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Posts tagged with "Chiefs"

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The Kansas City Chiefs are a flawed football team. Do you know what that means? They are like everyone else in the National Football League. This is not a season to scrutinize NFL contenders to determine why they could win a Super Bowl. It is a year to ask, search why not?

Pick a contender, buy any contender, who seems like a sure-shot to make it to Houston, the site of Super Bowl LI. The Patriots relied on a fourth-round rookie wide receiver to barely beat the Jets on Sunday as Rob Gronkowski exited (again) with (yet another) injury. The Raiders own a defense that proved capable of yielding 25 points in a quarter.  The Seahawks lost in Tampa Bay with an offensive line that demonstrated the resistance of a pile of mashed potatoes. Even the Cowboys, winners of 10 straight, have a defense that remains a question mark.

So, sure. Why not the Chiefs? Their manic, 30-27 overtime victory in Denver on Sunday night proved neither their dominance nor their perfection. It instead indicated they belong in a jumble of quite good, blemished teams that have a chance to make the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs provide plenty to believe in, starting with the double-take fact they have won 19 of their last 23 games. Kansas City receives little acclaim and doesn’t really have a national identity. It just wins, often in head-scratching fashion, like on Sunday night.

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Do you play for the tie or play for the win?

Denver coach Gary Kubiak opted for the latter when he likely could have had the former. He wound up with neither.

With the Broncos and Chiefs tied at 27 with 1:08 remaining in overtime, Kubiak found himself facing a fourth-and-10 from the Kansas City 44. Had Denver punted there, the Chiefs may not have had the time (or the motivation) to test the limits of how quickly they could drive into field-goal range. The odds at that point certainly pointed toward a punt ending Sunday night’s thrilling game in a tie.

Instead, Kubiak opted for the 62-yard field goal attempt, giving his big-legged kicker Brandon McManus a shot to blast one through the cold Mile High air for the win. McManus’s kick wasn’t even close—it started left and just kept hooking.

As a result, Kansas City took over at the Denver 48, needing just a field goal to win, with a minute on the clock and a timeout in its pocket. Two Alex Smith completions pushed the ball into field-goal range. The Chiefs’ Cairo Santos then banked one in off the left upright to seal a dramatic 30–27 win.

Kansas City now sits at 8–3, all alone in the AFC’s first wild-card spot and just a game back of the Raiders for first in the West. Denver, at least temporarily, has dropped out of the playoff picture. The Broncos (7–4) sit at seventh in the AFC, behind resurgent Miami due to the conference-record tiebreaker.

So, Kubiak’s decision carries significant repercussions. His team faces an even tougher climb to the playoffs because it backfired.

“The fact that we had no timeouts probably made it—made me want to go in that direction,” Kubiak said after the game. “If you did have your timeouts, maybe, maybe you think about punting it down there and see if you can get the ball back. I don’t know. But we’re going to try to win, and I’ve seen B-Mac do that many times in practice.”

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Cairo Santos’ 34-yard field goal hit the left upright and bounced through as the overtime period expired Sunday night to give the Kansas Chiefs a 30-27 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday night.

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