Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Top Ten of 2016

2014 was personally challenging as it seemed like my individual world came crashing down.
In 2016, it felt like the rest of the world was trying to do the same.

And then just when it seemed like I knew what to expect out of life, an opportunity came along and I took it. Now everything is different. And I can only hope that it will all work out. But I don't really know. Such is the joy of life. So it goes.

Honorable Mentions

GIF from The Switchboard

Brexit Joke

Chili Cheese Dog GIF






10. New Music: Big If True
For the first time in forever, I made music.

9. Rocket League Highlights
I played a lot of Rocket League, including online for the first time.

8. I Fixed The Summer Olympics
Still waiting on that check from the IOC.

7. My First Red Rocks Concert
After living in Colorado for 5 years, finally saw a show at Red Rocks. Just in time.

6. How I Predicted Best Picture
Last year the Super Bowl, this year the Oscars. My predictive power knows no bounds.

5. SF Recap
I returned to San Francisco and even escaped a room with 13 seconds left!

4. 22 Years In The Making / Mile High Magic / Arctic Arrowhead
Holy crap. The Chiefs won a playoff game. And then beat the Broncos in one of the craziest/best games ever. And then I was there for an incredible primetime win over the Raiders on a freezing night as a resident. Holy crap.

3. My First New Car
After a long wait, I got a new car—a car I wanted and was excited to drive.

2. An Email That Changed My Life
Reflecting back on how I got to Colorado and changed my career trajectory.

and the only blog post that really matters...Number One

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Revisiting 32 NFL Storylines

Four months ago, I wrote down my season-preview thoughts on every NFL team. I feel like I did a good job, but only one way to find out.

AFC

Patriots - With Tom Brady and good coaching, this team is always going to be a Super Bowl contender. Can they survive four games without Brady? Yep. They survived and then some, earning the top seed in the AFC. 

Bills - Tyrod Taylor, McCoy, Watkins...could the Bills actually be exciting? They were 8-8 last year, is this a wild card team? Their offense was good with a great rushing attack, but I don't think they ever reached exciting status. And with a broken defense, they didn't make the playoffs and fired Ryan. 

Dolphins - Will Tannehill continue to be mediocre or will ever break out? Through 5 weeks they were 1-4 with their only win over the Browns. Then they went 9-1 and made the playoffs despite a Tannehill injury. Nobody saw that coming. 

Jets - This seems like a clusterfuck. Will they look competent at all? Spot on. 

Bengals - They were good last year but stumbled in the playoffs. Are they actually good or was last year a fluke? I feel like most people bought into them, and I deserve credit for not believing in them. 

Steelers - They've been under the radar for a little while, but seem capable of manufacturing a deep playoff run. Will they? Fuck, I'm right so far with them. 

Ravens - Even more under the radar, but also have a history of bouncing back. Could they surprise people? I think they did surprise people and were just a few inches away from the playoffs. 

Browns - They're building something slowly. I doubt it, but could RG3 return to former success? What about Gordon? At least they won a game. 

Texans - Will Osweiler actually be good and give this team the thing they were missing? Nope. Just like last year they win their division without having a QB. 

Colts - Andrew Luck has got to turn into a top tier quarterback, right...is this the year it comes together? We keep waiting for Luck to carry this team to sustained success but it takes more than a QB. 

Jaguars - They're still a couple years away right? Yep. 

Titans - Is Mariota a bust or a rising star? Rising star! My Mariota stock looks pretty good right now. 

Broncos - The returning Champs turn to an inexperienced quarterback. If he's terrible, how long before the defense loses faith? Denver was 4-0 and 6-2. Playoffs seemed like a lock and this prediction seemed silly. But spot on again. Defense did lose faith in Week 15: "Broncos defense turns on offense in locker room after loss."

Chiefs - Poised to take the division...can they execute? Can they get a playoff bye? They did make the playoffs and still have a chance for they bye. 

Raiders - With Carr, they're going to be good some day. Will they contend this year? That day came early. 

