Count yourselves lucky, loyal readers, that I'm even alive today to share my ramblings with you. Games like that aren't healthy for me. They just aren't. It's incredibly fun once we've won. An absolute instant classic on Sunday Night Football against what has been the class of the AFC, showing the world that we still sign the paychecks in this bitch. But I gotta say, while it's happening...not for me. I'm miserable. Maybe not during the first half, which was a beautiful thing, but the 30 minutes of the second half are a torture chamber. I'd rather drunkenly fall asleep on the couch, Pumpkinhead in hand slowly spilling into my lap, while I snore through a 40 point blowout than ever have to watch a game like that again. I know a lot of you probably love the excitement. I'm happy for you. You're idiots, but I'm happy for you. And you sure got a nice cherry on top of your Sundae Night. (pun)
I'm trying to think when I was most mad during the game. The Brady strip sack, which we'll get to, is up there, as it brought the Chiefs to within one. So was the 97 yard kick off return which gave the Chiefs the lead. But I think it was when Tyreek Hill scored a 75 yard tuddy on their first play after we kicked a FG to go up 7. Now, in reality that play helped us because he scored so fast. Tommy even said after the game he was rooting for him to get all the way in once he caught it because he wanted enough time left to win the game. But in the moment it was impossibly frustrating thinking I just needed our D to sack up on this last drive of the game and not give up a tying tuddy, only to watch them get ethered on the first play.
Even with all the rage bubbling inside me, there was one thought that will still ringing the doorbell on the back of my brain, demanding to be let in. Tyreek Hill must be the fastest S.O.B. to ever live. I know he's fast. He's torched us before. It's all anyone wants to talk about when KC comes up. But John Ross is fast too. He got drafted 9th overall based solely on the fact that he is the fastest dude in town. Broke the combine record and everything. Newsflash, John Ross STINKS. So he can't be that fast. Because Tyreek Hill is only relevant due to his speed, something that you would think isn't enough of a difference maker in a league filled with the most physically gifted athletes on the planet. I'm good at cornhole, but so are all of my degenerate alcoholic friends, so I don't exactly stand out in the crowd when we're tossing bags on a sunny Saturday afternoon, ya know what I mean? Hill makes NFL dudes look like they're running with those resistance parachutes behind them. How do describe such a thing?
A lot of my focus last night was going to be on the battle between two of the league's best tight ends. Probably the best two? Ertz might have a thing to say about this debate, but for my money its the pair of 87s we saw last night. While Gronk's fantasy impact might be way down so far this year, the torch has not been passed for best tight end in the league. In fact, the torch is so firmly hidden in Gronk's village that it would take Kelce and a team of explorers just to find the damn thing, let alone possess it. I said last week that I expected us to do a better job containing the tight end position after Eric Ebron treated The Razor like the Red Light District and got whatever he wanted. Kelce finished with 6 catches on 9 targets for 61 and no tuddies. I'll take that all day every day off camera every way. It was a quiet 61, if such a thing exists. As predicted, there were a lot of chips and double teams, but we weren't going to let him beat us.
Gronk was very quiet again, and it seemed like the KC defense had a similar mind sight. Make Tom go somewhere else with the football. But unlike his counter part, Gronk proved he's the big swinging dick at the cracker factory with his massive, game altering impact in the fourth quarter. Gronk finished the night with 3 catches for 94, but 2 of those grabs for 76 yards came on our last two drives setting up two field goals, the last one being the dagger as time expired. It was a joy to watch Tommy go to the man-child he knows he can rely on in those big moments. The idea to single cover Gronk with a midget corner with 30 seconds left and the Pats driving was hilarious to me, but not nearly as hilarious as Gronk baseball throwing Ron Parker all the way to first base from deep short.
I've said before about Patty Mahomes, let's see if he can do it as more teams get tape on him. People are saying he's the next great thing in the NFL, and maybe he is, but I'm not so sure. I say that while being thoroughly impressed with him last night. I'm not even on him for the missed throws like everyone else is. He was under pressure. He made some big plays and more importantly he didn't wilt when the game started to get out of hand. Unfortunately for him and his squad, there was another quarterback in the building who knows a thing or 43 about rising up when the lights are brightest. It's hard to put into words how confident I feel when Tom gets the ball at the end of a game with the chance to win. Imagine being another franchise? Imagine having another quarterback? Are you just terrified in those moments? That was the most calm I felt all night. I was happily stuffing clam dip into my mouth knowing with one hundred percent certainty that we would win.
