The Kansas City Chiefs got absolutely dominated on Sunday as they fell to the Indianapolis Colts by a final score of 23-7. It was a demoralizing loss, especially since it came against the team that KC will likely face in the playoffs in a couple weeks. After the game I was incredibly frustrated. The offense reverted back to their early season ways while the defense continued to struggle. There simply was very little from that game for KC fans to feel good about. So my initial thought was that my piece this week would be more of a rant, a chance to voice my frustrations and concerns with this team as the regular season is about to wind down.
As this idea was floating around my head, a voice spoke up and said: “So, your piece this week is going to be an angry rant directed at an 11-4 playoff team that was just 2-14 last season? That’s real level headed of you!”
This voice wasn’t from some friend or family member, but the positive KC fan side of my own demented mind. If I’m being honest here, I can be a bit of a schizophrenic Chiefs fan. During the week I often lean towards the “Homer” side of the fan spectrum. I don’t like focusing on the negative. I just spend too much time thinking about, talking about, and writing about this team to only focus on the negative. If I did, I think I’d give myself an ulcer. However, I’m not so far off in the land of puppy dogs and rainbows that I can’t see the problems that this team clearly has.
While the game is on, it’s another story though. I’m so emotionally invested in this team that when things are going as bad as they did on Sunday I tend to lose all rational thought. The puppy dogs and rainbows fade away as I’m cursing Kendrick Lewis and scaring the dog as I repeatedly smack the couch cushions after a bad play.
It’s these two sides of the Chiefs fan in me that couldn’t agree on what angle my piece this week should take. Reassure KC fans that things will be okay and there is still a lot to feel good about? Voice my frustrations on all the problems that this team seems to have? I just didn’t feel 100% comfortable with taking either side. So instead I decided to let you all get a glimpse into the warped mind of this writer and let you decide which side of the argument is right.
For the sake of letting you know which side of my split Chiefs fan personality is talking, I’ll refer to the positive fan in me as “Homer” and the more critical fan in me as “Hater”. I know that sounds a little weird, but hang with me here. This could be creative genius (or a sign that I need medication). Regardless, let’s get this debate started.
Homer: Kansas City Chiefs fans shouldn’t be too down after this loss. The Chiefs had an off day. Is that disappointing? Sure it is, but it doesn’t discount all the good things that they’ve accomplished and shown that they can do. This team’s offense and defense have both shown that they can play really well at times. Have they been consistent? No, but they were 2-14 last year for crying out loud. It’s not realistic to think that they’ll be elite on both sides of the ball every single week just one year removed from being the laughing stock of the NFL. I would have much preferred that they be firing on all cylinders as they prepare for the playoffs, but a bad week in week 16 doesn’t mean that they can’t get it done in the playoffs.
Hater: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? How can you not be concerned after watching that pitiful display. The Chiefs have lost their last three home games. The Chiefs are 2-4 in their last six games. The Chiefs have played a grand total of six teams that don’t currently have a losing record and are just 2-4 in those games. The combined record of the teams they have gotten their 11 wins against is just 50-97. The offense has struggled against any defense that isn’t terrible and now the defense is getting beat week in and week out. I give the Chiefs a lot of credit for being a lot better than they were last season, but if you aren’t pessimistic about KC’s chances in the playoffs, then you haven’t been paying attention.
Homer: So where was all this pessimism a week ago? The Chiefs did what good teams do against the Redskins and Raiders and took care of business. Look at teams like the Lions and Dolphins that were playing for their playoff lives against teams with bad records and couldn’t get a win, let alone dominate like KC did. Consistently beating bad teams is a sign of being a good team. KC isn’t elite yet, I’ll give you that, but KC fans don’t have anything to hang their heads about. KC is a top ten team in the NFL this season. They may not be one of the elite teams, but given that Andy Reid and John Dorsey have taken them from the worst team in the NFL to a top ten team in one year makes me feel great. Plus, KC played one of their worst games of the year and lost to a playoff bound division winner by 16. If they play up to their ability I 100% believe they could beat that Colts team in the playoffs.
