I had a chance to ask Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride some questions about the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of their game with the Denver Broncos. Normally, I take these crossblog posts more seriously, but I’m so over this season. Instead, I asked Joel about his teams lack of success over the past five decades.
1. Will the Chiefs be one-and-done again this year?
Ah, it's Bronco week, isn't it? I don't think the Chiefs are going to be one and done this year. Their first round opponent is likely to be the Ravens, Titans or Bills and the Chiefs should beat any of those teams. It just depends which Chiefs team shows up. They did lose to the Bills -- at home -- just a month ago so nothing is guaranteed. Still, I expect the Chiefs to be favored in their first round matchup. They haven't given up more than 20 points at home in well over a year. Barring an offensive collapse -- which, uh, let's not talk about that -- the Chiefs should win on Wild Card weekend.
2. What is it like to be a fan of a team with such a sad playoff history?
Ahem, these questions seem leading ... the Chiefs have been to the playoffs a bunch recently but as you noted they haven't done much with it. This is as good of a year as they've had at any point under Andy Reid. The Patriots and Steelers are the best teams in the AFC as usual but Antonio Brown could be banged up and the Chiefs already beat the Patriots once this year. There's not a team that is so obviously head and shoulders above everyone else in the AFC so who knows what will happen this year.
3. Marcus Peters seems to be a head case. What's the deal with him this year?
He grew up in Oakland and was plopped in Kansas City, the middle of the country, for his first job after school. There's probably some culture shock there. On the field, the dude is competitive as hell. He's a total playmaker. You can talk about his tackling all you want but, as Deion Sanders once said, they pay him to cover not to tackle. And he's elite at that. He's just so competitive that his immaturity comes out sometimes like you saw with him throwing the ref's flag into the stands and running off the field a few weeks ago. Andy Reid suspended him for the next game (against his hometown Raiders). Since then, Peters has been involved in five turnovers in two games. So it seems to have worked. With the political environment this year and the player protests, there's a lot more going on there with Peters and this community but on the field he's doing his job.
4. The Chiefs seemed unstoppable early on in the season. What happened?
A bunch of different things. The offensive line wasn't playing as well and the running game suffered. That led to Alex Smith having to put the team on his back and that's not his game. He's a complementary quarterback and not one that you want in a one dimensional setting. The Chiefs suffered a few smaller but still key injuries like losing Chris Conley. Defensively, the Chiefs have actually been pretty consistent. They have a couple of bad games (31 points to Oakland, 38 points to the Jets) but they haven't allowed more than 20 points in a game since the first week of November so the defense, while not always looking pretty, really has been getting the job done. It was just inconsistency overall. The defense would play great giving up nine points to the Giants and they'd lose in overtime. The offense would put up 31 against the Jets but the defense gave up 38. Both sides of the ball haven't been good at the same time until recently.
5. Are you a fan of a team resting its starters in the final week before the playoffs?
I trust Andy Reid and whatever he thinks is best. I think the rest is valuable and it gives Reid some extra time to focus on the playoff game. so, yes, I like it but I'm really saying that because Andy Reid thinks it's the best move. He's a veteran coach who has a great feel for his team. I go back to the Peters suspension. Suspending your best defensive player before a must-win game was certainly questionable at the time but it looks like a great call now. He has his finger on the pulse of the team so I'm willing to ride with him on this one.