By Neta Davis @ND622
Chargers 27 Chiefs 33 OT
While I’m beyond the moon about the turn of the game on Sunday, immediately in the back of my mind is how I felt when the Kansas City Chiefs blew a 38-10 lead against the Indianapolis Colts in the January 2014 playoff game–and how San Diego Charger fans must be feeling something similar to the gut-wrenching pain, only tempered by the fact that this wasn’t a playoff game but only the first game in a season still full of hope.
Disgusted, disappointed, discouraged, beaten down–how could a Kansas City fan feel anything but during the first three quarters? Who was this team? Had we all been fooled by the preseason hype? Did LB Justin Houston make that much difference to the team’s success? And what happened to the offensive line? Where was the (John) Dorsey personnel magic of finding up-and-comers with stellar performances?
So many questions that many fans thought were in the past after three optimistic seasons under Coach Andy Reid with their first post-season win in over two decades just last season. Anyone who knows this team, though, knew where they are solid, and there could be no questions. Even with RB Jamaal Charles still out from his injury of early last season, the Kansas City roster boasts RB Spencer Ware, RB Charcandrick West, and RB Knile Davis. And Ware proved to be the one consistency and ongoing inspiration in this game. Hopefully you played him on your fantasy team, as he walked off the field with 199 yards, 65% of them receiving.
Then, along with the fourth quarter, more questions, but of the best kind–what just happened? Who flipped the getter-done switch on for this red group on the field? AND WHY DID THEY WAIT UNTIL NOW?????
After scoring a touchdown in the third quarter, the Chiefs scored a jaw-dropping 17 unanswered points in the last nine minutes of the fourth quarter. That’s like 2 points a minute without the benefit of having control of the ball that entire time. The men in Reid red tied the game and were headed into overtime.
The luck of the NFL gods were with Kansas City, and they won the toss and smartly chose to receive the ball. Their momentum accompanied them into the extra minutes, culminating in a 10-play 70-yard drive with QB Alex Smith running in the play for the sudden-death six-point dagger, giving Chiefs Kingdom the first win of the season.
While a good team doesn’t take three quarters to get their feet under them, a great team has the ability to keep calm, pull themselves up by the bootstraps, and get the job done, no matter what the circumstances. I believe the Chiefs are that team, finally and show more promise than in any recent years. Coach Reid and GM John Dorsey are beginning to reap the harvest they started planting three years ago.
PS. I feel compelled to address the national anthem stance taken by CB Marcus Peters since it was reported on at least three different continents. This is America, land of free speech and expression. Many forget that this includes stances we may not agree with or understand. I think the Chiefs admirably and respectfully handled the situation and hope that we live in a country where every citizen does the same.
Featured image of Alex Smith courtesy: David Eulitt/kansascity.com
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