Some people are fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. This 2017 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Kansas City Chiefs.
Your 2016 record: 12-4. You’re not gonna believe this, but the Chiefs ended their season with a divisional round playoff loss at home! WHY I’M GOBSMACKED I AM. Every year, there’s a five-minute window where TV people are like, “You know, the Chiefs may very well be the best team in the AFC!” and then we all have good hearty laugh.
I wanna take you back to that Steelers game for the moment, because it was the most Chiefs loss possible. Every time I think the Chiefs can’t lose in Chiefs-ier fashion, they outdo themselves. Remember that they postponed that game due to an ice storm, and remember that the Steelers didn’t score a single touchdown that night and still won anyway. And then, remember this…
Ugh. It really is amazing how every Andy Reid playoff team will lose in the exact same way: by barely hanging around until the near-end, and then fucking up in the lamest, most disappointing possible fashion. They can’t even make a game of making a game of it. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been like, “Well, it’s still an eight-point game! Something exciting might happen!” only to have the Chiefs extinguish ANY excitement by committing a dumb penalty and/or taking nine years to kick a field goal and then blowing the onside kick. Then I turn the TV off in disgust. EVERY TIME. God, what an awful game. I should have been paid a stipend to watch it.
Your coach: Andy Reid, who only displays aggression when he’s quietly maneuvering to shove front-office adversaries out the door. SHOW THE DAMN GIF:
Start every day with this gif and you will be a healthier, happier person. Anyway, joining Andy Reid and the Chiefs together may be God’s cruelest act. Together, they regularly discover entirely new dimensions of choking.
Your quarterback: Alex Smith! For just a few more weeks!
Has any player lasted as long in this sport without making any plays? Alex Smith has thrown for over 20 TDs twice in a dozen years. He routinely struggles to throw for over 200 yards in a game. After 10 weeks last year, he had completed a grand total of EIGHT passes that traveled 20 or more yards in the air.
He is, at this point in his career, the ideal quarterback for when you don’t want your quarterback to do anything at all. He’s not a game manager. “Manager” implies someone who does things. Managers file reports and stuff! No no, Alex Smith is more of a vestigial side dish to any football game. He’s the little paper cup of coleslaw that comes with every order. He’s pleasantly worthless. From now until the end of time, you could insult any QB by comparing him to Alex Smith and I’ll know your EXACT issues with that player: weak arm, short passes, eternally TERRIFIED to turn the ball over. No one likes Alex Smith. He and Sam Bradford aspire to be one another.
This is the part where trot out one of my favorite stats, which is that the Chiefs have not won a game with a QB they drafted in three decades. Holy, holy shit. But that may finally change this season, because the Chiefs—God help me—drafted a QB in the first round for the first time since 1983. They finally went and did it. Say hello to your new God, KC:
That’s Patrick Mahomes, who will have “raw” added as a prefix to his name for the next five years. I grew up watching his dad pitch for the Twins, and now I feel monstrously old. Anyway, if I know Andy Reid, he will A) sit Mahomes for so long that your balls explode and you die from screaming at every shot of Mahomes lingering on the sideline with a clipboard, and B) fashion Mahomes into a robotic pocket passer who will only throw the ball 10 yards or longer if a fire breaks out. Just like Alex Smith! Gonna be a good year. Mahomes got robbed already.
By the way, if Mahomes is anything like every other prolific Texas Tech passer, I think you’re in for a real treat. VIVA GRAHAM HARRELL.
What’s new that sucks: The GM got canned (in June?) and replaced with a Reid stooge, which means we’re roughly three years away from the organization souring on Reid entirely. Jeremy Maclin was cut via voicemail, which offends me because any considerate person would send a text instead. Lovable DT and better-QB-than-Alex-Smith Dontari Poe went to Atlanta. Jamaal Charles got sent to a glue factory in Denver. Tamba Hali is still livid that he barely saw the field against Pittsburgh. Even with Mahomes sitting in the on-deck circle, this is still the same unthreatening, mildly above average team you’ve seen for a few years now.
What has always sucked:
“Compliments to the Steelers, they were the better team today,” Reid said. “Too many errors that we made. My responsibility to make sure those are right, and we didn’t do it.”
Put it on a fucking plaque. That is your life eternal, KC. Just a string of dumb losses followed by even dumber explanations. As for Kansas City itself, it is at the very nexus of America’s methamphetamine and Intelligent Design industries. Like the Chiefs come playoff time, people in both Missouri and Kansas are very, very good at deploying ignorance to hurt themselves.
Did you know? You guys fall good.
