Sadly Relieved

I have to tell you I’m actually somewhat relieved and hopeful after this weekend’s embarrassment.

Don’t get me wrong – I would much rather have had a win yesterday over the Colts. But considering just how poorly we played I’d rather get that out of our system against Indy this week than when we (likely) face them in the playoffs. Or against whomever we play in the playoffs.

The Colts continued their dominance of the Chiefs from a wins standpoint, taking the game 23-7. There wasn’t much positive to say about the game from any dimension as a Chiefs fan, but that inandof itself was actually good news for one reason: if you actually watched the game you can’t in good faith argue that the Colts beat the Chiefs…because the Chiefs beat themselves.

Either way it’s a loss and puts the Chiefs solidly in the #5 seed, regardless of what happens next week. But it was encouraging to know that there’s no question we can beat the Colts; we just have to actually play football for more than one drive against them.

That was about the most positive thing you could say about the game yesterday. The offense was more conservative than the first day of training camp; the defense was playing flag football instead of tackle; the receiving corps forgot – again – to catch with their hands. The refs joined the “let’s play our own game” debacle and made phantom and absolutely horrible calls (favoring/penalizing both teams; it wasn’t a one-sided affair). Even the Budweiser guy failed yesterday – he didn’t come down our aisle once all game long (thankfully we had enough at the car to last for the tailgate).

Don’t get me wrong – it was cold. Low 20s with several inches of snow on the ground. I had thermal socks on with boots and foot warmers and my feet were still numb. I couldn’t feel my fingers for half the game, and even my awesome Chiefs hat with the little ear flaps couldn’t keep my head warm (the lack of hair doesn’t help in that respect, either). But still. This is football, not soccer – we play when it’s cold and snowy.

Admittedly I didn’t really expect a whole lot of variety, either. Despite everything Andy Reid said during the week I was pretty certain he was going to take his 219-page playbook and only open it to page 3 for this week’s game, knowing the chances are that we’ll be up against Indy again in two weeks (not a given, though). He wasn’t going to show them everything he has up his sleeve (or anything, for that matter), no matter what he said to the press. I was somewhat surprised we didn’t see runs on every first and second down followed by a pass on third and then a punt.

And the players all called it out in post-game interviews. I even heard defensive players mention that the offense played poorly (as well as the defense). THAT’S what I like to hear. There wasn’t one unit that performed while the other’s didn’t (like the Dallas game where the defense kept the Chiefs in it or the Chargers game where the offense kept them alive), so don’t be afraid to call it out – EVERYBODY in red and gold needed to step up their game, period.

But that was this past weekend, and now we have two weeks until we play another meaningful game. Our next opponent is the Chargers, whom we play in sunny San Diego. This game means absolutely nothing to the Chiefs – if we win we have the #5 seed. If we lose we have the #5 seed. If we tie we have the #5 seed. For the San Diego, however, they need this win. They also need the Dolphins and Ravens to lose or tie. They’re going to pull out all the stops in this game because they don’t have a “next week” if they don’t put a W on the scoreboard.

So I fully expect the red and gold will rest and we’ll give the second- and third-string a chance to prove they’re capable backups. I would be surprised if JC, Alex Smith or Tamba play more than a half, and probably not any longer than the first quarter. It’s time to give these boys some rest and let them recouperate for the long playoff road ahead. There’s three games to win before the Super Bowl, after all, and they’re probably all on the road.

Sit back and relax; grab your favorite seat and watch the Chiefs get revenge on the Chargers in the 70+ degree weather out there this week.

GO CHIEFS!

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