Chargers - How many great years does Rivers have in him? He was good in moments but doesn't have the team. 

NFC

Cowboys - Is Dak the future? How good can Dak, Dez and Zeke be this year? Yes and pretty fucking good are the answers here. 

Giants - Manning to Beckham. That seems fun. It was!

Eagles - Seems like a rebuild is underway. Yep!

Washington - Another year of Kirk Cousins, will we like that? Only occasionally. 

Vikings - What could have been an up and coming team looks like a lost season. Uh huh. 

Packers - Every year with Aaron Rodgers, they can be a Super Bowl contender. Yet he only has 1 SB appearance. Will he get back there? TBD. 

Bears - How good is Langford? Still, yikes. Am I psychic or what?

Lions - Never won a playoff game with Megatron. How good can they be without him? TBD. 

Saints - Will Brees win the passing crown on a losing team again? YES! Holy shit, why aren't I making money off this?

Bucs - Is Winston going to turn into a Pro Bowl QB? Nope. 

Falcons - How much longer can Julio Jones be a dominant WR? This really wasn't the story as the Falcons offense as a whole turned into a barnburner. 

Panthers - Can they return to the Super Bowl? Nope!

Seahawks - Can they return to the Super Bowl? Maybe!

Cardinals - They went 13-3, but Palmer and Fitz are getting old. Do they have one more playoff run in them? Nope!

49ers - They're bad, right? Yep!

Rams - How good is Gurley? What's it like to finally have a team back in LA? Not as good as we thought and fucking awful. 



Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Greatest Present Of All


Chiefs are in the playoffs and eliminate the Broncos on Christmas night at Arrowhead.

- - -

If the Carr-less Raiders lose to the Broncos and the Chiefs beat San Diego, the Chiefs jump up to the #2 spot, earn a bye and a home playoff game.

It looks like Steelers will be #3 for sure and Texans #4.

If the Chiefs do in fact jump up to #2, they would likely host the Steelers in the Divisional Round (if the Steelers lose to the Dolphins, Chiefs would face winner of Raiders/Texans, neither of which has a QB.)

But what if the Broncos can't beat anybody or the Chiefs let down against the Chargers?

- - -

If the Pats let down against the Dolphins and the Chiefs lose to the Chargers, than the Chiefs could still drop to the 6 seed and have to go on the road to Pittsburgh on Wild Card Weekend. That would be terrible. But the Pats are fighting for HFA so I can't see them losing plus the Chiefs losing.

The other option is the Chiefs stay in the spot they're at...#5 going on the road to Houston to face Tom Savage in the playoffs, where KC won 30-0 in the playoffs last year. It's not really that bad.

In the divisional round in this scenario, the Chiefs would then have to go to Foxboro and even if they got by them, they'd have to probably go on the road to Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship. So that's...not great.

- - -

The way it shakes out, no matter what happens, the divisional round and AFC Championship most likely will include the Patriots and Steelers, the two toughest teams and worst matchups for the Chiefs. It would be nice to at least get the Steelers at home, and it's even possible (though unlikely) that if the Chiefs grabbed #2 seed, they could play 2 games at Arrowhead if the Patriots lost their first game.

- - -

The Dolphins, Raiders and Texans don't scare me at all. But I don't think that will come into play.







Thursday, December 22, 2016

Even if Trump starts a nuclear war, everyone who voted for Clinton will be like "See! We didn't want shit like this to happen!"

And everyone who voted for Trump somehow find a way of defending it. "I think it's good, it shows that we're strong!"

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2016 Master Kansas City Barbecue List

Back in 2010, I claimed the Mount Rushmore of BBQ was Joe's, Jack Stack, Gates and Arthur Bryant's. I've been posting pictures and reviews of barbecue here for 10 years. In that time, new restaurants have opened and I've grown older and wiser. Plus, as a resident, I'll be able to really try multiple things. For convenience, I'm going to make this as a master post that will be updated, eventually ranked. This will keep track of what I've had and places I need to try.