What might not suck: Tyreek Hill is an absolute dynamo and one of the most exciting players in football. Sure glad he doesn’t have any kind of violent history that forces me to make a moral compromise every time I see him play!
HEAR IT FROM CHIEFS FANS!
Since Andy Reid took over in 2013, I have gone to a really good local BBQ joint (Jack Stack) probably half a dozen times. Sometimes for a nice dinner on a Friday night with my wife and the visiting in-laws. Sometimes for a mid-week work lunch with a friend. Sometimes during the season, sometimes during the off-season. I have seen Andy Reid at the restaurant EVERY. GODDAMN. TIME.
I want you to get out a quarter and flip it. Heads = Patriots, tails = Steelers. That’s how you can determine which team the Chiefs will lose to in the Divisional Round of this year’s AFC playoffs.
The Lamar Hunt trophy is named after our dead founder and we’ve NEVER won the fucking thing! Meanwhile the fucking Broncos probably give them away as raffle prizes at their Christmas parties.
This team allowed the Kansas City Royals to win a championship TWICE since their last Super Bowl appearance.
We just lost a home playoff game in which we held the Steelers to six field goals. Yet it might not be in the top five of most painful playoff losses I have seen.
Our all-time leading rusher was let go, could have been re-signed for almost nothing, and went to Denver. Fucking hell.
Near the end of the first half in our Divisional Game loss to the Steelers, I remarked to a friend, “If any team could prevent their opponent from scoring a single touchdown AND STILL LOSE, it’s the Chiefs.” Why do only my bad predictions come true?
Arguably the most dynamic offensive weapon on the team tried to choke his pregnant girlfriend to death.
The team cut an old and broken down RB and the mouth-breathing fans were furious when he signs a deal with a divisional rival. TRAITOR. They act like Charles should have retired instead of signing with the Broncos. GTFO.
During the third quarter of our second-round playoff game, there was a long Steelers pass. As my buddy rightfully yelled out “Why is Justin Houston in the backfield?”, a drunk guy planked from the row above us and knocked down the very nice 60-something woman behind me. He didn’t apologize when we stood him back up.
I’m now all-in on Patrick Mahomes, who is a less-talented Johnny Manziel without the legal issues. I’m just desperate for a QB who isn’t some 49ers cast-off who throws for 6 yards per attempt. I’m worried, though - based on his Instagram feed he has already blown through his bonus and base salary at the TopGolf in Overland Park.
We cut our best receiver after he skipped his honeymoon to attend OTAs.
I flew from Dallas to Kansas City to attend the Divisional Playoff game against the Steelers in January. Did all that rancid playoff history matter to me? Of course not. I spent a shitload of money to fly into an ice storm to see them lose without giving up a goddamn touchdown. I spent all night yelling in 33F, foggy weather, and came down with the worst case of the flu I’ve had in over 20 years. That’s what I get for thinking they ever have a chance in the playoffs.
The last Chiefs game I ever attended before I moved out of Kansas City, an absolutely shit-faced drunk tailgater literally threw a hot dog into our car and screamed “CHIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEFS!” as we were parking at 7:30 in the morning. Thank god the Royals are good again.
Neat Fact: The Beatles were still a band the last time this team went to a Super Bowl.
Only the Chiefs could win 44 games in four years, be considered a favorite to repeat in the AFC, and then let the following happen:
Release their best running back (who has a history of rebounding from knee surgeries) go to their biggest rival.
Release their top WR by voicemail the week after the Head Coach attends his wedding.
Fire the GM a month before the preseason starts.
Was there any doubt that the successful two-point conversion would be called back on a bullshit holding call? No, there wasn’t. Nor was there any doubt that if there were no holding call, the Steelers would’ve marched right down and kicked field goal number seven at the gun. Rooting for this fucking team has stopped being torturous, since the letdowns are always so inevitable. We expect the other shoe to drop, and it always has.
They fired a GM that produced a winning record in 100% of his seasons. Fans yelled at the organization on Facebook for trading up for Patrick Mahomes. And speaking of Alex, that shitbag lost the playoff game to Pittsburgh despite the fact that the Steelers didn’t score a touchdown. Do you have any idea how hard that is to do? The Chiefs scored two more touchdowns than the Steelers and still lost. They took a QB in the first round for the first time in 34 years and half of Kansas City is angry about it! Even after watching Alex not see Tyreek Hill for at least three touchdowns in that game alone!
The idiot fans here get into fights with the Seahawks about who has the better homefield advantage. Arrowhead turns 46 years old this year. It’s never hosted an AFC Championship game. The Chiefs are also 0-5 at home in the divisional round of the playoffs.
