The Road To Glory: Part III

Indianapolis Colts 20, Kansas City Chiefs 17

Photo courtesy of the IndyStar

I begin this blog with how the last one ended:

I can’t say I’m exactly intimidated by the prospect of facing Matt Ryan at this stage of his career — and the fact that the Chiefs are 7-point road favorites against a team expected to win the AFC South tells you all you need to know — but we also won’t forget that this is the NFL and anything can happen. Right around the time you start feeling good about things is when reality gives you a wakeup call.

Usually when the Chiefs lose football games it’s in the dumbest imaginable fashion, and this one was no different. I was talking to my older brother over the course of this 20-17 loss to the Colts, and the two of us were in agreement for most of the second half: these are the types of games that the Chiefs lose.

It doesn’t make any sense, but it doesn’t have to make any sense. If you’ve watched as many Chiefs games as I have during the Patrick Mahomes era — i.e. every single one of them — you can tell pretty early on if the team gives a shit. When they do, they typically win. When they don’t, they obviously leave the door open for some incredibly stupid shit to happen. On Sunday, it happened.

The only positive thing I have to say about today’s game is similar to what I’ve said in the first two weeks: the Chiefs have a legitimate defense this year. They held the Colts to 259 total yards, sacked Matt Ryan five times and contained top fantasy pick Jonathan Taylor to 71 yards on 21 carries (3.38 yards per rush). Had you told me those figures before the game I would guess the Chiefs win about 95 percent of the time (if not more).

The Chiefs’ special teams unit is going to be remembered for this loss, but I do take some solace in the fact that two rookies, Skyy Moore and Isiah Pacheco, and a kicker that got signed off the street, Matt Ammendola, were responsible. Moore muffed a punt that he appeared to have lost in the sun, Pacheco consistently returned kickoffs short of the 20 yard line, and Ammendola showcased why he couldn’t manage to maintain a kicking job with the New York Jets. No disrespect, Matt.

These were unforced errors. If the question at the end of the day was “Did the Colts do this to us, or did we do it to ourselves?” then the answer for the Chiefs is clear. Rookies will learn. They’ll either get better or their return duties will go to other players. As for the kicking situation, I would be surprised if Ammendola plays another game with the Chiefs.

Even with all the special teams fuckery Kansas City was in control for most of the second half. After spotting the Colts a 7-0 advantage early on the Chiefs rallied for two touchdowns to take a 14-10 lead at halftime, and led 17-10 for most of the second half.

Even with everything that went wrong the Chiefs still had a good chance to win for most of the day. I’m not going to freak out about the offense, but it needs to get better. The team needs to get better.

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