To be fair, I'm wiping the slate clean and will only keep track of visits starting in 2016. The numbered rankings should be considered very flexible in the early stages, subject to change as I visit new places and revisit already ranked ones.
_________________________________________

Places I've Been

1. Char Bar


Just tried this place for the first time on 12/6/16. Mercy. The burnt end and ribs were stellar. Brisket and beans, also good. But I'm going back for the burnt ends and ribs. And the atmosphere/drinks is the best I've been to.

2. Q39



Visited their original location (on 39th street) on 7/15/16. Brisket and ribs were both killer. They're opening a second location that just happens to be minutes from my apartment. Weird.


3. Burnt End BBQ



Tried this place on a whim on 7/16/16, burnt ends and brisket, beans and fries. Burnt ends were the star of the show, hence the name.



Turns out my apartment is just a few minutes away from this place as well. Weird. Dropped in for the jumbo burnt end sandwich and fries today 12/11/16. Since I knew what I liked, I didn't feel pressured to get the 3-meat combo with 2 sides like I usually do when I'm trying a place. Great burnt ends and plenty of meat on the sandwich. I like their sauce assortment and nice atmosphere. Very chill.


4. Arthur Bryant's

Went with co-workers on my first day at work, 11/30/16. Didn't take a picture but had the burnt end sandwich and fries. Funny thing was I ordered the lunch special: brisket sandwich. But they gave me a burnt end sandwich. It was awesome, so I should be thanking them. Their sauce is distinctive, and I like it, but it's not my absolute favorite. Still, this is a classic.





(gaping chasm)





5. Joe's

Was going to go here today but they're closed on Sundays.


If you ask around, this is many people's favorite place. For me it's always been solid, but never amazing. Had the brisket, ribs and beans on 7/14/16. I don't think I've had their burnt ends because they only serve them on certain days. I'll certainly go there but I doubt this will ever be my favorite place.


Finally tried their burnt ends on 12/14/16. I've given this place so many chances over the years, and it never quite matches up with the competition. It's never bad. Just a 4-star place in a 5-star city. You can see it the picture. Compare Joe's burnt ends with Burnt End BBQ. See how uniform and cube-like they are at Joe's. They're dry. See how unique and juicy the ones at Burnt End are. I'm not eager to go back here. If I do go back, I think you have to stick with the Z-man sandwich. It's tasty, but I still think it's the barbecue sandwich for people who don't really love barbecue. 


6. Gates

My only review for this place that counts (2016-present) is a bad one. I went on the way to the airport, so I went to the State Ave location on 12/2/16. Ordering was a mess. I got a beef on bun with fries and the beef was dry, and a weak portion. Unsatisfied. And then I remembered my other trip to this location was bad as well. So I'm optimistic that this is just a poor spot and I'll try elsewhere.



This one hurts. Just two years ago, I was convinced Gates and Arthur Bryant's were the two best barbecue places on the planet. And I thought if I could only go to one, I'd pick Gates. I had the burnt ends at my usual Overland Park location on 12/15/16. Disappointed. Just not in the same ballpark as Char Bar, Q39, Burnt End BBQ or Arthur Bryant's. Next time I go, I think I should stick with the Double Decker, but man...I'm wondering what happened. Was it just that nostalgia and vacation excitement blinded me in the past, or did it really go downhill? Either way, I'm not dying to go back. 


(not ranked) Jack Stack 

I've been to this place many times in the past and I technically ate their burnt ends at Arrowhead on 12/8/16 but I'm not going to count that. They weren't that good but I know it's not their real kitchen, I won't hold it against them.