I was 9 when I watched my first playoff game, in which the Chiefs lost because their kicker forgot how uprights work. When I was 17 I watched them lose a playoff game because Dick Vermeil forgot that defense exists. When I was 28 I watched as they blew one of the biggest leads ever in a playoff game. All of these were against the Colts.
Fuck Elvis Grbac. Fuck Larry Johnson. Fuck Jonathan Baldwin. Fuck our Goldman Sachs trust fund baby of an owner. And fuck me for thinking Matt Cassel was the answer.
We traded our first round pick next year to move up for a QB who makes NFL beat writers thumb through their thesaurus for synonyms for “project.”
I remember first getting into football in 1993 when I began watching the Kansas City Chiefs. Joe Montana and Marcus Allen were well past their prime but tapped the fountain of youth for one last run. Derek Thomas and Neil Smith were gods. The rest of the offense would probably wouldn’t make a practice squad in today’s NFL but they did just enough to go 11-5 and win the West.
Then, an incredible playoff run. Montana magic in a home overtime win over the Steelers. An out of nowhere comeback at Houston where they were spiking touchdowns off Buddy Ryan signs. If Kimble Anders doesn’t drop an easy touchdown that gets picked off before half, and Montana’s head isn’t bounced off the turf like a basketball, the Chiefs go to the Super Bowl. But it was a great year and there was no reason to think they wouldn’t be back in AFC Title Games.
Twenty-four years later I would be happy to see them get curb stomped by the Patriots in an AFC Title Game just to see them get back there. And you would be too if you’d if you’d watch a kicker blow three field goals, Rich Gannon ride the pine, Matt Cassel play the worst playoff game for a quarterback in history, your defense fail to force a punt in one game, and then not allow a touchdown in another and STILL lose.
And all those meltdowns happened at Arrowhead Stadium where they haven’t won a playoff game since.....you guessed it.....1993.
Alex Smith is the human manifestation of mayonnaise and white rice.
Here’s my Sunday attire in the fall to support the team, straight from 1993, the last time we had a good QB. I can’t believe I still have this and still wear it. God I hate the Chiefs...
No team has ever been as accomplished at winning a ton of regular season games while at the same time no one in the entire world, including Chiefs fans, seriously believes we’ll contend for a Super Bowl. We’re in NFL purgatory. We’re the Jets of the Midwest. Both teams won their only Super Bowl sometime around the moon landing and have never been back. Both teams never have a good quarterback. And both team’s fans are miserable bastards who have to deal with strangers looking down on us like we have leprosy. The only difference is the media actually realizes the Jets exist and talks about them.
Talk to any person in the world about Kansas City and they all will invariably talk about the “great” barbeque. Except in reality the barbeque is completely average and everyone knows it. It tastes the same as anywhere else, only you have to wait in half hour lines in buildings with no AC, a fly infestation, and a laundry list of health code violations in order to eat it.
But you better believe I’ll be cheering in a few years when they trot out the 3 living members of our Super Bowl team to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of our “championship moment”. Of course, no one can actually remember the game who hasn’t been an AARP member for at least 10 years. I’m a fucking loser. Fuck the Broncos. Fuck the Raiders. Fuck Marty Schottenheimer, Andy Reid, John Elway, Peyton Manning, and Lin Elliot.
1. Start the season so poorly that fans call for Andy Reid’s head and look at college players they should tank for.
2. Close out the season with a bunch of wins against .500-level teams - we’re actually good!
3. Exit with a whimper in the playoffs (no later than the divisional round).
This is the Kansas City way. It happened in 2015, it happened again in 2016, and there’s nothing that makes me believe it won’t happen in 2017, too. Everyone was shitting a brick when their Alex Smith-led offense scored over 30 points in CONSECUTIVE GAMES to end the regular season. Holy fuck! We have an offense AND a defense! This is finally the year! Then, they promptly lost in the playoffs to a team that only kicked field goals. Amazing. Wake me up in 2019 when Patrick Mahomes is throwing for 400 yards and 5 INTs per game.
The fans are convinced the tailgate scene is uniquely AwEsOmE experience. They take pride in taking the tailgate as seriously as they take the game which is really sad since there is absolutely nothing special about a Chiefs tailgate. Oh people prepare delicious finger foods, grill an assortment of meats, and drink alcohol?? I’ve been to a rowdier tailgate for a college hockey game that was held in a neutral site city at an NFL stadium. Anyone who went to a college with a D-1 football team knows that a Chiefs tailgate is run of the mill at best which indicates that the majority the fan base didn’t go to college.
