On Sunday, the 6th seed Tennessee Titans will head to Kansas City to take on the 2nd seed Chiefs for the AFC Championship Game, with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.
During the season, there were many who imagined the high powered Chiefs making it to this stage, but I don’t remember anyone mentioning the Titans taking a trip to Miami in February.
I’m going to be honest. I think most people outside of the two teams’ fandoms will be thrilled to see either team win. Not just because it will be two young, fun teams playing, but also because it is the first time in a LONG time that the words New England Patriots haven’t been mentioned in an AFC Championship preview.
The Houston Texans will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs in what could be a fantastic divisional round match up. Or it could be a total blow out…by either team. What we learned from the Wild Card round is to never be comfortable, as something completely unexpected will happen.
I still can’t get over last weekend. Underdog road teams winning over teams that were almost shoe-ins for the AFC and NFC Championships. It taught us all that, at least in football, to always expect the unexpected. This weekend could easily follow suit.
‘Tis the season and KC Chiefs’ safety Eric Berry is in the Christmas spirit. The spirit of giving that is.
The Eric Berry Foundation kicked off their third annual Stock the Shoppe Gift Card and Toy Drivecampaign at Nick and Jakes in Overland Park, KS. This is the first of four events being held in the metro area, and it was a success.
The mission of the campaign is to collect toys and raise funds for the Snowflake Shoppe at Children’s Mercy Kansas City which allows parents and caregivers to select gifts for children in the hospital, and their family members, at no cost, all without leaving the building.
The Kansas City Chiefs extended their perfect record to 4-0 in a remarkable comeback win over the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium on Monday night.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, yet again, is breaking records. Mahomes had already passed QB Peyton Manning’s record with his 13th touchdown pass through the first three weeks of the season against the San Francisco 49ers.
The young quarterback is now 5-0 in his career starts and 2-0 in both showings in Denver. Mahomes was able to swiftly maneuver around Denver’s defense after spotting a pocket of space and ran the ball into the end zone, scoring his first career touchdown during the second quarter.
The Chiefs have secured their playoff spot and a win or loss changes nothing in their seeding. They can sit or start whomever they want for however long they want. On Sunday, their only known starter will be rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes. This could make it tough to game plan for Denver IF they really want to win.
For Denver, they could be playing to lose because general manager John Elway is scouting quarterbacks and the best way to get a top one is to lose. However, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas needs 108 yards to reach 1,000 for the season and running back CJ Anderson needs 54 yards to reach his 1,000. He’s averaging 63 a game so that one should be easy. 108 yards for Thomas will be tougher, as he’s only had one game all season over 100 yards which was against the Giants.
With two QBs only having three starts between them, it’s tough to scout this game. However, since head coach Andy Reid drafted Mahomes and wants him as his future (ironically, he wanted quarterback Paxton Lynch, but Elway moved up to take him away), he’ll put a game plan together to give him every chance to succeed and win.
With that said, It sounds like Denver will be starting their top defensive guys. This should help get the ball back to Denver quickly since Mahones hasn’t faced a defense like the Broncos. Getting the ball in Lynch’s hands will be instrumental in Thomas getting his yards. Plus Elway needs to see Lynch throw more than the ten times he did against Oakland a few weeks ago.
Head Coach Vance Joseph has said he wants Lynch to run. If he bases a game plan around Lynch running and not his arm, the Broncos may be doomed to lose at home because of his injured ankle. WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer, receivers #2 and #3 look to be out, leaving Thomas, Jordan Taylor and Bennie Fowler as the three. Taylor and Fowler will need to be at the top of their game in order to pull coverage away from Thomas so he can get his yardage if they let Lynch throw.
Kansas City has an offense built around the run, so if Denver shows up to win, they should be able to stop it and force Mahones to throw. He’ll want to toss it deep as the gunslinger he is and since defensive back Aqib Talib may not be back next season, he could make sure Mahomes remembers his name.
The key to both sides is the same. Stop these strong-armed quarterbacks from throwing deep and to their top receiver. The difference will be that Mahones has nothing to lose. If he misses, throws interceptions and incompletions, his job is secure, so he should be able to play with no pressure. The press, fans, and Reid are behind him and will excuse a new starter’s mistakes.
For Lynch, the opposite is true. Denver press has portrayed him as the enemy because they championed for QB Trevor Siemian, any mistake he makes will be ripped to shreds by the media and fans who follow them. In addition, head coach Vance Joesph is clearly not a fan.
This will put massive pressure on him to perform. If he does well, they’ll say it was against second stringers, if he stumbles, they’ll say how crappy because it’s against second stringers. His key will be to shut out the outside world and just play. A tough challenge when he could be playing for a job.
Hopefully, Joseph puts Thomas, Anderson, and winning over a handful of spots in the draft. Fans deserve it and after this crappy season, and it would be a good reward for the players. Go Broncos!
Did you have a rough week in fantasy football? Chin up – it’s a new week.
Highlights from each league
FitzOn (that’s me) squeaked by with help from running backs Todd Gurley (LAR) 34.50 points and Lamar Miller (HOU) 25.10 to win Week 4. Our new leader, I’m Just Teezin, was a very close second with 137.13 points. Her top RB Le’Veon Bell (PIT) lived up to his hype scoring 33.60 points. Major help came from LB C.J. Mosley (BAL) earning a cool 27.00 points.
>> NEW LEADER:I’m Just Teezin (3-1)
Female Free #1: Coming from behind with a late victory was none other than league leader Gpodawund. She remains undefeated with 133.48 points for Week 4. Bell was her top performer. A new name to the mix is The Klunebergs, securing second spot this week with 132.74 points. Rookie RB Leonard Fournette (JAX) earned her 22.50 points.
Two weeks into the 2017 season and the Kansas City Chiefs have won two very different games. One an offensive juggernaut against the current Super Bowl Champions; the other, a nail-biting defensive battle that was up for grabs until the last seconds of the game.
The Chiefs are presenting themselves as a cohesive, focused team whose sum is greater than the total of its players. At times playing to their potential; other times having to fight back by calling upon every bit of reserved spirit left in them. Players drop the ball (literally and figuratively) and their teammates make up the shortcoming.
My mind goes to two players, especially in these first two games—tight end Travis Kelce and quarterback Alex Smith—each having very different moments. Kelce continues to amaze and confound. Providing a third major offensive option to running back Kareem Hunt and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, his presence, and skill are a large part of Kansas City’s success since he joined the team.
However, on the other side of the coin are the immature antics that are racking up unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. While none of them can yet be linked directly to a loss, they have created unnecessary hurdles for his teammates and coaches to overcome.