_________________________________________

Places I Want To Try


Danny Edward's
Slap's
Brobeck's
Plowboy's
Jon Russel's
Woodyard
Blind Box
Roscoe's

Official BBQ Map

_________________________________________


I've gotten pretty good and being able to look at yelp pictures and tell if the burnt ends look good or not. This post was created 12/11/16, but I expect to edit and repost occasionally. And the good news is that even not-the-best barbecue is still pretty good. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Friday, December 09, 2016

Raiders at Chiefs: I Was There at Arctic Arrowhead

I bought my ticket after week 1. The Chiefs and Raiders were both 1-0. My first night game at Arrowhead. I hoped it would have playoff implications. I assumed it would be in the 40s or 50s.

I booked a flight and a hotel for the trip, because those are things you would typically use. But I didn't use either. I drove my car. And on Wednesday I signed a lease on an apartment, becoming a Kansas City resident again, over 23 years since I left. Thursday I arrived at Arrowhead, not on vacation like I've done the last 5 times. This time, I was home.



Holy shit, it was cold.

They opened the gates at noon. There was a line of cars waiting. I heard people starting arriving at 8 in the morning. I had a 4 o'clock meeting and arrived at the stadium around 5:15. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I knew the cold was going to be a problem. I was wearing 5 shirts and 4 pairs of socks. But it wasn't going to be enough. I walked up the stadium eager to get inside, browse the Hall of Honor and warm up before kickoff. The gates are locked. I hear a security guard say they won't open until 6. That half-hour was brutal. I walked around just to stay warm but it didn't really help. Eventually I lined up. It took forever to get to 6. But even once they opened the gates, my line was molasses. Eventually at 6:15 I gave up and switched lines and was inside 5 minutes later.



By the time I get up the concourse ramps, it's 6:30. Pregame intro stuff will start at 7. So I didn't really have time to go searching for the Hall of Honor. Instead I bought some Jack Stack burnt ends outside gate 326. I ate them in the exposed air and was really weird eating something so warm in such a cold place. Burnt ends were just okay. I duck into an elevator vestibule to warm up. I decide to get a spiked hot chocolate and head to my seat.

The crowd would eventually be full, but even during pregame intros it was a little thin. I really wanted to get a shot of the flames going off. So I took a video and just now was able to pause and screenshot. Really happy with this.



Between the cold and the night game and the spectacle of the whole thing and moving here, I forgot for a minute what's on the line for this game. In the moment, it just feels like I hope they get a first down here, or get a stop here. But yeah, first place and the all-important bye + home game could be swung by this game. Easily the most important game I've ever been to.

The game starts and the Raiders go 3 and out. You're thinking how cold it is that it's going to be hard for either team to do anything. It might be a 7-10 game. They punt it away to Tyreek Hill and the crowd is geared up. And Tyreek muffs it. The ball is a frozen rock. Raiders get the ball at the KC 38. We're all deflated in the crowd.

I think to myself, "This is one of those games. Where there's going to be mistakes and drops and the game could be decided on one of those."

The Chiefs defense goes back and and stops them again. The Raiders get 3 points on a field goal but couldn't move the ball.

I should add before the field goal, it looked like Cooper caught a pass, fumbled, recovered by the Chiefs. That was the call on the field, and I watched the replay. I don't think there's conclusive evidence that he never had control. This was the first call that went the Raiders way.

At some point I notice that everyone is still standing. We were standing for the pregame anthem and everything and then no one sat down. It was like a college atmosphere. (Also, the seats were cold.)

Chiefs get the ball and face a 3rd and 10. And this game manager fires a deep shot to Chris Conley who makes the catch for a 39 yard game. Later it's 4th and 1 on the OAK 27 and Reid calls a Spencer Ware run. Looks like get got it but a short spot says turnover on downs. Another call goes the Raiders way.

A couple of punts go by and the first quarter ends with the Raiders up 3-0. They have passing and rushing stats on the scoreboard and I can see the Chiefs are up about 100 yards with nothing to show for it. Our offense was moving the ball better than theirs but because of the turnover, the Raiders have the lead.

But then Alex Smith fires another deep ball to Tyreek Hill running a post route. Steps up in the pocket, perfect throw, perfect catch.



It's 7-3 and I can relax for a second. No longer haunted by the muffed punt.

