Let’s hand out awards to the Kansas City Chiefs who impressed, the moments that shocked, and the surprises from Sunday’s Divisional Round.
My heart rate has returned to normal, finally. What an emotional rollercoaster! It is a good thing I spent most of Saturday cleaning up my house because there was nothing to throw at the walls during the first quarter other than a pair of dirty socks (which thankfully don’t cause damage).
As Kansas City Chiefs fans, we all felt that dread early on Sunday afternoon against the Houston Texans—the “how will they rip our hearts out this year?” dread. But this team is different, so let’s hand out some awards to those most deserving in what might just become an instant classic.sa
I’m going to exclude Patrick Mahomes from this because it’s my writing and I can do what I want. But really, he was incredible. I would rather point to an underrated and oft overlooked (frequently snubbed) individual on the offense: Mitchell Schwartz.
Guys, how in the world does the 2018 MVP stay upright against J.J. Watt without Mitch? Why was it that the first time I legitimately heard Watt’s name, it was on the tipped pass late in the game? It’s because of Schwartz. His consistency and blocking is absolutely underrated and he deserves tons of praise in allowing Mahomes to reach god-like levels.
Unlike with Offensive MVP, I’m not going to exclude the obvious choice: Defensive MVP goes to Frank Clark. He took a lot of flack at the beginning of the season because of the size of the contract he signed and the apparent lack of production. On Sunday, he showed just why he is worth that money.
With Chris Jones sidelined due to a calf injury, the defensive line rested on the super star power of Clark. He showed up. Logging three sacks—one of which he ran 42.2 yards to get Deshaun Watson on the ground —Clark was a force. Now that he is healthy, we are seeing just why Brett Veach was willing to pay and I cannot wait to see what he will bring against the Titans.
Special Teams MVP
There are two very obvious choices here and I am going with Daniel “Dirty Dan” Sorenson. Dan Sorenson may have just written his name in the book of Chiefs history with his performance on Sunday. Sorenson got a lot of heat last year for his play and many wondered how he would step up following the loss of Juan Thornhill. Sorenson was a beast.
Sorensen made two game-changing plays: first, he stopped a fake punt. How he sniffed it out is beyond me, but he made an incredible open field tackle on Justin Reid and turned the momentum even more towards the Chiefs. Sorenson also forced a fumble on a kickoff which gave the Chiefs red zone field position and set them up for another touchdown.
Without Sorenson, I don’t think the Chiefs win this game. Hats off to the Special Teams MVP.
The Biggest Surprise goes to Andy Reid. We are all so used to Reid letting up on the gas when he starts to get up, but Andy showed that this year might just be different. When the Chiefs had all the momentum on their side, Andy didn’t stop. He just kept pummeling the Texans leading to a record setting seven touchdowns in a row. I loved seeing the viciousness that Reid played with and I hope that carries forward to a Super Bowl win for Big Red.
This boiled down to two moments for me. Seeing as how I am handing out awards, I have to pick one: Mecole Hardman‘s kickoff return takes the crown. The Chiefs were lifeless for the entire first quarter. They made mental mistakes left and right. They could do absolutely nothing and it certainly seemed like we were heading towards another Chiefs playoff meltdown. Then Pro Bowl returner Hardman decided enough was enough.
Hardman returned the ball over 50 yards and gave the Chiefs great field position to kick start the offense and lead them to their first touchdown of the day. That reminded me that the Chiefs are different this year. Maybe it reminded the players, too.
In a game littered with moments that could be deemed my favorite, it was the announcement that came from the Chiefs: we have run out of fireworks because our offense is too good. I’m paraphrasing of course, but the Chiefs stadium actually ran out of fireworks because there were too many touchdowns. Silly. And here’s hoping they run out of fireworks again next week!