The Chiefs won another one-point game at home, this time against a team playing without its star running back and without its starting quarterback^, helped in part with a touchdown scored on a phantom zone read to Alex Smiths invisible friend, wake up in a world where the Broncos lose to a team that has to play the Chiefs at Arrowhead without its star receiver, and you mightve heard that they play the Browns this weekend at home.
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star
^ Though the backup was pretty good, and the starter has been pretty crappy.
And then the Bills.
And then a week off to better prepare for what would be the biggest win of the season.
Got all that?
A lot of you are asking, so for now Ill just say: this Chiefs season is the strongest threat to The Curse Of The Shuttlecocks weve had yet.
This weeks eating recommendation is the pad thai at Thai Place and the reading recommendation is this typically thoughtful and powerful piece by the terrific Jeff MacGregor on sexual assault and football culture.
Lets get to it, and as always, thanks for your help and for reading.
@mellinger when does the statue of Andy Reid get finished?— Corey Chesley (@CoreyChesley) October 21, 2013
I think itll be done by the end of the regular season, which the Chiefs will finish 15-1 because theyll rest their starters for the last game.
@mellinger Should MU just keep Franklin out until the BCS title game?How's Andy Reid's bronze statue come along? What do I do with my hands?— Ben (@benhill88) October 21, 2013
Im old enough to remember when Mizzou was getting beat up in the SEC, and the Chiefs were not only terrible but unlikable.
@mellinger Indy won using Sutton's "jam WRs kill QB" scheme. Did the Denver games just get easier? Or will seeing that D help them prep?— Rex (@flexyrexy) October 21, 2013
Depends what you think of John Fox and Peyton Manning as coaches^. Me, I think theyre both pretty good. And we didnt need to see the loss in Indy to know the way to beat the Broncos is to get after the quarterback, but it does help to see it play out.
^ See what I did there?
The problem with it and this is something Collinsworth talked about a few times on the broadcast is Manning is too smart to let one strategy beat him. When he knows the pass rush is coming, he adjusts, and gets the ball out too quickly, often in less than two seconds.
I do think the Chiefs are well equipped to match up with the Broncos, especially with the emergence of Marcus Cooper. And winning the division is much more of a 50-50 proposition than I wouldve thought even a week or two ago.
But its much more complicated than, "Hey, just do what Robert Mathis did."
I cant say too much about it, other than to confirm the Shuttlecock committee is looking into it. This entire Chiefs season has sort of turned the committee on its head, as you can imagine.
Slow down. Not yet.
And the verdict is good. Boulevards standard is very high, and the Quad in general is not my jam but the bourbon undertones are a nice touch. Its just that when I think of Boulevard Smokestacks, the standard is Terra Ingognito and, bless us all, Saison Brett.
Im assuming that by "structural disadvantages" you mean a home stadium with a track in it, a state without a ton of local high school talent and an in-state rival that regularly beats you down.
And I know Im kind of on an island here, but Ill say it anyway: the KU job isnt as bad as many think, or as bad as Turner Gill and now Charlie Weis are making it out to be.
Im not saying this is a great job, or a sleeping giant, or any of that stuff. But you can win at KU. You can build it into the kind of program that goes to a bowl game two or three times out of five years, with the occasional season good enough to dent the top 25. There have been massive facility upgrades in the last decade, with more planned.
You just need the right coach.
Im not sure Id pigeon hole it like youre suggesting. Id just try to find the best man possible, with an emphasis on someone the fan base will get behind^. Weis is making $2.5 million a year at KU, and as long as thats the payscale, you should expect to be able to hire a good coach. Theres still time for Weis to prove himself as that coach, but the clock is ticking.
^ I know that was part of the idea with Weis, but there was a strong scent of desperation on that from the beginning.
I hate it. Makes me sad, as much as something that really doesnt affect my life can make me sad. I understand that the company will still be based here, will still employ a lot of people here, and theyll still make delicious beer that says Kansas City on the label and all of that.
But it wont be the same.
Its no longer this small company in Kansas City that made it big. It has corporate ownership. Maybe Duvel will make Boulevard better I really like Duvel, actually but I think Boulevard was doing just fine without the help^.
^ Other than that terrible Nutcracker Ale they seem intent on making every Christmas.
I also think something is lost in a small company when its bought by a big one. I also think all that bragging Boulevards been doing about being the biggest brewery in Missouri, and making fun of Budweisers America-themed advertisements after being bought by InBev looks a little silly now. John McDonald is going to get richer, and good for him. He deserves it. I wish the company all the success in the world. I hope they continue to make delicious beer and sell it to more and more people.
But something is going to be lost in the transition, and Ill be a little sad about that.
Im sure a Tank 7 will make me feel better. I also think there are other good beers Ill try.
@mellinger In one year Kansas City has gone from most defensive fans in the league to best defensive team in the league.— Corey Anglemyer (@canglem) October 21, 2013
Its a good line, and Im not trying to take anything away but there are still some WAY defensive fans around these parts.
@mellinger please address the Chiefs fans who constantly whine to the national media through Twitter for a "lack of respect".— MizzouChiefsFan (@MizzouAndChiefs) October 21, 2013
Like the people who do The Wave (especially in key moments of a game) and men who propose to their girlfriends on JumboTrons, its hard for me to articulate just how badly I hate this but Ill have fun trying:
You all sound like fools.
For your sake, and ours.
The inferiority complex is as strange as it is annoying. Its an awful look. The Chiefs are having a fabulous season, and every second you spend complaining about what Bomani Jones or any other national media member says about you would be better spent giving yourself a swirly.