(Editor's note: I watched this game at the same friend's house where I watched the bowl last year. Only other time I've watched there. As this one was slipping through our fingers I had all the gas knobs turned up to ten on the stove with the matches ready.)
But now that I've give Tom a nice reach around and I've thrown away the tissues and washed my hands, I do have to say that was one of the most pathetic strip sacks these eyes have ever been forced to witness. From what I know about being a quarterback (nothing) you can tell when I guy is 'about' to be open. So when Tom is buying time in the pocket he should be able to tell if he just needs another second or if he needs a complete reset to scan the field. It appeared like the latter, and after the initial three man rush where Tom had forever and a day to throw, he was able to move hard to his right for a full reset of his progressions. Then the extra rushers came, and presumably no one was 'about' to be open, so I'm gonna need you to go down. Or at the very least not waive the ball around like you're a drunk girl brandishing my cell phone in my face asking why I've deleted my text history.
Sony had another big day, but here's a tough question for you that I've highlighted in past posts. Is he getting the yards blocked for him or is he making people miss? It's hard to argue with 24 for 106 and 2 tuddies. And I'm not mad. I get more and more self conscious about declaring myself OUT on this kid with each passing week. But make no mistake about it, we manhandled the Chiefs up front in this one. If he was touched by anyone on the Chief's DLine all night I must have missed it. I'm just saying that he got his yards into the second level and then would get tackled, but rarely was I seeing him fake guys out of their shoes. That isn't always easy or even possible as a running back going between the tackles, but when you get into the second level that's when you can make it happen. Now I will say he appears to pick the right hole every time. This is not something that can be said about the Lawrence Maroney's of the world, who was so blind he needed a braille map to find his ass to wipe, so credit to Sony there. But I knew Dion Lewis was DIDI when he started ducking Cowboys in the open field, and I hope the PlayStation gets there when the sledding gets tough.
James Wiggle White is elite. That is all.
Allow me to pose another question to you, and this one I actually don't know how I feel about. Usually I've dug in hard before I ask you guys anything, ready to drop my liquid magma hot take on your head like you're enemy soldiers trying to battering ram my front door. This one I'm legit torn. Hoags had a good game, with a really clutch third down catch on that deep bomb down the right sideline when the game was in the balance. He finished with 4 for 78, but the bigger stat is he played 47 of 78 snaps. For some perspective, Jules played 71, Flash played 63, Patterson played 6, and Flip Dorsett played 3. Once Jules came back and Flash got up to speed, it always felt like there was only one spot available for Flip and Hoags. But it turns out that the snaps that were available to Flip have gone to Flash and that's the end of that. Flash is a BILLION times better than Flip, I'm not questioning that, I'm just kind of surprised the coaches value Hoags over Flip so much in that WR3 role. I figured they would split snaps. Keep them both fresher as we move into the fourth quarter. And maybe I'm biased because Flip is from THE U, but I was coming around on him this season. Now he's never dragged his nuts across the end zone in an afccg before, and I won't soon forget it, so Hoags doesn't deserve to see his play time drop to zero either, but I thought Flip got into the Burns Family Circle of Trust this year. It will be interesting to see if he stays on the outside looking in from now on.
Can we talk about Flash now? My god do I love this guy. All these stories were coming out this week about how him and Tom are boys. Instant friends. Brothers from other mothers. I wanted to believe it but wasn't sure if I could. It seemed too good to be true. Then I saw the game on Sunday. He had a decent game, 5 for 42. He should have scored on that second to last drive. Tom "missed" him in the back of the end zone, we had to settle for a FG to go up 7, which was instantly erased by the Hill tuddy. But the reason that pass wasn't completed is because of exactly what I said last week in film school. Josh has to sit down on that route. He was open for a second between DBs, and Tom threw it into the window, but Flash kept running right into coverage, so the pass was behind him. Fillingsworth even said it on the broadcast that soon Flash will learn to stop there. But none of that is what gave me the sweet sweet dopamine hit that this did: A TEAM HIGH NINE TARGETS. You can always tell when a receiver is a quarterback's binky. His wittle blankey that he can turn to when things are bad. I don't think Flash will ever replace Jules or Gronk in that sense for real, but holy shit does Tom trust this dude. He was forcing balls to him all night and I loved every one of them. If Tom doesn't like a guy he wont even look at him on the field. I swear he doesn't recognize Dwayne Allen when they do team dinners on the road. But I bet Tom could close his eyes and draw a picture of Flash sprawled out on the couch wearing the Heart of the Ocean around his neck.
