Leftridge: Why the Chiefs Will Win Their First Playoff Game in 20 Years

fountainbloodHere we are, on the precipice of the Chiefs’ biggest game in 20 years, and it doesn’t really feel like it. Oh sure, the fountains are bloodbath-red, and there are roving hordes of local news people standing in a frigid Indianapolis parking lot trying to stay chipper, but something about this feels… off.

Maybe it’s because a loss feels like a foregone conclusion. Maybe it’s because everyone I talked to today said, “yeah, I’m excited to watch, but…”

And there’s a lot hanging on that “but.”

Maybe this is mostly because this very same Chiefs team got throttled like a well-tuned motorcycle just a couple of weeks ago by these very same Colts. It’s hard to look at this team, and look at THAT team, and walk away saying, “well, shit. If that lopsided loss was IN Kansas City, I can only imagine what it’ll be like in Indy…”

But fear not, sports fans. It isn’t impossible for the Chiefs to come out victorious. Not by a long shot. Let ‘s grant some hope right here and now. Sure, this might be so much ass-blown-smoke, but for a town tormented for years by shitty sports franchises (except for Sporting KC—god bless those kids), sometimes you gotta look on the bright-side of life. (This is the part where you imagine the whistles from “Monty Python.”)

 

Justin-Houston.elbow.400First: Justin Houston

This is a remarkably different team with Houston. It just totally, inarguably is. We all remember how this team had a TOTALLY dominant defense for the first half of the season and everyone was like, “OH MAH GAWD, THIS D IS UNSTOPPABLE!” and then in one fell swoop, Houson got hurt and Tamba Hali got hurt and all of the sudden, “HOLY CHRIST IS THIS DEFENSE ATROCIOUS. I JUST PUKED UP MY BBQ AND BOULEVARD BEER BECAUSE I’M FROM KC AND THAT’S ALL ANYONE EATS/DRINKS.” It was that bad. And then Hali came back, and oh shit, the defense STILL sucked.

Look, I’m not saying Houston is BETTER than Hali; I think at this juncture, it mostly seems to be a push. Together, however, they are a more fearsome pairing than Jeffrey Dahmer riding a velociraptor. So with both of them back on Saturday—and I know Hali is questionable, but I get the feeling he’d have to be missing a foot to not play—this defense is instantaneously ten-times better.

 

restingcharles2) Everyone is Rested

And by “everyone,” I mean “Jamaal Charles.” After having last week’s bizarre spectacle against the San Diego Chargers off, Charles probably hasn’t felt better all season. The week before The Back Up Debacle, in the aforementioned loss to these very same Colts, he only carried the ball 13 times (but amassed 106 yards doing so). The week before that, when he scored FIVE TOUCHDOWNS against the Oakland Raiders, he only carried the ball eight times.

After being pushed hard through the early part of the season—perhaps ridden like some sort of horse used for work, or something—he’s had a relaxing last couple of weeks. There’s no reason he can’t carry the ball 20+ times tomorrow, and do so with terrifying effectiveness.

 

C) Turnovers

The Chiefs are the team they are this year because of their ridiculous turnover margin. Teams who win the turnover battle win, period. In their week 16 loss to the Colts, the Chiefs turned the ball over four times, their high mark of these season. (And it could have been much worse—the Chiefs recovered three—yes THREE—of their own fumbles.)

Yes, part of this was due to the Colts CAUSING the turnovers, but part of this was uncharacteristically (this year, at least) sloppy play by the Chiefs. It was an anomaly in a season built on cautious ball-handling and ball-hawking, something that is highly unlikely to happen again.

montanaSo here’s my prediction, KCC: I think this game is close. I think there are multiple lead changes early, but KC widens the gap in the 4th. When the dust clears, I think the Chiefs win their first playoff game since Montana was throwing a hat-trick and I was busy trying to convince my pants to buy me AC Slater jeans.

 

Chiefs 35, Colts 21

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8 Responses to Leftridge: Why the Chiefs Will Win Their First Playoff Game in 20 Years

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    D) MANAGE THE TIME CLOCK

    Dorsey needs someone attached to Andy’s hip to make sure he doesn’t blow another game with poor clock management, Inopportune timeouts and failure to react to the urgency of time left (Super Bowl).

    Reminders all over this here interweb remind all to never bet on Marty or Andy in the Big One.

    Now where is the blind squirrel?

  2. Kerouac says:

    CAPTION THAT PIC

    “the fountains are bloodbath-red”

    – those aren’t fountains – be all that remains after the Titanic (Chiefs) ran into the iceberg (Colts)…

    “Houston”

    – ‘we have a problem’: considering he hasn’t played in weeks, the ‘rustiness factor’ may factor…

    “(Charles) he scored FIVE TOUCHDOWNS against the Oakland Raiders”

    – considering it was the Raiders, he probably should have scored 10 tds…

    “The Chiefs are the team they are this year because of their ridiculous turnover margin”

    – more so their ridiculous(ly easy) schedule: 0-5 vs playoff teams (including the Colts, DEN x2 and SD x2), 11-0 vs the cupcakes, others…

    On any given Sunday, Chiefs could win; on this Saturday – Colts 23 Chiefs 13

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      The heart wants what the heart wants or Love Hurts.

      The blind squirrel could make the day.

      Reality is for chumps who can’t handle drugs or alcohol per Ironweed.

      That damn reality again!

      SUGGESTION NO. 6: “Before you pick a team, just make sure Marty Schottenheimer, Herm Edwards, Wade Phillips, Norv Turner, Andy Reid, Anyone Named Mike, Anyone Described As Andy Reid’s Pupil and Anyone With the Last Name Mora” Isn’t Coaching Them.

      • Kerouac says:

        Reid joins a long list of coaching futility KC, now 10-10 .500 career as a coach post season (0-1 and .000 in KC)… Stram was 5-3 .625, Levy 11-8 .579, Vermeil 6-5 .545, Reid 10-10 .500, Edwards 2-4 .333, Schottenheimer 5-13 .278, Mackovic 0-1 .000 and Haley 0-1 .000 (Superbowl marks include Stram 1-1, Levy 0-4, Vermeil 1-1, and Reid 0-1).

  3. Kerouac says:

    Make that 0-6 kcinderella vs playoff teams – D’OH! Now an NFL record 0-8 their last number of playoff games, same…

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      They did beat Philadelphia so 1-6 is the correct answer.

      • Kerouac says:

        You misunderstand: Kerouac is referring to AFC teams, which is all they could play until they might reach the Superbowl (as if).

        Too, ‘when’ one team plays another is more telling than the final mark (by which time all those W’s (or L’s, don’t kcinderella fans know) are irrelevant, the present being en vogue.

        If a game was played today, PHIL (10-7) vs KC (11-6), Kerouac would take the Eagles battle of two also ran/mediocre’s (whence we played the Eagles, they were but a .500 team)

        And so it goes; back to the drawing board for Picasso Reid, et al…

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