If your joy as a sports fan is tied to what someone youll never meet says about them, youre doing it wrong. Besides, the season isnt even halfway done yet. Your team won two games last year, and was generally the biggest embarrassment in football in a league that included the Jacksonville Jaguars. So if someone wants to see more than two good months before anointing the Chiefs the 85 Bears, its a perfectly logical stance. They are not kicking your dog, or calling your wife fat.
This isnt college football, where the ties are often more personal and territorial and where most importantly outside opinion actually DOES matter because of polls. The Chiefs will have their chance against the Colts. Theyll have their chance against the Broncos. Twice. Theyll have their chance in the playoffs.
But in the meantime, go ahead and obsess over whats said about them on a pregame show. Because that makes a lot of sense.
Im all in. Especially if it ends up like this:
Are you sure he wouldnt give Franklin the job back because hes a senior whom his teammates respect immensely, completed 67.5 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions (three more touchdowns and 4.5 yards per carry on the ground) before he got hurt?
Because thats why I think hed do it.
@mellinger How many points is Baylor gonna put on KU?— Alex Stilley (@Jayhawker1998) October 21, 2013
As many as Baylor wants, probably, but its worth noting that defense hasnt been whats keeping KU on track to preserve and extend that 24-game conference losing streak.
The defense has been good enough. Teams will make bowl games with worse defenses than KU has this year.
Its the offense thats a mess, which is another red flag about Charlie Weis big money coach with a great reputation for offense now burning through his second hand-picked quarterback.
Especially in that it happened during the Broncos game, with Indy already up. The Chiefs have an advantage here. Denver lost at Indy; the Chiefs get the Colts at home, where they might not lose. Denver plays at New England next month (and at Houston in December, the Texans are talented enough to make that interesting), while the Chiefs toughest remaining out-of-division road game is what, Washington?
I think Ive said this a few weeks in a row now, but the focus has very much shifted from just dont start another fan revolt into just be competitive into just get into the playoffs and now into win the division and advance in the playoffs.
I understand that the Chiefs have lost four home playoff games since theyve won one, and that those four teams went a combined 31-1 at home in the regular season.
But this would be a mother of a team to have to beat on the road in the playoffs.
Like I say, the Shuttlecock committee has a lot to discuss.
No, thats just silly.
But maybe Jesse Palmer.
Oh, theyll make a bowl game. Its more likely K-State will win out than it is theyll miss a bowl game.
The North Dakota State fiasco is inexcusable save it with the but North Dakota State is actually pretty good! talk, please but the other three losses are defensible and fine. The conference schedule is front-loaded. Baylor and Oklahoma State may be the best two teams in the league, and K-State played at Texas on the wrong week. There are no blowouts.
K-State gets crappy West Virginia at home, Iowa State at home, crappy TCU at home, and Kansas. Theres your four wins for a bowl game, and you have a chance to steal one in Lubbock or against OU at home.
Weird thing: Ive felt all season that I think K-State is better than most K-State fans.
We tend to watch games from a self-centered view. In other words, a touchdown for our team is a touchdown for our team and a touchdown for the other team is a touchdown given up by our team.
That said, I thought Keenum was excellent. That first touchdown pass was perfect.
Thats just not realistic. He and DGB will split the votes next year.
We lived through 2012, is what we did to deserve it.
Really? I see more of a Mike Moustakas-Jim Harbaugh love child when I see him.
But then theyll get the rematch in the BCS game, right?
@mellinger more likely: A Chiefs playoff win or Sporting KC makes it to the MLS cup?— Jordan Kelsey (@jk1021) October 21, 2013
The key for the Chiefs will be homefield, which obviously means winning the division. And like I said earlier, the chances of that look so much better now than a week or two ago, and this isnt an overreaction to the Broncos losing in Indianapolis.
The Chiefs have the easier schedule, and will not only get Indy at home but get Indy without Reggie Wayne. Andy Reids record off the bye week is absurd, and if the Chiefs could somehow win that game in Denver, then who the hell knows.
Sportings chances to make the Cup are hard to figure. Theyve won the East the last two years and been disappointing in the playoffs, obviously. Besler and Zusi give Sporting two premier players at key positions, and the defense is uber stingy. But Im just going with math here, and not just because this site gives Sporting a 12.5 percent chance of winning the Cup. To get to the Cup, Sporting has to get through two of the to me, anyway goofy two-game aggregates. The Chiefs would just have to win one game.
Im going with the Chiefs.
@mellinger Gary F. Pinkel.— Ernie W. Webb III (@Ernie_Webb_3) October 21, 2013
Perfect, so far.
Though I would point out that some read that right, SOME of the hate was coming from his own fan base.
@mellinger If you could attend any NON sporting event what would it be? Me im going w/ Oktoberfest.— michael mulvihill (@froggiemlm) October 21, 2013
I dont know his or her name, but my first choice would be a chefs table at whatever chef I determined to be the best in the world after a lot of research once hearing that this is really happening.
If I have to be more specific, Im getting sushi from Jiro Ono, because seriously.
And if you say, "Sam, cant your fat face think of anything other than food?" I would say, first of all, dont judge me, and second of all, Im going to a show at the Sydney Opera House because look at this place, and, ya-know, that means Id be in Sydney.
You guys know you think managers matter WAY more than I do, but, yeah, this one helps. Jim Leyland is one of the best, and a great fit for that roster. His players loved him, hes smart, always has their back, a great manager.
But whoever replaces him is inheriting a nails rotation and Miguel Cabrera.
.@mellinger This can't wait until Twitter Tuesday. What should KC make of Arby's ripping off the Z-Man? Furious? Or flattered?— Clinton Thomas (@ClintT13) October 19, 2013
I think its best we all pretend we didnt see it, and that we never speak of this again.