by on December 21, 2018
The Dixon Five: Chiefs beat Steelers 42-37 The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 42-37 on Sunday at Heinz Field. Here are five hot takes from the game:1. ZeroThat’s how many days it’s been since the Chiefs beat the Steelers on their home turf. Until the game clock ticked down to triple zeros at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon Kansas City Chiefs Hoodie , the previous count had reached 11,592.(Thanks to Gary McKenzie for making the original calculation).That’s more than 31 years — more than a whole generation, and even longer than the time between Todd Blackledge’s last start as a Chief and Patrick Mahomes’ first one.And it’s not a coincidence that those two are roughly similar periods of time, and occurred almost simultaneously.It’s hard to imagine a more telling illustration of how dramatically things have changed for the Chiefs in 2018 than Sunday’s victory in Pittsburgh. And in this moment, it seems appropriate to propose that we change the focus of our record keeping to reflect this new reality:It has now been 336 days since the Steelers defeated the Chiefs on the road.Of course, Mahomes will no longer be the Chiefs quarterback when this new streak reaches past 11,592 days. By that time, even my grandson Jack will be reaching the end of his career as Kansas City’s starting quarterback under head coach Eric Berry and offensive coordinator Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.Unless — unlike Mahomes — he opts to become a pitcher instead of a quarterback.2. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesAnd yes... it is the light of an approaching train.It’s painted entirely in red, and has Patrick Mahomes Hype Train in enormous gold letters on each side, so no one can miss it.This train has been running a regular schedule throughout the Midwest since April of 2017.But now, its speed is being increased Cheap Customized Kansas City Chiefs Jerseys , and its route is being expanded to include the entire country, with stops at every sports news outlet and talk show — along with break rooms and water coolers at every place of business.I’d normally want to remind you that a train traveling at such a high speed is inherently dangerous to ride, because it can run off the rails so easily.But it sure is fun, isn’t it?3. Hello Sammy Watkins!Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesIf you’ve been waiting for the high-priced offseason acquisition to make an impact on the Chiefs offense, your wait is over.On Sunday, he had 71 yards on four catches — plus another 31 yards on an end around.And that was just in the first half!He finished the game with 100 yards on six catchesWatkins really showed his stuff on Sunday — getting big yards after the catch, and repeatedly demonstrating his attitude as a ball carrier.This is the advantage Kansas City now possesses: when the opposing team has no choice but to prepare to stop Tyreek Hill, you can script your offense around Watkins (or some other receiver) to start the game.It worked beautifully for the Chiefs in the first half, and then they shifted the focus to Hill in the second.But even late in the game, Watkins had another big gain where he reminded everybody why the Chiefs wanted him on their roster.4.Hello Travis Kelce!Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesHere’s another new reality to which we now have to adjust: when one of the Chiefs receivers doesn’t have a big game, it doesn’t necessarily represent a problem.Travis Kelce had only one catch for six yards in last week’s victory over the Los Angeles Chargers , and more than a few people pointed it out.And that’s OK.Back when the Chiefs didn’t have so many offensive weapons, such a thing could be (and often was) a sign that something was wrong.But in Patrick Mahomes World, all of the Chiefs receivers are going to have days like that.And then they’ll have days like the one Kelce had on Sunday, where he had 106 yards on seven catches, along with two touchdowns.That’s the whole point of having so many offensive weapons — that the opposition has to prepare for all of them, and you get to decide which ones are going to get the emphasis.5. Goodbye rational discussion about the Chiefs defense.Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesNow that the Steelers are just the latest team to put up big yards on the Chiefs defense, the drumbeat is going to get louder.The defense is terrible.The Chiefs didn’t do anything about the secondary in the offseason.Bob Sutton is still living in the 1960s.I’m not going to argue against any of those points — and I doubt it would matter if I did.I’d just point out that if you have an offense that can score so quickly — which the Chiefs certainly do — the end result is that your defense is going to be on the field longer.On Sunday, the Steelers ran 20 more plays than the Chiefs did, and held the ball four and a half minutes longer.That adds up to a tired defense.Furthermore, if your team can routinely jump out to big leads early in the game — which so far, has been the case for the Chiefs — the opponent has no choice but to respond with more emphasis on the passing game.That adds up to a lot of passing yards given up.I’m not suggesting that we should just shrug our shoulders and accept it.The defense is going to have to be better for the Chiefs to have realistic playoff expectations.But with such an explosive offense in hand Kansas City Chiefs T-Shirt , it takes pressure off the defense, giving them time to develop as a unit and improve.They don’t have to be the best in the league.But if they can even be average, that might be enough for the Chiefs to be a very hard team to beat at the end of the year. When the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 45-10 on Sunday night, it was more than just a rebound from a tough loss.For head coach Andy Reid, it was also his 200th victory as a head coach.Speaking after the game, he said it was fun.“I enjoy when both sides and the special teams are going well,” he said.“That doesn’t happen all the time. It’s normally one group carrying the other group. That’s the National Football League. When they all come together — and good things happen — it’s enjoyable. This was a good one.”The 200-win club is pretty exclusive. Reid is only the 10th coach in NFL history to reach the milestone.But once reaching it, he didn’t seem interested in putting a lot of emphasis on it.“That’s an individual thing, I’m not really good with that,” he said. “We are about team. I know a lot of people involved with each one of those wins that have been crucial, so Kansas City Chiefs Hats , I enjoy it and I appreciate it, but I would tell you it’s everyone. Everyone is involved. I’ve been blessed to be around some good people, players and coaches. Ownership has been phenomenal. I’ve been really blessed to be in a great position and be a part of it.”Reid was asked about the touchdown celebrations the players have been putting together.“It’s a young bunch. They do this during the week. They do it here, I get to see it all the time. I am a grandfather. These guys are moving around and enjoying what they are doing. It’s fun to be a part of and fun to watch.”This is a pretty common attitude from men of Reid’s age. I know this simply because Reid and I are very close to the same age, and I see it not only in myself, but also in a lot of my contemporaries. Being a grandfather changes how you look at things.And being around the grandkids keeps you young — even if they’re only your grandkids because of an NFL contract.“They do keep you young,” Reid said of his players. “You can’t help but feel the energy. They are running around. One thing they do is they come out every day and enjoy what they’re doing. They play fast, and I have to slow them down at times in practice. I can’t say enough about them.”
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