(This post was somewhat inspired by Sports Illustrated's Peter King who writes the Monday Morning Quarterback, which is so epic I need to devote an entire night to read, comprehend, and properly analyze it. Tis incredible.)
My Arrowhead experience was filled with a little bit of everything on Sunday. We were wrongfully directed away from fancy-boy parking towards common-folk parking, which was tough for our pinky-extending carload to accept, until some nice Kansas City tailgating folk filled our bellies with baked potato soup. Then, we cut it too close to game time by trying to pound the last of our Red Dogs, forcing me to sprint through the concourses with juke moves that JamaAL would envy, while listening to this. Then while trying to ignore the "F-you Mays" and "F-you club level" chants being hurled from over my shoulder, my Chiks-appeal took full effect with a Denver fan sitting next to me offering to take me home in his suitcase. Not so fast my friend, you're gonna have to wait in line behind this Chiefs fan next to me, who's making moves I tend to only accept from Asian philly's. Luckily, I was wearing multiple layers of protection.
I was not surprised to see Josh McDingleberry (not to be confused with Wallace Dean Gilberry, who has been too busy playing peacekeeper to get after the QB - he will get a sack against San Diego) fired after the game on Sunday. His inexcusable decision to punt on a 4th and 5 with under 3 minutes to play reeked of McDude giving up on his team. It almost makes me wonder if he knew of his fate prior to the game. They faced a 4th and 4 and their own 39 yard line with the score at 10-6. Even if you don't convert, a Chiefs field goal doesn't end the game. However, one Chiefs first down DOES end the game. This was the single worst in-game coaching decision I've seen this season. Gary Pinkel was screaming at his TV.
On the other end, Todd Haley really has his hand on the pulse of this team. His players love him. When Mike Vrabel and Shaun Smith enter the game on offense, the entire Chiefs sideline gets invigorated, while the Arrowhead crowd goes from diesel truck loud to rock concert loud (I'm picturing a Gwar concert). The same goes for his 4th down decisions. Young NFL players love going for it on 4th downs. Harvard educators love going for it on 4th downs. Old conservative people dislike going for it on 4th downs. Well I say put down the Kentucky Gentlemen old man, and get yourself a Four Loko, because this is a new generation of Kansas City Chiefs football.
This leads me to the Barry Richardson situation. He threw a Dirkness-like (Taylor Martinez-induced) tantrum on the sidelines. He even pushed special teams coach Steve Hoffman (wait, I know Steve Hoffman! You bastard!). Instead of villainizing Richardson after the game, Todd Haley stuck up for him. He spoke about how he loved the passion he was seeing from his players in the middle of a playoff race. It was pretty special to listen to. Again, Kansas City's players love him.
Jack Harry didn't think so though, nah-unh! He makes a ridiculous analogy in the following video that I can't make any sense of. Go to the 1:00 mark of this video and tell me if you understand....
Yea Jack Harry! Way to set sports journalism back another 10 years! Moving on....
Matt Cassel is starting to look more and more like Tom Brady. No, it's not the awesome haircut. And no, it's not the game winning drive that we're going to see from him in the Super Bowl this year. It's the way he's perfecting the art of the checkdown. Brady is the checkdown master, oftentimes converting 3rd and 7-10's by way of accurately swinging the ball to a running back (used to ALWAYS be Kevin Faulk, now it's more the rich man's Rex Burkhead- Danny Woodhead). This play is wildly effective if you hit your running back in stride, who should have a decided speed advantage on a linebacker in man coverage. These can be the easiest yards in football to gain.
To conclude my Chiefs thoughts, the best two players on the field on Sunday were Champ Bailey and Brandon Carr. It was hyped as a game between two top-flight receivers Dwayne Bowe and Brandon Lloyd. Cha(u)mp Bailey shut down the NFL's hottest player, holding Bowe to 0 catches (should have had one that was called back due to a ridiculous offensive pass interference call). Carr helped limit Lloyd to only 2 catches, while tallying 5 pass breakups, an incredible number. Big props to Carr, who's worst games of his career have come against the Denver Broncos. Well, he made up for it on Sunday, turning in the best game of his career.
For those of you clamoring for my thoughts on Nebraska's defeat in the Big 12 Championship, read this.