Twenty some years ago when we had the Nigerian Nightmare and a former vacuum salesman running the ball up people’s guts the fan base was hard core. These were people that blew probably 32% of their annual income on season tickets. They wore seven year old shirts purchased from Wal Mart to every game, even though the arrowhead was peeling off. We used to speculate that domestic violence calls to the police increased by 25% on every losing Sunday. You know what, though, the were fans. Through every game of Martyball, and every disappointing post-season, they were there. Now fans have gotten fickle. The game has become more about the pre-game scene that what happens on the field. Hell, most fans hardly venture into the stadium at all, instead spending time in the parking lot pretending they have the winning ticket for the American Royal BBQ Cookoff. The team now understand this and is now charging $60 PER GAME for parking in their lot. This still won’t discourage the tailgate superstar. They will still roll up in their high dollar SUV and take up three spots with so they can play a rousing game of cornhole. Maybe if the team starts sucking again full time they can shed some of the dead fan weight.
I live with 4 roommates (growing up quickly in my late 20’s):
Brent has a Dustin Colquitt (punter) jersey and truly believes he’s the best player on our team (hard to argue with).
Brett is on Alex Smith’s dick so deep that he thinks the Chiefs are a shoe-in for the Super Bowl.
Kevon is a Rams migrant who won’t stop saying that Alex Smith will win the MVP.
Maggie doesn’t know anything about the Chiefs but has season tickets so she can get blacked out at Arrowhead on Sunday mornings.
Maggie is by far the most intelligent Chiefs fan in our house.
We have been a team for approximately 4,000 years and have less than 10 playoff wins. At no point in my life have I ever truly believed that the Chiefs were an honest contender to win a championship. All of our best teams have had some fatal flaw that you knew was going to eventually rip your fucking heart out in early to mid January.
With Marty, the defense was awesome but our quarterback was always some Ghirardelli-stained shitbag fished out of a San Francisco sewer.
With Dick Vermeil, the offense scored a million points per game but our defense was a breathtaking collection of losers. Look at some of these names: Eric Hicks, Jerome Woods, Dexter McCleon, Ryan Sims. These were our BEST defensive players. (We also had Mike Maslowski, a slow shitty linebacker that the fans loved because he was white. I’m shocked the city didn’t collectively jizz the moment we signed Peyton Hillis.)
Now with Andy Reid, the defense is awesome, our special teams unit is amazing, the offense has some legitimate weapons, but Andy Reid. We have six primetime games this year. We’ll get humiliated in at least four of them. This season is going to be an embarrassment.
We are the most insecure fanbase in all of sports. We cling to our “Loudest Stadium” record like the rest of the world actually gives a shit. If those annoying fucks in Seattle ever break the record, all of Kansas City will drunkenly mutter “Well, their’s was designed to be loud...” before swallowing a bullet.
Every Chiefs fan is a moron, myself included. Walk through the Arrowhead parking lot and you’ll hear hot takes that are mind-numbing. “Derrr I like that Mahoney kid we drafted but I think we should have taken Gus Fluffenfucker out there from Missouri State. Derrrr.” They never pronounce players’ names right and they always want to use a high draft pick on a guy you never heard of from one of the nearby shitty schools.
Here’s some stupid shit I’ve seen at Arrowhead:
-People smoking cigarettes at their seat. This happens all the time. And whenever one of the guest services people tells them to stop, they all get indignant and act like they didn’t know that it was against the rules.
-Two guys with Marcus Allen jerseys tucked into their jeans refused to sit down after I told them my grandma couldn’t see. No one else in our section was standing. Later on, one of the guys tried to kiss the woman sitting next to him. She had already told him several times that she was married and not interested. He was asked to leave but his buddy stayed. The Chiefs lost to Miami, 31-3.
-A dude losing his shit because the Chiefs had just lost a PRESEASON game. When his friend pointed out that the game didn’t mean anything, the dude punched his friend in the face.
-A woman in a Louie Aguiar jersey called my mom a bitch for no reason.
I have to stop because I’m getting too depressed and angry. If the Department of Child & Family Services came today and took my daughter away for forcing this franchise on her, I would understand.
Fuck Lin Elliot. Fuck Eric Fisher’s inability to block a 39-year-old psychopath. And double fuck Scott Pioli with his stupid candy bar wrapper.
A hopeful season ended with an improbable run to the AFC West title! And what did that net us? A tight end who spent more time ripping refs for correct calls than he did catching important passes, a high paid QB/WR tandem that couldn’t be on the same page if their lives depended on it, and an NBC broadcast that spent 90% of their time fellating the Steelers organization and 10% of their time ripping every decision KC made.
