In what can best be described as a brawl reminiscent of an old AFL game, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens 17-7 to secure their spot in Super Bowl LVIII. Their legacy is intact, and we look back at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,
The Chiefs went into the game without their All-Pro guard, their most athletic linebacker who would be spying on Lamar, their best receiving and second-best overall back, their starting safety, and their starting nose tackle. Once the game started, they also lost their most significant defensive offseason pickup. We heard so much about the Dolphins’ and Bills’ injuries in those games, but Kansas City was also rocked with them. The Chiefs have fully arrived; the disdain is absolute.
Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are the best passing combo ever. They extended their all-time playoff touchdown connection to 17. They consistently made plays today, going 11 for 11 on hookups. Travis took the mantle from the great Jerry Rice for the most postseason catches in history. Mahomes made some fantastic passes, and Travis made some tremendous catches. Chiefs fans, we are witnessing the two best players ever at their respective positions.
The receivers were strong today. That’s a refreshing switch from what we had seen much of the year. Rashee Rice, with the ball in his hands, is exciting to watch. MVS was so clutch in securing the win with one of his two catches. Watson also had a nice catch to extend a drive. The only possible drop was by Richie James, but it wasn’t a strong pass from Mahomes. He should have made the catch, but it was thrown behind him. I love how this unit is stepping up, how the coaches had more patience with them than we as fans, and how the rotation has been shortened, giving the players who have proven reliable more time.
Thanks to our coaches for handing Pacheco the ball inside the 2-yard line. Keep doing that until a team shows they can stop us consistently.
Charles Omenihu had a massive strip sack. Sadly, it ended with no points, but seeing it was great. He says he will be ready for the Super Bowl; I hope the medical staff agrees after his MRI later today.
Harrison Butker kicked a crucial field goal from 52 out. It was clutch, and we needed it. It feels great to know we have the best kicker in the league, one that can hit from 50 yards plus consistently.
Tonight, Justin Reid reminded me of another Reed who used to play for the Ravens, Ed Reed. He had a great tip and almost came down with a game-altering interception until Lamar made a fantastic catch to himself. He also had a great stick on a tackle and a sack later and seemed all over the field.
Seeing Sneed knock the ball away from Zay Flowers at the 1-yard line was very satisfying. Flowers had a Hardman moment, and Sneed took advantage. It was sweet justice for the taunting penalty that occurred moments before between these two players. Injuring your hand hitting a bench also seems like a wrong move for a rookie.
Tommy Townsend had a well-placed punt to the 1. His earlier punts had been less than we had expected from him, so this was nice.
The defense was terrific, recording four sacks. Chris Jones was a disrupter. George Karlaftis made a nice move to get one, though he was close to lining up in the neutral zone. I noticed players from both sides appearing to do this, including a Ravens receiver at one point, but it was not called, which is the norm most of the time.
Tony Romo said the Chief’s choice to defer was surprising. It made me think he’s not paying attention to the Chiefs games this year. But he was spot on when he said the Chiefs should not be underdogs in the playoffs.
The timing of our end of the half-time out seemed odd. I’m unsure why we call it with 8 seconds left and end up having to kick off.
Nick Bolton had a sure interception he dropped; it may have been a huge play. Is it just me, or does it seem like we have had more of those this year than in past years?
Trey Smith struggled today with two consecutive holding penalties to briefly take us out of field goal range. He also killed our 3rd drive of the 2nd half by doubling the outside rusher with Taylor and letting the inside guy come in free, forcing Pat to throw before he wanted to.
This could quickly go in the excellent section since it worked out, and we won, but I know, as fans, we get frustrated when the Chiefs go conservative with the lead. But tonight, Andy was trusting his defense to bring things home, and it worked. That’s one of the reasons Andy wins a lot and one of the reasons we don’t blow people out very often. As I said, this could quickly go into the sound section.
We won’t have anything about Chiefs players in this section today. After all, we are going to the Super Bowl. I want to give Justin Tucker a massive shout-out for pouring gas on the flames that were very small pregame by thinking he needed to stretch near the goal line where the Chiefs were trying to warm up. You will not win trying to play mind games with Pat and Travis, but thanks for the additional motivation.
The refs were ok. I was surprised to find out why there was no grounding call early on Lamar on the Raven’s one touchdown drive. He threw the ball far out of bounds, and no Raven appeared close to me. According to the officials, it seemed to be only the Chiefs committing offensive holds. I yelled a few times when the Ravens line was doing it, but you win and lose some.
When the Ravens were backed up to their end zone, Chris Jones was held and tripped in the end zone. It should have been a penalty and a safety. The defensive holds and pass interference calls went the other way. There was one missed call on the Chiefs on the late pass interference, but even if that’s called, the game doesn’t end differently. It could have helped the Ravens in that they kicked the field goal and saved some time.
I recall from seasons past that the Ravens are one of the teams that seem to play dirtier than most. This was shown by them having four personal fouls in the game. None worse than the intentional blow to Pat’s head, followed by what seemed to be falling intentionally on him and attempting to hit him again with an elbow. I’m glad we are not in this team’s division, as the unnecessary roughness is simply uncalled for.
In summary, Chiefs fans enjoy every moment of this as we prepare to face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. We are playing with house money at this point. Our once-in-a-lifetime quarterback is going to his fourth Super Bowl in his first six years in the league. He and Andy have created a dynasty, and we witness it. In two weeks, we get to go to Arrowhead West to play in the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. I’m forever grateful to Gerod DeCosta Makaha, a construction worker on the site of the Black Hole, for burying a Chiefs flag under that stadium. So far, it’s worked wonderfully.
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