Hater: So your goal for success is being better than the Lions and Dolphins? Come on now. I want to compete for division titles and Super Bowls! The Chiefs aren’t a bad team, but good teams don’t lose three straight home games to end the season. Good teams can score more than seven points against a team that gives up 22 points per game. Good teams can convert more than one of eight third downs. In fact, did you know that KC is rated 29th in the NFL in third down conversions on offense? Meanwhile, the defense isn’t applying hardly any pressure and the secondary is getting exposed. Seriously, have you watched Kendrick Lewis play? The guy can’t tackle, takes horrible angles, and can’t cover anyone. If that guy is your starting free safety, you don’t have a great defense.
Homer: You want to talk third down percentage? How about the fact that KC’s defense is still rated number three in the NFL in third down percentage allowed? How about the fact that despite the fact that the KC secondary has been “exposed” and “picked apart” since the bye week the Chiefs are still number two in the entire NFL in opposing teams completion percentage? This defense still has 35 turnovers on the season. That’s more than two per game. If they get Justin Houston back healthy and can get just a little more pressure on Luck, they can absolutely slow down that offense in Indy. In fact, you can make an argument that being inside on turf will help Hali and Houston more than it will help the offensive line and should only help the pass rush. Plus, the most explosive player on either team is Jamaal Charles. Would you want to face JC on turf where he’ll be even faster?
Hater: Yes, JC is amazing. Yes, getting Houston back can only help, but placing all the blame for KC’s loses since the bye on Houston being hurt and just having “off weeks” is foolish. The offense has struggled against good defenses. Period. The defense has not been able to stop good QBs. Period. Alex Smith has limitations. The wide receivers and tight ends are below average (at best). There has been little to no pass rush dating all the way back to the Cleveland game, NOT when Houston got hurt. Despite the completion percentage number, the secondary has looked really bad against good QBs. Like I said, Kendrick Lewis is TERRIBLE. Sean Smith and Brandon Flowers are solid starters, but not elite. Marcus Cooper has been exposed as a rookie that needs more time to develop and Dunta Robinson’s best hit of the game was on Derrick Johnson when DJ had the ball carrier stopped and then lost him because of Robinson’s hit. Could this KC team beat Indy in the playoffs? Yes, but I’d put the odds in Indy’s favor. However, before the playoffs even get here I’m scared of what Phillip Rivers may do to this team in San Diego.
Homer: In closing, I think KC fans should let the Indy game go and sit back during this holiday week and enjoy the fact that your favorite football team is 11-4. They’ve come so far and have accomplished so much this season. You should feel good about that. There are signs of life on both sides of the ball and there is no reason to take a “doom and gloom” approach as the season prepares to wrap up. The Chiefs may or may not even go all out against the Chargers since the game means nothing to them. They have the weapons to beat Indy in the playoffs and a playoff win would be icing on the cake of what has already been an amazing season. The Chiefs are relevant in the NFL again, and that’s the best present a die hard Chiefs fan could have asked for this year.
Hater: Well wasn’t that special? I like how you put a holiday twist on it to make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy! You can sugar coat things all you like, but if this team gets dismantled by Phillip Rivers next week and loses in the first round of the playoffs, the Chiefs will have finished the year 2-6 after their 9-0 start and gone just 2-6 against teams that didn’t finish the year with a losing record. Yes, the Chiefs have improved over last season and that is a good thing, but if they end the season on that kind of slump I’m going to be disappointed. It will still be progress over last season, but starting 9-0 raised the bar. The Chiefs need to regroup and pull off another win or two before I’ll be satisfied. So stick that in your stocking sunshine!
Okay Addicts, time for you to be the jury for this debate. Which side do you agree with? Do you think “Homer” has the right outlook? Is “Hater” more realistic? Do I need see a therapist to address my multiple personality fanhood? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Also, I just want to take a second to thank all of you that take the time to read my ramblings every week. I appreciate you all and hope that whatever your personal beliefs are, you have a wonderful holiday season full of faith, family, food, and football.
Merry Christmas Addicts and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!