2020 was a banner year for the Kansas City Chiefs, figuratively and literally. We take a look back at a few unexpected gifts they received this year.
The New Year is upon us. The presents are under the tree. And let’s face it: the last twelve months have been a real hoot for society in general. But if you’re a member of Chiefs Kingdom, it’s probably difficult for you to say that it was a bad year but for the simple fact that the Kansas City Chiefs are on top of the NFL world. Most of us could probably use this setup:
Yes, it’s true. We’ve become the prey, now. It’s lonely at the top of the mountain. The key players were already in place when 2020 began, but we don’t want to ignore that the rich got richer in the NFL. So we asked the question here: What are some presents we’ve received in Chiefs Kingdom since this glorious year commenced?
Bill O’Brien’s playbook
Ah, yes. The remarkable rally at Arrowhead in the divisional round of the playoffs. Already sporting a healthy 21-0 lead, Bill O’Brien’s Houston Texans drove closer to paydirt in the early moments of the 2nd quarter. A swing pass from Deshaun Watson to Duke Johnson left the Texans with a 4th and inches at the Chiefs’ 13-yard-line. O’Brien actually called time out to ponder the decision, and ultimately went conservative. Ka’imi Fairbairn‘s 31-yard field goal gave the Texans a 24-0 lead, but the rest, as they say, was freaking glorious.
Mecole Hardman‘s 58-yard kickoff return revived the Kansas City offense, and two plays later, the Chiefs cut the lead to 24-7. On the ensuing possession, Houston was forced into a 3-and-out situation, but O’Brien opted for a fake punt at his own 31-yard line. I repeat, Bill O’Brien opted for a fake punt against an Andy-Reid-and-Patrick-Mahomes-led team. Safety Daniel Sorensen was wearing his big-play pants that day, and he showed up large. Texans safety Justin Reid took the snap and tried to hit the edge, but Sorensen smothered him. The Chiefs marched to a second touchdown. The entire city of Houston lay stunned. At this point they still held a 24-14 lead, but the Texans were already in the fetal position.
When the dust settled, the Chiefs pounded the Texans 51-31 that day. You can point to a lot of outstanding individual performances, from Patrick Mahomes‘ 5/0 TD/INT ratio to Travis Kelce‘s trio of touchdowns in the second quarter, but it was O’Brien’s inept insistence to reinvent the wheel with a double-digit lead that gave the Chiefs all they needed to get back in control.