I hope you all had a Happy Holidays!
The Kansas City Chiefs vanquished their last NFC West opponent last weekend but their road to the playoffs still stretches at least until this evening. I am not confident that the San Diego Chargers will lose their game against the woeful Cincinnati Bengals. Regardless, the Chiefs have to do their part today as well in beating the Tennessee Titans, a team that has went through many highs and lows this season.
The Chiefs seems so close to the playoffs (that’s right, Todd, I said it) and yet so far. If they get there, they may find it difficult to advance after Wild Card Weekend. If the Chiefs are the recipient of the 3rd seed, I believe they will win that game at Arrowhead Stadium and go no further. As great as that would be for the team, they still have to come back next year and try to top what they did this season. Winning a playoff game for the first time since Joe Montana would bring much more benefit for the fans and the city, however. The Super Bowl comes next.
Kansas City Chiefs 27, St. Louis Rams 13
The Chiefs’ pass rush was too much for Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson was effectively marginalized in a great “road” win. The bad start was a little unsettling but only a faint thought came to my mind about the Chiefs not being able to pull it off. After they got going, the only thing stopping the Chiefs were the players lining up in the wrong spots, drawing flags for illegal formations.
We really got to see a quarterback who battled through his hindrances. Matt Cassel isn’t the MVP of this team but he is one of the players the Chiefs cannot do without. I don’t really care if Jamaal Charles doesn’t make the Pro Bowl because the Pro Bowl is a meaningless game. We all know he is the best running back in the game right now and we are watching history in the making.
A loss in the next two to three weeks will be a failure of Charlie Weis and incorrect use of JC. To this point, the rationing has been fine. From now on, the Chiefs should be riding to victory on the shoulders of #25.
Voyage of the Titan-ic
The Chiefs face a team the legendary Jeff Fisher doesn’t want to be coaching any longer. A team that has no use for Randy Moss (except for mentorship, apparently). A team that has nothing left to play for. They are still dangerous with Chris Johnson and Jason Babin. However, the Titans had the red carpet rolled out for them when they faced the Texans. The Chiefs won’t be so friendly.
Kerry Collins was lobbing lazy long passes that the Brandons would surely get to. The Houston Texan’s offense had nothing going for them until they were down by 21. The Titans will bring some heat but I don’t see the Chiefs falling short on this one. I do see a need to replace Barry Richardson with Ryan O’Callaghan. They are about the same skill-wise but O’Callaghan has to be able to play better than Barry.
The Chiefs need to strike quick in this game and, to do so, they will have to get Dwayne Bowe the ball from the get-go. He isn’t the only threat at wideout but he’s shown he can do so much in a game. If he gets the ball early, he should catch it all day and any instigation tactics by Cortland Finnegan won’t be effective by then.
The two important things the Chiefs have to do is stop Marc Mariani on kick and punt coverage and stop Chris Johnson. With both teams about as healthy as they can be, this shouldn’t be a problem. There are times where the Titans would have stomped the Chiefs and times where they would have been a pushover. At this point, they just aren’t as good of a team as the Chiefs. This is the kind of game where the Chiefs should jump ahead with a lead and go to work on the cagey Kerry Collins.
I’m thinking the Chiefs will win and hoping for some Bengals magic. The Oakland Raiders game looms heavy and I don’t want that game to matter.