On the next series, the Chiefs get the first call to go their way. Carr scrambles on 3rd down and stretches the ball as he runs out of bounds but they call it 4th and 1.

There was a beautiful sequence on the ensuing drive. On a 1st and 20, Alex Smith scrambles, seemingly crosses the line of scrimmage than backpedals before firing the ball to Conley who runs for a 31-yard game. No flag is thrown. Someone on the field (possibly Kelce) signals to Alex to do a hurry-up to prevent a Raiders challenge. It takes the Chiefs about 15 seconds to run down the field and get up to snap the ball. Not only do the get the ball off without a Raiders challenge, but Khalil Mack is taking his sweet time walking down the field and is 10 yards offside.

Just beautiful awareness from the Chiefs and a lack of awareness by the Raiders. You know what it reminded me of? The last time Khalil Mack was 10 yards offside. Look at this shit from two years ago.

For the record, it was a good call by the officials as Smith's feet crossed the line of scrimmage but not his body. Linesman was in the perfect spot to call it:



A few plays later Chiefs would convert for a touchdown and it's 14-3. Arrowhead is feeling it. Feeling it so much that the Raiders start the drive with a false start. 1st and 15. They go 3 and out and punt to Tyreek Hill.

He's got that Dante Hall in him where he thinks he can break any return. He takes a punt, dances around and ends up losing 4 yards on the return. But there's a flag on the sideline. I notice it immediately. It seems to take the officials a minute or two to get around to acknowledging there was a penalty.

Reid has a choice. Add the 5 yards to the spot taking the ball at the 35 or rekick. He chooses rekick.

Returns are the most exciting play to see live. The Chiefs have had some good ones from Dante Hall's incredible streak to McCluster's TD on the opening night of New Arrowhead to Knile Davis opening the playoff win last year with a TD. But Tyreek might even be better than Dante Hall. So it makes sense that the crowd loves Tyreek Hill the player. (Not his incident off the field of course. It has to be said, by law any time you talk about Hill.) The crowd starts chanting Ty-reek, Ty-reek. We knew he had it in him. Here's what it sounded like if you turn your speakers up to 20.

And wouldn't you know that penalty proved costly. Tyreek Hill gets his second touchdown of the night and it's 21-3 in the second quarter.

In my head I start thinking greedy. I want there to be no doubt who the better team is. I'm thinking this could be 42-10.

Just the second play after Arrowhead was going ballistic, Derrick Johnson goes down with a non-contact injury. Fuck. Almost immediately we get word on the phone that it's an Achilles. Done for the year.

Players are taking knees and praying.

To this point, the Raiders hadn't moved the ball at all. But sure enough, that drive they get at TD right before halftime. 21-10. We've got a game again.

Even though it's a tremendous game, it's so cold that it's hard to enjoy it. At least, it's hard to forget about the cold. At halftime I buy a Chiefs Steak (burnt end cheesesteak) just to try and warm up. I figure something warm inside plus digestion would help. I go back to the elevator vestibule and the secret is out. We've got over 50 people crammed into this hallway.

Before I know it, halftime is over. Didn't really warm up at all. As I'm climbing up the steps to my seat, the crowd groans. I wasn't even looking when Alex through the pick. Raiders start inside the red zone but can't move the ball. Settle for 3. 21-13. One possession game. So much for the blowout I wanted.

Very next play. Khalil Mack strip sack. Turns out he does more than get offside penalties. Fuck. Again, the defense holds strong and forces a field goal attempt. But King can't get the snap down. He tries to run but nowhere to go. Turnover on downs. What a break.

Both teams would exchange punts. On 4th and 1 from the OAK 42, Reid sends in the power formation. Having already been denied once, the crowd is pumped to see him go for it again. But instantly I see the motion and realize this is just trying to draw them offside. The punt is downed at the 15, gaining 27 yards of field position by abandoning a chance to score.

