Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley is going to get raked over the coals all week for his gambling ways.
He’s going to get from Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star. He is going to get it from Sam Mellinger too.
I am pretty sure Nick Wright, Bob Fescoe and Shan Shariff of 610 Sports are all going to stick it to KC’s coach on their radio shows this week.
I know for a fact that as I write this, Arrowhead Addict’s own Big Matt is preparing his column and I have a feeling he isn’t going to go easy on Haley.
Jason Whitlock, wherever he is, will make sure to at least tweet that he thinks Haley is an idiot, even if he doesn’t have the time to write an entire column about it.
Haley deserves it. His four-down territory philosophy is flawed when it costs the Chiefs points in a close game and as such, the criticism that is sure to be thrown the coach’s way today is warranted.
Because of that, I’ve decided not to pile on.
I’ve decided to talk about the true grit of the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs.
To understand my opinion of the Kansas City Chiefs, we first need to go over a few definitions of the word grit.
abrasive particles or granules, as of sand or other small, coarse impurities found in the air, food, water, etc.
firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck: She has a reputation for grit and common sense.
a coarse-grained siliceous rock, usually with sharp, angular grains.
The definition I am most interested in is #2. I can’t stress enough about how accurate that definition is of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs had many, many, many chances to lose on Sunday but they didn’t. The players showed more heart and more resolve than any Chiefs team in years.
The defense did a good job of holding the Bills high-powered offensive attack in check all afternoon but finally, at the end of the 4th quarter, their backs were against the wall. The game was tied at 10, with one minute to go and the Bills were facing a 3rd and 1 from the Chiefs 43. For some unexplainable reason, Bills’ coach Chan Gailey decided to throw for the first down.
The Chiefs got pressure and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick rushed his throw, lost his grip and sailed the ball into the waiting arms of safety Eric Berry.
The Chiefs took over and forced overtime. It was then that the Chiefs got straight up nasty.
You know that scene at the end of the movie “Tombstone” where Wyatt Earp, played by Kurt Russel, gets pinned down by the Cowboys and just decides that there is no way he is going to lose the gunfight.
He emerges from his hiding place, just screaming “No. No. Nooooooo,” as he walks in plain site and smokes all the bad guys.
That is what the Chiefs did in overtime against the Bills. They were pinned down on multiple occasions. They escaped the Bills being in FG range not once but twice.
The first time they used the old “ice the kicker and call a time out just before the center snaps the ball so the kicker still kicks the ball because he doesn’t know what is going on and he hasn’t heard the whistle yet so he has to kick it again and now you’ve gotten inside his head and it is difficult for anyone to make a 50+ yard field goal twice in a row especially on a really windy day on the road in overtime” trick.
As a result, the Chiefs got the ball back and drove all the way down to the Buffalo 21-yardline. Ryan Succop came out onto the field to try to kick the game-winner but Chan Gailey used the old “I’m kind of an old man and I am a little befuddled but I have this timeout so I am going to try to do what the other guys just did to us and use the old ice the kicker and call a time out just before the center snaps the ball so the kicker still kicks the ball because he doesn’t know what is going on and he hasn’t heard the whistle yet so he has to kick it again and now you’ve gotten inside his head and it is difficult for a kicker to make a high pressure kick twice in overtime in windy conditions but because I am not very bright I will for some reason run down the sideline like a goofball and call the timeout well before the Chiefs are even lined up thus negating the actual advantage of making the kicker kick the kick twice trick” trick.
Luckily for Gailey, Mother Nature used the old “Oh you kicked the ball straight but it is October and I’m board so I am going to blow your kick off course” trick and the Chiefs were left with their hands on their heads and the Bills were left with the football.
That should have done the Chiefs in. They should have crumbled at the failure of what was probably their last chance to win the game. Ryan Succop should have walked over to the bench and plopped down with his head in his hands trying to avoid the angry gazes from his teammates.
Only they didn’t.
Succop showed brief anger at his misfortune, walked to the sideline and started getting ready for his next chance. The Chiefs, instead of throwing angry glares at their kicker, ran to the sidelines and got ready to stop the Bills.
Firmness of Character.
Now the Bills had the ball and things were looking grim. They inched their way to the Kansas City 42-yardline. They needed to get to around the KC 36 or 37 for another realistic shot at a game-winning FG. The Chiefs were out of timeouts and there was just over two minutes to play.
It was 1st and 10.
1st down: (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick scrambles up the middle to KC 42 for 14 yards (A.Studebaker).
2nd down: (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass incomplete short right to R.Parrish (J.Arenas).
3rd down: (Shotgun) R.Fitzpatrick pass incomplete short right [T.Hali]. PENALTY on BUF-R.Fitzpatrick, Intentional Grounding, 15 yards, enforced at KC 42.
The penalty moved the Bills back to their own 43-yardline where they faced a 4th and 25 with no timeouts and 1:13 left. Rather than go for the win, the Bills decided to go for the tie and they punted the ball away.
The Chiefs had refused to lose.
Now the Chiefs had the ball on their own 31-yardline with one last chance to win.
Matt Cassel, who had been struggling for most of the day, looked as calm in the pocket as he had all game. He found Jamaal Charles short right for a 16-yard gain. He found the rookie TE, Tony Moeaki for 18 yards and then again for 11 yards.
Suddenly the Chiefs were on the Buffalo 24-yardline. Cassel spiked the ball to stop the clock and then handed off to Jamaal Charles who got his team 8 yards closer to the Buffalo 16-yardline.
Then Ryan Succop came on to the field. The Bills had no more timeouts. There would be no trickery, no icing. Just the snap, the hold, the kick and either victory or a tie.
Good snap. Good hold. Good kick. Good win.