Don't Kill The Mellinger

Chiefs' Dwayne Bowe said he shows up in big-time games, which means I had to write this

Updated: 2014-01-03T00:40:32Z

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

I like Dwayne Bowe. Really, I do. I like that he plays with energy, with joy, and that he’s played on bad teams for most of his career but never complained, never shown up his (almost always bad) quarterbacks.

He has some rough edges, sure, including that arrest for small marijuana possession in November, but mostly his problems have been of stupidity, not malice. He’s a beloved teammate, and that matters.

I just want to point something out.

What he said the other day is b.s.:

"Games like this … big-time players make big-time plays, and these are games I mostly show up in."

Again, I like Dwayne. And part of why he hasn’t shown up in big games is because the Chiefs haven’t been good enough to give him many big games to show up in. This is only the second winning season, and second playoff game since Bowe was drafted in 2007.

But in the only playoff game of his career, Bowe didn’t even draw a target.

Plus, all this season, the Chiefs have needed a playmaker to take some pressure and hits off Jamaal Charles, and Bowe has been mostly crickets. He went for 57, 51 and 56 yards during the Chiefs’ three-game losing streak. Bowe signed a big contract before the season, and the Chiefs have needed vastly more from their receivers, and Bowe has had the worst full season of his career.

Statistically, his best game was either at Buffalo (season-high seven catches for 67 yards) or at Washington (four catches for a season-high 70 yards and a touchdown), and nobody’s confusing either with a big game for the Chiefs.

In the abyss that was the 2012 season, Bowe’s only 100-yard games and the only touchdowns he caught were in an 18-point loss at Buffalo (perhaps remembered best for Bowe celebrating a meaningless fourth quarter touchdown by pointing to the name on the back of his jersey) and a 17-point loss to the Chargers.

Now, to be fair, Bowe had a spectacular season in 2010 when the Chiefs won the division: 72 catches, 1,162 yards, and an NFL-best 15 touchdown receptions.

But it’s also true that his three biggest games that year (a total of 32 catches, 509 yards and six touchdowns) were in blowout wins over the Seahawks and Titans, and a blowout loss to the Broncos, before not even showing up in the box score of the playoff game.

Bowe can change a lot of this on Saturday, of course. This is how the playoffs work.

This is, like he says, a "big-time game." And he can show himself to be a "big-time player."

But so far in his career, this is not the type of game he mostly shows up in.

 

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