The Chiefs went into the game Sunday with one goal: keeping everyone healthy. Mostly, they did that, but I expected fewer people to watch the game, fewer to care, and fewer to read this week’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Yet, here I am!
The 97-yard fumble return for a touchdown was a real momentum changer and a likely 14-point swing. It was the most exciting play of the day. The scoop and score from Mike Edwards resulted from a terrific strip sack from Charles Omenihu.
Justyn Ross had a great catch and could contribute another catch as well. We could see more from him if his hamstring injury is not severe. There is no doubt we could use someone stepping up.
Mecole Hardman had a great catch and run in the 2nd quarter and several other valuable plays. I expect him to get some quality touches in the playoffs.
The offense played well overall, but no one was more impressive than Blaine Gabbert. He was serviceable and had two awe-inspiring and unexpected runs to put the Chiefs into field goal range for the game-winning kick. Remember, this was our second team offense against the Chargers first-team defense.
The defense played a great game, shutting down every part of the Chargers offense except QB scrambles. Only allowing 12 points using our 2nd team defense against the Chargers 1st team offense was impressive. You can’t tell me those players didn’t think today mattered; they were excited to play.
Harrison Butker was again nails, hitting the game-winning 40-yard field goal. I hope fans never take him for granted.
Not wanting to be left out of the season struggles, Mecole Hardman had a drop today. He also seemed to struggle, knowing the ball was thrown his way. On Gabbert’s long pass, his lackadaisical effort tracking the ball, and he was solely responsible for the interception thrown by Gabbert. He left his quarterback out to dry.
Ritchie James struggled again with ball security on punt returns. When he does hold onto the ball, he can make plays, but I don’t have a lot of confidence he can do that consistently.
Our starting tackles getting hurt made for some uneasy moments for the Chiefs. Wanya Morris had a head injury, and Jawaan Taylor had a leg injury. I realize there are only so many players on a roster, but it makes you think your team should simply down the ball every time on offense. Yes, Taylor has struggled this year, but we don’t have a better option on the roster, so losing him would be a blow. Morris going out meant Thuney had to go in, which was another risk.
What makes this baffling to me is why Chris Jones was still out there late in the 3rd quarter. I realize he wanted his $1.25 million bonus, and I recognize the players seemed to want him to get it, but the last time he made a selfish decision, we lost opening day to the Lions while he was in the stands with his Mafia agents. I’m sorry to those that disagree.
This just rubbed me wrong. Not only is he not getting rest, risking injury even after the team saw at least three other players go out with injuries, four by the end of the game, but I’m also not sure of the future cap implications. Maybe it’s good for team morale. Perhaps it’s suitable for other players in the league to want to come to KC to play for a team that would support that, but to me, it was just a lot of risk.
In conclusion, the season was less than we expected, but we are still getting to watch the Golden Era of Chiefs football and the playoffs begin this weekend.
At the start of the game, I wanted Buffalo to win so we could play Miami at Arrowhead. I don’t want to have to end up playing them in Miami. I want zero joy for Tyreek Hill. But knowing we could play Pittsburgh made me reconsider my thinking, but that wasn’t the case; the Bills rallied, and the Dolphins wilted under the Sunday Night pressure. Miami is headed to Kansas City on Saturday Night.