With nothing to gain or lose, the Chiefs played as hard as they could against the San Diego Chargers.
As we all witnessed, they should have won. Ryan Succop is normally a very consistent field goal kicker. As it turns out, he should have had another chance, five yards closer.
The NFL issued an apology for not calling the illegal formation on the Chargers, which would have given Succop and the Chiefs a second field goal opportunity. I’m sure the Steelers and their fans feel much better because of the apology.
Despite the loss, we saw some encouraging things from Kansas City this past Sunday. Bob Sutton, missing in action of late, was found. Frank Zombo proved he’s a first line starter. With four tackles, a sack and four quarterback pressures, he and the entire defense was relentless. If this is any insight as to what the Chiefs have in store for their playoff opponents fans have much to look forward to as the playoffs begin. The Chiefs were passionate, fierce and never gave up.
With Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe and many others watching from the sidelines, the Chiefs played well enough to win any game, against any opponent. They also proved that they have the depth that most good teams possess.
It seems the football gods were on the side of the Chargers this weekend, or maybe they were against the Steelers. The Chargers faked a punt and ran the ball on a fourth and two. The Chiefs stripped the ball and ran it into the end zone for what appeared to be a game winning touchdown. It was called back.
The officials ruled that Eric Weddle’s forward progress had stopped. It was not a reviewable play (the spot is, not the play). I watched it a number of times and it appears the officials got that one wrong as well.
Chiefs Show Character
All of that, however, is irrelevant, except to the Steelers. Yes, it would have been nice if the Chiefs had won. But even in a loss, they showed character. They showed that this team is well coached and stands together. Case in point, just re-watch the game and focus on the interaction between the starters and their “replacements” when they came off the field. This team is truly a team.
Now that Sutton has returned from his vacation, I fully expect him to implement the same attacking style of defense they utilized against the Chargers when the Chiefs play the Colts on Saturday. If that had been Hali and Houston on the field on Sunday, the Chargers would have been dismantled; just like they would have been in the first game had both not been injured early on.
No more talk about strength of schedule, who they beat, who they lost to, etc. For those who are interested, all five of the Chiefs losses came against playoff teams. It’s a new season now, the slate is wiped clean.
It has already been a great season for Chief fans. A season that many of us will remember, and remember fondly.
Don’t tie the knot on 2013 just yet though. I think there are still some good things ahead.