes and Travis Kelce had eight receptions for 98 yards in the first half, but didn’t return after halftime and the team said he was being evaluated for a concussion.
Tyreek Hill added a TD on an 82 yard return, a true display of Hill’s speed and ability to make simple moves that leave opponents stuck in their shoes trying to react. It’s almost as if no one will catch him if he gets a lane and puts his burners to work and the next thing you know he is pushing his own blocker to his left to get a clear lane to the end zone. At that point, the Chiefs extended their lead by two TD scores.
Kansas City rookie Kareem Hunt had 29 carries for 107 yards to give him four 100-yard rushing games this season. Before the game I had predicted a score of 30-17, Chiefs. And I thought that despite the Texan defense, Alex Smith and Co. would beat my game score goal (29.5) which they did with 42 points. Tyreek Hill remarked after the game that the Chiefs had yet to reach the peak of their potential with the offense. I have become a believer.
So what went on with the defense?
What went wrong with the defense? Something did. Eric Berry was out. Steven Terrell suffered an apparent concussion. After holding Watson and Co to meager yardage in the first half, the Texans exploded. I think they had 62 total yards in the first half. Get this number: The Texans QB Deshaun Watson threw for 5 TD on 16-31 passing (51.6%). That is a horrible percentage. But, the Chiefs could not contain Watson’s in the second half, at least enough to shut him down as they did in the first half.
As noted, Watson suffered 3 sacks, and was pressured play after play to only escape and move their own Chains. Watson himself? Totally suited for high scoring games. I think Bob Sutton failed this time in the second half: what he schemed didn’t work as well and his adjustments didn’t work.
We’ll call a bit of that last quarter as garbage time in a shootout that had already been won by the Chiefs. Did this please me? Ab-so-tive-ly NOOOOO00000ooooo! Bobby? Get head into the light and not the dark, if you know what I mean. In the end? The defense used by KC was, to be polite, a toilet odor. Sutton has to do something, now, because the Steelers will be around the next moment we catch our breath.
About the Injury Reports
Chiefs’ safety Steven Terrell suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff. Chris Conley was diagnosed with an Achilles tendon rupture and is done for the year. Wilson had a leg spasm and came out but went back in. Justin Houston had a calf spasm but went back in. Travis Kelce missed the entire second half and remains in the concussion protocol.
Houston linebacker Whitney Mercilus injured his chest in the first quarter and didn’t return. Houston safety Corey Moore suffered a concussion. Houston’s J.J. Watt fractured his leg and is out for the season.
I would loved to have attended this game. What a show of offense..
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