The only question I wanted to ask about the offense all night was where was the play action?? With the way Sony was running in the first half I was salivating over the thought of torching those greedy safeties over the top with play action for the rest of the game. This isn't a massive complaint because we hung 43 on their asses anyway, but that never really materialized. I wasn't paying close enough to attention to see if we went to the well but they had it covered, or if we never really took our shots. Why don't we just say we're saving it for the playoffs a la the Jules double pass against them in 2014 and call it a day, eh?
Do you remember when Backstreet was BACK, alright?! Me too. Do you know who was doing his best 90s boy band impression? Dont'a fucking HIGHTOWER. Yea, he looked like he was running in cement after that interception, but who gives a shit? I told you I don't need him to be the fastest guy on the field. He was everywhere on the field, wearing the green dot and doing everything Bill asked him to. On the pick, he faked the blitz and dropped back into coverage, filling the space underneath Kelce's crossing pattern. He got his head around in time and got his hands up to make a play on the ball that swung the early stages of the game. And allow me to go to the snap count numbers again real quick. He played 93%. HELL YES. He was just shaking off the rust in those early weeks, I'm convinced of it now. It's normal for your refractory period to get a little longer as you get older, hell I can't get it up Wednesday if I jerked off on Monday, so HIGH please forgive me for being too quick to judge.
Kyle Van Noy, who has been a gift from above the last season and a third based on what I expected when we traded for him, was what the French call, les incompetent. That dude must be allergic to drive ending tackles on third down. And it's not like he was coming up empty either. He caught so many dudes in the backfield who got first down I thought he was just implementing catch and release.
I never get hyperbolic when I write or when I'm watching the Pats as you can imagine, but when the Dolphins ruined our shutout because a running back caught a pass in the flat and bowled through Dev on the way to the end zone I looked at my boy and said Dev should retire. I was just kidding. I thought. After that he was put in timeout by Eric Ebron the very next week. I don't have his numbers in front of me this week, but yet again it seemed like every time I looked around during a big KC play or a score, there was Dev about 3 yards away from the right hole, looking a lot like me attempting a new position with the lights off. Just stick to missionary Dev.
My BOY Trey Flowers has a monster night. 76% of snaps, a team high 7 tackles, setting the edge like a cartographer, and sniffing out screen plays like it's his J O B, which it is. God I love this guy. Is his red jacket ready yet? Oh and Virginia, just so you know, his jacket size is 44 long, and his right arm is a bit longer than his left.
I could definitely do without the horrendous kick coverage in the future. This game shouldn't have been as close as it was without an unthinkable Brady turnover and a 97 yard kick return. Stevie G is as automatic as they come, yet possibly his greatest skill is the ability to drop kickoffs on the 1 yard line any time he wants. Bill says get me a touch back and Stevie launches the balls into the third row. Bill says make them return it cause they might fumble and Stevie says as you wish and he sends a rain drop down from the clouds with inch perfect precision. But two tips. One, if we ask him to do that, it means we must also tackle the returner. Ideally before our three yard line. Two, if you possess this ability, kindly don't hit squib kicks to their 45 yard line for absolutely no reason other than feeling bad they don't have enough points in a prime time game.
This whole tilt came down to one thing in the end. Stops in the red area. Both teams got them in big moments. KC after the the stiff arm Gronk catch. I'm not sure we actually got into the red area or not, but you get my point. A tuddy there and it's over. The Pats stops came mostly in the first half. The nine points the Chiefs had came off three big stands on drives that looked like trouble, plus an interception to end the half. You don't lie to Lord Voldemort and you don't beat the Pats with FGs. Even though the Chiefs gave this game some serious second half CPR, the three field goals to open the game was the death sentence, and that right there folks, was all she wrote.
We're 4-2. The Chiefs are a game up but we have the head to head tie breaker. Our schedule the rest of the way is one of the easiest in the league. The one seed is firmly back in our sights. Who has it better than us? Throw in the Sox evening up the ALCS and I felt like I was doing Kimmel. Great night. Great fucking night.