In the 4th quarter, Chiefs force yet another punt and get the ball at midfield with 9 minutes to go, up 8. Just a field goal makes it a two possession game with under 8 to play. Just get a field goal. Or on 3rd and 10 Smith can throw a 4-yard pass. Come on. This is what drives fans nuts. He can make all the throws but then so often won't throw the ball to the sticks. Should mention this is also on Reid's playcalling, not just Smith.

So Raiders get the ball with everything on the line. They need to go 85 yards for a TD + 2 point conversion. Just like the Chiefs did in Denver not too long ago. 7 minutes to go.

On 1st and 10 from their 39, Carr throws it toward Crabtree who is well-covered by Nelson. And the refs call pass interference. I'm just going to say it: That call was baloney!

With 3 minutes left, the Raiders face a 4th and 4. Arrowhead is rocking. And the Raiders convert.

Very next set of downs. 3rd and 1 from the KC 14. Incomplete. 4th and 1. They've been running well ever since Johnson got sidelined. Arrowhead ramps it up for 4th down...and it's a false start. So now it's 4th and 6. Carr goes to the air and...


Terrance Mitchell swats it away. Turnover on downs.

But the Raiders have 2 timeouts. Chiefs need a first down to seal the deal. 3rd and 2. Two yards to glory. And Spencer Ware comes up with it! Exactly two yards. Bring on Victory Formation. Holy shit.

Sweet Christ, I'm frozen at this point.

- - -

As I'm walking out, the importance of the game really hits you. The idea that Chiefs could get that bye and guarantee a playoff game at Arrowhead! The last two playoff games at Arrowhead were 2010 and 2003, both losses.

- - -

Drives for the Raiders
3 (punt)
12 (FG)
-3 (punt)
6 (punt)
9 (punt)
-2 (punt)
92 (TD after Johnson injured)
halftime
4 (FG)
-2 (botched FG snap)
11 (punt)
26 (punt)
15 (punt)
66 (turnover on downs)

Drives for the Chiefs
48 (turnover on downs)
21 (punt)
70 (TD - pass to Hill)
78 (TD - run by West)
(TD - Hill punt return)
halftime
5 (INT)
-6 (fumble)
25 (punt)
15 (punt)
49 (punt)
4 (punt)
10 (victory formation)

Chiefs were moving the ball better than the Raiders all game. Chiefs D was incredible holding the Raiders to 6 points after 3 turnovers in KC territory. The Chiefs win by winning the turnover battle. This game they lost that 0-3 and were in control of most of the game.

- - -

9-game winning streak against AFC West opponents.
5-game winning streak against the Raiders.
Even broke the Al Michaels curse.

Good times to be in Kansas City.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Chiefs 23, Raiders 20

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

January 22, 2017

Seattle at Dallas
KC at New England


Sunday, December 04, 2016

Chiefs Do It Again

The best Chiefs seasons I've seen were 2003 (started 9-0, Dante Hall return TDs, finished 13-3 with a bye) and 2015 (10 game winning streak to make the playoffs and 30-0 win over Texans in playoffs).

This year has potential to top both.

Currently 9-3 and 3-0 in the division, this year has been filled with more memorable wins than any other season.

Here's my ranking of the wins, in terms of most exciting, memorable, important:

1. Broncos
2. Chargers
3. Falcons
4. Panthers
5. Raiders
6. Saints
7. Colts
8. Jets
9. Jags

What's remarkable is that a road victory over the Colts, avenging the demons of the 45-44 playoff loss is only 7th on this list. A physical, solid game over the division-leading Raiders is only 5th on this list.

The first four wins on this list were simply incredible, must-watch games. The kind of games that you're lucky to get one a year. I wrote about the Broncos last week and the Chargers back in September. I mean the Chiefs were down 17 with 11 minutes to go and threw an interception. You're not supposed to win when that happens.

