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The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

During the Kansas City Chiefs’ 26-7 wild card win over the Miami Dolphins, it occurred to me, watching the Dolphin’s best receivers, who else remembers what Jalen Ramsey said about Tyreek Hill when Tyreek made his first Pro Bowl? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

The Good

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Mike Edwards is simply a ball hawk and one of Brett Veach’s most underrated signings of the season. He and his secondary mates have a knack for finding the ball. His early interception saved the Chiefs about 25 yards of field position by not having to field a punt return. 

Playoff Isiah Pacheco is something special. He’s been great all year but seemed to find another gear in the Wild Card win. I’m puzzled when people talk about improving our number-one running back. He’s a fantastic value to have.

Andy’s review was excellent. Sometimes, he misses those moments, but not tonight.

After the first two throws, Mahomes was Playoff Pat. He played a great game and seemed in rhythm, especially considering the conditions. He added some timely runs and one that went inside the five that reminded me of his Titans playoff run a few years ago.

Rashee Rice is special. He played great all night. He had 130 receiving yards and a touchdown. He would have had more, including a 2nd touchdown, if not for a penalty I’ll discuss below. I cringed hard when he went down with an ankle injury. He has become one of the Chiefs we could least afford to lose.

Noah Gray had a nice catch; I don’t recall him dropping many balls this year (if any), and I would like to see him continue to get the rock. 

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CEH fought for a critical 1st down late in the game. Without that, we settle for three once again, and the game may have been in doubt just a bit longer than it was.

Sorry, but Mama Kelce and the other girls dancing in the suite were pretty awesome.

Our defense was terrific all night. Having lived through some Chiefs teams with top defenses over the years, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more dominant performance. Especially when you consider that this was the number 1 offense in football we were playing. 

McDuffie had a fantastic 4th down stop by batting the ball away from Tyreek Hill to turn over the ball on downs. I hope we find a way to keep him and Sneed together for a long time. Both guys also had some great tackles, none more complex than the hit McDuffie had on Tyreek to destroy him for a 5-yard loss. 

Nick Bolton took a fantastic angle and made a great play to stop Tua on a third-down scramble late in the game. I’ve been saying all year that if the offense can get anywhere close to where they used to be, this will be the best Chiefs team I’ve ever seen. We may be getting there.

The Bad

Mecole Hardman was off all night. He showed why we were content letting the Jets sign him away from us for four million. Early in the game, he failed to track the ball on what could have ended up being a touchdown. Instead, we settled for a field goal. 

Travis Kelce had three drops. We hear a lot about the receivers, but as the season has passed, perhaps what they have is proving to be contagious.

Creed Humphry’s low snap may have cost the Chiefs four early points. It’s not often you call out a center, but we need him to be perfect on those, even in the cold conditions. 

This could easily be our last win if we don’t figure out how to turn our field goals into touchdowns. We often had to settle; it was self-inflicted, but to their credit, they kept scoring points.

The Ugly

It’s not that I had to pay $6.00 to get Peacock for two days, after which I’ll be thrilled to cancel it. The NFL is making a money grab and turning many fans away. How many in Chiefs Kingdom were not able to watch the game? How many elderly fans could not venture out to see the game and didn’t want to mess with signing up for an app? I don’t blame the Chiefs at all, but having to stream the game on Peacock was a horrible decision. I know Peacock was the most downloaded app this week, but I’m sad if this is the future of playoff football.

One perplexing play was Reid’s decision on third and short, calling for a jet sweep to Hardman. There’s no reason not to run that ball up the middle or at least keep the ball in your best player’s hands. It was inexcusable play calling, and in a closer game, it could cost us.

Jawaan Taylor seemed to take away four points by having a block in the back of Justin Houston on the 2nd Rashee Rice touchdown. However, he was pushed from behind. Still, the block was not even needed, and I’ve never understood how you can’t tell the difference between the front and the back of another player. 

He had another five-yard penalty in the game that turned a third and six into a third and 11. Later, he missed a cut block on Ogbah that could have easily ended up in a turnover, as he just laid between the big guy’s legs. Sadly, we are likely tied to him for quite a while at a pretty hefty price, but the mistakes far outweigh any positives.

If you thought Hardman’s night could get worse, on the play he was interfered with, he quit and started jawing with the officials while the ball fell. I’m not convinced he could not catch it and, at the very least, fight through the defender and help sell the call. 

The rookie officiating crew made plenty of mistakes, including the Hardman interference, and in the same quarter, Richie James was mugged by Dolhon Defeder Jaylen Ramsey. The officials were disappointed there and missed another pass interference that happened to Richie James later. They also missed obvious holding calls on each team’s tackles that everyone at home could see. It’s the playoffs, and the officiating is not improving at all. 

I’ve watched football for about 37 years. Never in my life do I recall seeing a helmet break like it did on Mahomes run in the third quarter. It was a pretty exciting moment, and I’m sure we are all thrilled our franchise was fine.

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