Well…16 weeks in, we still have no clue who the hell the 2016 Kansas City Chiefs are. How many times have I said that this season? This is a team that has lost two-point games–oddly enough by a score of 19-17 on both occasions–to the Tennessee Titans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but hasn’t lost consecutive games since the Kansas City Royals were in the ALCS.
This team just swept the Denver Broncos for the first time since 2000, but got embarrassed by the Pittsburgh Steelers on national television. This team is in the playoffs for the third time in the last four years logging back-to-back appearances for the first time in over 20 years, but got beat by the Brock Osweiler version of the Houston Texans…without J.J. Watt.
I seriously don’t have any idea what to make of this team.
Last night they started off with their foot on the gas and had 250-yards of offense and 21 points in the first quarter. The. First. Quarter. The whole time I was thinking, “this is what this offense should look like.”
Then, they don’t score another point until midway through the third quarter.
I kept thinking to myself, “is Andy Reid going conservative like everyone says?” As I watched the plays develop–and mind you, I haven’t yet re-watched the game–it didn’t seem that Reid was calling anything different. I saw him call a similar screen-pass to tight end Travis Kelce that put six points on the board earlier. Further, it looked as though he was calling plays to Tyreek Hill as well, though it appeared Hill was somewhat limited in the second half, due to taking a shot to the knee on a punt return at the end of the first half.
At this point, I think if Reid is guilty of anything, it is not using enough of a variety of plays in the second half. It seems defenses have been able to adjust to what Reid is doing, and–at least in the games he’s lost–he hasn’t been able to keep up with the opposing team’s adjustments. Going forward, he’s got to do a better job.
Let’s talk about what went right:
First, we got good Alex Smith tonight. If you put that interception on him, you’re just looking for reasons to hate him. He was exactly what we hope Smith will be, and he managed the hell out of that 33-10 win over the defending world champions. On top of his good throws last night, Smith ran the the ball well for really the first time all season. In fact, last night put Smith over the top in the Chiefs organization for total quarterback rushing yards. Pretty incredible, considering he’s only been in Kansas City for four years.
Second, Tyreek Hill is a superstar. Hell, throw in Chris Jones too. This year’s draft was an absolute home run for general manager John Dorsey. Both of these players are high first-round talent and Dorsey got them in the second and the fifth. What an i
ncredible win for this organization. They both performed so well in this game it’s not even funny. Tyreek Hill is the first rookie to have back-to-back games with a 60-plus-yard touchdown since the mid-50’s. It’s incredible. He is so fast he makes fast people look slow.
Finally, Dontari Poe. Do I need to say anything else? I will be breaking down this play in depth on Wednesday in “Anatomy of a Touchdown,” but let’s talk about it for just a second here.
Lining up Poe at quarterback, was crazy, but not if the plan was to let him slam his 346-pound frame into the line and push his way into the end zone. He started out in the shotgun, and the seven-yard head start would have given him plenty of momentum to make it in. But the fact that he pulled up and hit a jump-shot, alley-oop to tight end Demetrius Harris for six, was awesome. It will definitely give the pundits something to talk about for the next week.
With Oakland Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr out for the remainder of the season with a broken leg, there’s a very good possibility that they could lose to the Broncos next week. If they do, and the Chiefs handle the Chargers, then the Chiefs are in the No. 2 seed. Otherwise, it’s the five seed.
Maybe by the time the dust settles next week, we’ll know exactly who this team is.
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