(The worst part about the broadcast was Collinsworth talking about James Harrison like he wasn’t on some sort of banned substance. “He’s in amazing shape and is tearing through people in their 20s!” Ya fucking think?!)
I’ve seen our apex and it is a second round playoff exit led through the regular season by Ryan Gosling’s uglier cousin, a woman beater, and a defense we will soon be unable to afford.
This pic is from last season’s Week 1 Preseason game. I know, it’s preseason, who gives a shit? Let’s be honest though, preseason is really just an extra four weeks of watching this team find new ways to stomp on its own nutsack.
Let’s look at what the Chiefs have been up to since yet another crushing home play-off loss:
1 - We fired our general manager mid-Summer because reasons, then to the surprise of absolutely fucking nobody, hired internally.
2 - Had to listen to one of my all-time favorite Chiefs Jamaal Charles talk about what a dream it was to suit up for the Denver Broncos.
3 - Jeremy Maclin was cut because just like every year we can’t figure out how the salary cap works. Now our receiver corps might as well be Tyreek Hill and those two dipshits from the Sonic commercials.
4 - Out of goddamned nowhere Tamba Hali tweeted a bunch of stuff about not playing in the play-off loss to Pittsburgh. I thought Tamba had been cut already.
5 - Justin Houston still has a knee that stages an insurrection if it even sees a football field. The training staff that misdiagnosed that injury has been let go. I’m just kidding, they’re still here.
6 – Travis Kelce probably did something crazy but at least for once the world didn’t have to know about it.
7 – Alex Smith, the NFL’s equivalent to the Olive Garden, wasn’t cut.
8 - Pretty much everyone important skipped OTAs, because fuck, wouldn’t you?
9 – Derrick Johnson might not return. Chris Jones is already hurt. Elvis Fisher is still mediocre. Michael Vick is a coaching intern whatever the hell that means. Dee Ford mows my lawn. Finally, our ball-hawking, cancer-surviving, ass-beating safety Eric Berry had to fight to get a decent contract.
Also, I don’t care if it’s been over twenty years. Suck a suitcase full of dicks, Lin Elliot.
I am writing this fresh off the loss to Pittsburgh in the Divisional round because I need to tell the world that Football Hell is not the worst place to be. The Chiefs have been to hell several times and at least those awful situations provide the calming thought of future hope. Purgatory is a much worse, darker place. Knowing that you will be good enough to compete each year but not good enough to actually do anything of note is purgatory. Knowing you are stuck with a successful regular season coach in Andy Reid who refuses to stop calling his own shitty plays on offense is purgatory. Knowing that same coach will eventually shit all over himself come playoff time if they do make it there is purgatory. Knowing we will soon be handing him a shiny new contract extension and signing up for four or so more years of this is purgatory. Knowing that going forward each year you need to go up against the Raiders who are actually building a good team, the Chargers who have good talent and a good QB, and the Broncos who are one of the most successful franchises in the sport is purgatory. Knowing that the Chiefs have only really had success with other cast-off coaches from other franchises over the last 30 years is purgatory. Knowing that the Chiefs have not had a QB that they have drafted win a game for them since 1987 is purgatory. Knowing that in the 47 years since winning the Super Bowl in the 1969 season the Chiefs have won exactly 4 playoff games is purgatory. Knowing that the only four seasons for which the Chiefs have ever earned a playoff BYE they had a combined regular season home record of 30 and 2 but also lost in their very first playoff outing in all 4 of those seasons is ridiculous purgatory.
After somehow managing to hold our opponent to zero touchdowns in a home playoff game, after a bye, and still lose, I wasn’t surprised. This is the general life of Chiefs fandom, and after twenty seven years of this garbage (being winless in home division playoff games my entire life) I was not the least bit surprised. It was probably less painful than all the other times because I am older and expected it... or so I thought.
Everyone at the bar started getting me sympathy shots after the holding call took away our chance to win. I was eight different types of yardsale drunk at this point. I stumbled a few blocks away to see my wife who was spending time with our mutual female friend. My wife kissed me goodbye to go home early and study (she’s going to be a doctor) and I stuck around just having a few more with our mutual friend (who made our wedding cake and is married herself) until I completely passed out on her couch from being sad, Chiefs drunk.
I wake up at five am to a million calls from my wife, who is screaming and has decided that I must be being unfaithful “Staying at another woman’s home.” For the next week, she won’t even speak to me, until she finally says “You just never took me camping enough,” and “I’ve found somewhere else to live,” and proceeds to move out.
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