I never wrote about the Panthers game but it too was incredible. The defending NFC Champs were up 17-0 in the second quarter. A KC field goal before the half made it 17-3. With 12 minutes to go in the game, the Chiefs settle for a field goal attempt on 4th and 10 from the Carolina 18. That kick turned a two possession game into a two possession game and I'm never a fan of scores like that. But Andy Reid's decision was vindicated when ERIC BERRY gets a pick six and now it's 17-14. Chiefs D forces a punt and with 5 minutes to go it looks like KC will drive for the win. They end up settling for a field goal, tying it up with 4 to play. Then you start worrying. All Carolina needs is a field goal win, they can drive down, run the clock and kick and we won't get the ball back, etc. But I didn't really need to worry. Because MARCUS PETERS will just take the ball away from you. (He also punts it costing the team 5 yards and giving me a heart attack because I thought it would be a 15-yard penalty.) So that comeback win down from 17-0 against a Super Bowl team is only 4th on the list this year. Jesus Christ.

Because today...

- - -

Chiefs came into this one as 3.5 point underdogs against an awesome Atlanta Falcons offense in the Georgia Dome. And boy this one looked like it was getting away from the Chiefs. Atlanta was carving them up early. Julio Jones getting wide open. Moving down the field with ease on first three drives. But the Chiefs red zone defense is something special. After missing an extra point they were down 7-6. The red zone D limits the damage to 2 field goals and it's only 13-6 when it could easily be 21-6. The Chiefs offense scored on an 4th and 1 and when it's 13-13, ERIC BERRY comes up with a pick six just like he did to turn the Panthers game around. When it's 20-16, Andy Reid sends out his offense on a 4th and 1. Atlanta burns a timeout early in the 3rd quarter. After the timeout, Reid lines up for the punt...but it's a fake! TD! Holy crap. Andy Reid inherited a 2-14 football team. He's a really really good coach.

It's now 27-16. Chiefs end up getting a 4th down stop in the 3rd. Maybe Atlanta wishes they got those three points? The Falcons get the ball back and get a TD with 12 minutes left in the game. Down 22-27 they go for two. But there's 12 minutes left. They get stopped. Maybe they wish they had an extra point? Falcons force a punt and end up scoring a TD with 4 minutes left. They finally retake the lead 28-27. Now it makes sense to go for two because they're chasing the points left behind earlier.

And this happens. 

ERIC BERRY! His second return of the game! He returned from freaking cancer and basically won the Panthers game and Falcons game for us. Time to get out the checkbook and pay the man.



Also, could the announcers be more clueless on that last highlight? It's a play that swung the lead and they don't give a shit or even realize that Berry's about to give the Chiefs the lead.

So now instead of needing to drive down the field for a score, the Chiefs just have to run out the clock. Made easier by the timeout Atlanta burned not being ready on the fake punt sequence. Chiefs convert two first downs and run it out. 29-28 win. Sooooo good.

- - -

This team has an identity. They can be scored upon early, but their red zone defense is stout and rise to the occasion, especially in the second half.

They protect the ball on offense and can come up with clutch offensive drives late. The no-huddle is particularly effective.

They can count on big plays from the defense and special teams. They aren't flukes. They happen almost every game. Well coached.

And overall, they never say die. They are Royalesque with their ability to make things happen late.

Some of this defies their reputation. Critics will say this isn't a team built to make comebacks because of the Alex Smith offense isn't suited for that. And yet the comeback wins keep piling up. Critics say the Chiefs aren't a fun team to watch, because Alex Smith checks down a lot, don't have big name running backs or receivers, etc. And yet anybody that saw the Chiefs play Denver or Atlanta got their money's worth and then some. Exciting, awesome football being played.

- - -

After their first win of the year, I bought tickets to a game. I've never been to a night game and I thought that going on Thursday would be easier on Brit since I normally have the kids for most of the weekend. So I bought tickets to the Thursday Night Game. 10-2 Raiders at 9-3 Chiefs. Arrowhead Stadium at night against the Raiders? Winner takes first place and sits in line for the bye? The place will be rocking. Holy shit. Let's keep it going.