Yep, the second half of the game yesterday was pretty painful.
Paddy has already laid out a lot of the good that came out of the game and I don’t want to repeat the same points, but I have to say that, overall, I was also encouraged.
Last week, I wrote that this game would answer the burning question for the Chiefs – whether or not they could score and keep up with high-flying offenses. In the comments, I said, “if they put 28 points on the board and we still lose this game I’ll be satisfied, because at least they will have shown that they are able to get into the end zone. They’ll be getting their defensive stars back soon, and if that’s the only reason they lose this game then it’s nothing to worry about going forward.”
Although we fell slightly short of that, I stand by it and am basically satisfied.
At halftime, the Chiefs were hanging tough with the Falcons, answering them score-for-score at 17-20. Then, the Chiefs were hit with a stream of extremely bad luck. The Chiefs’ second half possessions ended: missed field goal, fumble, interception, interception, punt, touchdown, end of game. Considering neither team punted in the first half, it was clear that there was zero room for error in this game and we couldn’t afford to not score on a single drive. Therefore, when things went awry, it was obvious that the game was going to get out of hand quickly.
Turnovers on three consecutive possessions (especially on your own 20) is enough to kill pretty much any team in any game. If you consider the fact that a missed field goal is essentially a turnover as well, the Chiefs had four in a row. Not all were Cassel’s fault as some have suggested and generally he played a good game.
Simply put, this game was a one-off. LB Justin Houston showed some good moves and got a sack and two QB hits, but we still cannot create consistent pressure without Hali. Having reserves Jacques Reeves and Abram Elam in for CB Brandon Flowers and S Kendrick Lewis is more than a step down, it’s a lifestyle change – our strength was suddenly a weakness. We went from being a Wall Street exec to being a bum, eating a hairy fish on the bus in a Santa suit. There are quite a few teams the Chiefs can beat while eating fish in a Santa suit (cough – Arizona!), but those teams don’t have Roddy White and Julio Jones. We had no answer for those two.
Sometimes the game is just stacked against you and you’re going to end up getting kicked in the mouth. That’s what happened here. For me, the low point was Gonzo dunking on us in the end zone as the Falcons went up by 17. Tony G was my childhood idol – I even played tight end and wore his number at Topeka High – and I for some reason thought he wouldn’t do it. Basically he gave into his quarterback’s urging, which he probably couldn’t refuse, but like the thousands of Chiefs fans booing at Arrowhead, I felt betrayed.
But don’t get down on yourselves, Chiefs fans! As Grandpa Romeo assured us on Twitter, “No one panic…. The Steelers, Saints, Packers, Giants are all 0-1 #StepAwayFromTheLedge.” The vaunted Steelers defense allowed 31 points to the Donkeys. The Saints got smacked around by a rookie at home. But you know what sure feels good after a loss like this? Revenge. No, I’m not suggesting we sleep with Tony Gonzalez’s wife. (But, seriously, if you have her number, do pass it along.)
Next week, teed up for our enjoyment are the Buffalo Bills, who just got utterly pummeled 48-28 by the Jets and the hapless offense of Mark Sanchez. Chiefs might also remember, somewhere in the deep recesses of your repressed subconscious, that in last year’s opener, the Chiefs got hammered by the Bills 41-7. We also lost Eric Berry for the season to a low hit from Bills WR Stevie Johnson.
Week 2 is our chance to erase the hurt from both of these awful games with a resounding win over the upstate New York Bison. I’m sure Buffalo fans are good, well-meaning people. In fact, they have suffered for the past two decades with similarly disappointing franchises. That said, when the Chiefs come back and trounce Buffalo in their own house, I am going to be screaming at the top of my lungs “IN YOUR FACE!” No score is too high, no celebration too excessive. We will all dance a magnificent obnoxious dance in our crushing victory. Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will be effective, and necessary therapy.