The Kansas City Chiefs have returned to their undead ways, turning a funeral into a party by rising from the dead to eat the brains of the Houston Texans.
Do you guys remember the Zombie Chiefs?
Back when I ran this place in 2011, the Chiefs had kind of a strange season. They were heading into the third year of the Scott Pioli/Todd Haley regime and had won the AFC West the previous season with a 10-6 record, before falling to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card round. Fans were expecting the young team took the next step by finally winning a playoff game.
Unfortunately, the 2011 Chiefs got off to a horrendous start. The team dropped its first three games, featuring back-to-back losses to the Buffalo Bills (41-7) and the Detroit Lions (48-3). Matt Cassel looked terrible. They were dark times.
When the calendar turned to October, as is often the case, the dead began to rise. Cassel started playing better, and the Chiefs resurrected their season by winning their next four games, capping off the run with a Halloween overtime victory over San Diego Chargers that I dubbed the “Monday Night Nightmare.” The team would eventually flame out and finish the season 7-9, but here at Arrowhead Addict, we had a lot of fun by nicknaming that Chiefs team the “Zombie Chiefs” throughout the month. The team dropped five of its next six games, but the Zombie Chiefs did make one more appearance on December 18th when they managed to knock off a 13-0 Packers team, handing them what would eventually be their only loss of the season. That’s right, in one last terrifying act, the Zombie Chiefs won a game they shouldn’t have and helped Romeo Crennel, who was serving as interim head coach following the firing of Todd Haley, bring his own head coaching career back from the dead. Scary stuff. Then, just as quickly as they had climbed out of their graves, the Zombie Chiefs were gone.
After a eight-year rest, the Zombie Chiefs returned Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium. To make things even better, they left Zombie Cassel and company buried and instead featured a much more deadly Zombie Mahomes, Zombie Kelce and Zombie “Dirty Dan” Sorensen, the latter of which is clearly an upgraded version of Zombie Jon “Quick Draw” McGraw.
I was fortunate enough to be at Arrowhead Stadium last night and I am not exaggerating when I say that by the end of the first quarter, I felt like I was at an outdoor funeral that just happened to serve $12 Bud Lights. I went to the concession stand to start what I planned to be the first of a 30-beer evening. I was in the loudest stadium in the world and yet it was deathly quiet. It was a brutal scene.
Are any of you horror movie fans? If so, have you seen the Friday the 13th where Tommy Jarvis and a friend go to a cemetery to dig up Jason Voorhees just to make certain he is actually dead? When he sees the corpse, Tommy seeing the corpse, goes postal and starts cursing out Jason while repeatedly stabbing his rotting body with a piece of rod iron he pulls off the fence. Then lightning strikes the iron, sending a jolt of electricity through Jason’s body, resurrecting him and making him basically invincible. Jason climbs out of the grave and kills Tommy’s friend after Tommy’s friend breaks a shovel over his head.
Well last night, the exact same thing happened at Arrowhead Stadium. Instead of Tommy Jarvis driving a pole through Jason’s corpse, it was Texans coach Bill O’Brien calling an idiotic fake punt from his own end of the field when his team was winning 24-7, thus giving a jolt of electricity to the crowd and resurrecting Patrick F. Mahomes.
Once that happened, the Zombie Chiefs were back and became an invincible, undead force that couldn’t be stopped. The Chiefs players spent the rest of the game absolutely terrorizing the Texans and feasting on their brains. Well, they feasted on everyone’s brains except Bill O’Brien’s because when they cracked open his skull, they found nothing but sand.
Just like I wrote before the game, the Chiefs have no excuse not to make the Super Bowl. My thinking in making that statement was simple: the Chiefs were the best team left in the AFC and the only way they could lose would be if they beat themselves. I may need to amend that line of thinking because now that the Zombie Chiefs are in the mix, it appears that even if they try to beat themselves, they’ll still win.
The Titans are in trouble.
Player of the Game: Dirty Dan Sorensen
As brilliant as Mahomes and Kelce were last night, my player of the game award has to go to Dirty Dan. He was the undead beating heart of the team last night, making two crucial plays. First, he made O’Brien pay for his stupid fake punt call, and he also forced a fumble that lead to the Chiefs offense taking over at the Texans six yard line.
AFC Championship Prediction:
The Chiefs need to do two things on Sunday. They need to get out to an early lead by executing on offense and they need to contain Derrick Henry. If they do those two things, they will force Ryan Tannehill beat them by throwing the football. I like their chances in that scenario.
Chiefs 37, Titans 24
(Note: A h/t to Tony Rangel, our old friend who created these awesome zombie graphics for us back in 2011.)