Photo: Charlie Riedel (AP)

Some people are fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.

Your team: Kansas City Chiefs.

Your 2018 record: 12-4. Third-highest scoring team in NFL history. Best Chiefs team of my lifetime. Home field advantage through the AFC playoffs. Hosted the AFC title game. Came back from 14-0 down to lead the Pats in that game, then lost that lead, then drove down the field with under a minute left to tie the game up and send it to overtime. And what happens?

That was your shot, Kansas City. That was your one shot. I know because I’ve lived through my favorite team blowing that one shot, and now you have, too. You had the arguably the most fun team in league history. You had a sudden MVP quarterback. You had the culmination of everything that Andy Reid had ever worked for—putting endless hours on the clock and living through manifold gut-wrenching playoff losses—to finally achieve his idealized vision of what offensive football ought to look like. You forced two turnovers in that game and had none of your own. You almost had a third (except…)! You had all that, and yet you let Rex fucking Burkhead beat you anyway. You will never escape yourselves.

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Your coach: Poor bastard Andy Reid, who blew yet another shot at greatness, only this time with the best team he’ll ever have. Unfortunately for Reid, he forgot that football teams also have to play DEFENSE. Annoying, but true. In the AFC title game, New England scored four rushing touchdowns. They had twice as many first downs as the Chiefs, over 200 more total yards, and held the ball over twice as long, including all of overtime. Really, the Chiefs should have lost by 20. Why, it’s almost a positive they kept it close as they did! Almost. To fix the defense—or more specifically, to HAVE a defense—Reid jettisoned DC Bob Sutton and replaced him with Steve Spagnuolo, who lucked into coaching a talented Giants defense for two years and has milked that resume blip for continued employment ever since.

I am not encouraged. I would genuinely enjoy watching Andy Reid win a title one day. He’s an amiable enough fellow. But you and I know it’ll never, ever happen. Certainly not anymore. Reid’s dumbass assistant won a title in Philly, and yet Andy’s trophy cabinet remains forever barren. He can’t even choke right, losing five conference title games against just one loss on the grandest stage of all. Everyone thinks that the Chiefs would be defending Super Bowl champs right now if Chris Jones hadn’t lightly tapped Tom Brady on the side of the helmet while rushing him, but Andy Reid would have definitely found a way to still fuck it up.

Your quarterback: Reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, who talks like an Alex Jones impression and plays like vintage Brett Favre only without the omnipresent insufferable-ness. Mahomes is one of the coolest players to watch in any sport, but the Chiefs have reliably surrounded him with some of the absolute shittiest humans in the game. And so watching any Chiefs game is like making a second moral compromise on top of the one you already made to watch football in the first place. “Wow hey, these guys are EXCITING! Too bad half of them would punch my grandma in the face!”

Your backup is a CT scan of Matt Moore. Please don’t let Mahomes get hurt. Maybe sequester him from his own teammates as well.

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What’s new that sucks: “What if we made the defense worse?” is a hilarious offseason plan that the Chiefs have committed to because … well because YOU think of a better idea, tough guy! Last year the Chiefs were second-to-last in total defense. But WATCH OUT, Bengals! Your days at the bottom of the sewer are numbered! The Chiefs let key pass rushers and/or offside penalty enthusiasts Dee Ford and Justin Houston walk. To make up the difference, they traded for the Seahawks Frank Clark and gave him $44 million in guarantees. Did I mention that Clark was once charged with choke-slamming his own girlfriend, and that he routinely punches other players, including his own teammates? Did you know that Frank Clark is a generally awful human being? Well see, that’s why he’ll fit right in with this group.

You already know what happened last season when then-RB Kareem Hunt got caught on video kicking and shoving a woman in a hotel. The Chiefs released Hunt, in what seemed to be a bracing zero-tolerance move taken by individual club without waiting for Roger Goodell to do all his usual Roger Goodell shit. But, as with pretty much every other NFL story in this realm, it turned out that the Chiefs were likely negligent in exploring the incident fully, if at all, before scrambling once the public got a chance to witness firsthand videotape of it.

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Everything the Chiefs have done since Hunt’s release (they lost two of five after he left) suggests that they’ve used that move to give themselves permission to bring in a few other players who didn’t have their assaults on camera. They traded for Clark. They stood idly by while star wideout Tyreek Hill was accused of breaking his own three-year-old son’s arm. Then Hill was caught on audiotape telling his own fiancée, the same woman he was caught punching (while she was pregnant!) prior to being drafted, “You need to be terrified of me, too, bitch.” Then Hill said he punches his son in the chest for boxing lessons. I guess when Tyreek Hill is your dad, you DO need to learn to defend yourself.

For now, neither the police nor the NFL have been able to gather up enough evidence to formally charge and punish Hill for any of this. The Chiefs, believing they could afford to lose Hunt but likely not his teammate, “suspended” Hill in April, when a suspension means nothing, and have since welcomed him back with open arms:

We are glad to welcome Tyreek back to the team and look forward to the start of training camp next week.

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Does anyone here think this will end well? Of course not. The Chiefs are just hoping to blow another AFC title before Hill gets accused of throwing a baby through a plate glass window. Tyreek Hill highlights are gonna be like replay reviews now: you’re gonna get very excited in the moment before you remember that everything sucks.

This is the organization that presided over the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide. Belcher shot himself in front of management in the team parking lot. And yet here we are now, seven years later, and they’ve learned exactly nothing since that awful day. Hand this team a million red flags and Reid will just throw them all on the field within the first five minutes of a half.

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The Honey Badger is here now. Damien Williams and Carlos Hyde will replace Hunt and they will do a shit job of it.

What has always sucked: The Chiefs are like the Jets in that they have one title, but that title happened so long ago that it really feels as if they have zero. They’re a combined 2-9 in the divisional round and the championship games since the merger, and I doubt that record improves over time. The offense always inexplicably dies in vital moments. Some random penalty or non-muffed punt quietly ends them. Never cursed, but always stupid. I personally find the Chiefs’ choking a reassuring constant in a game that has become nearly unrecognizable since my youth, but it has been especially painful to watch THIS incarnation of the Chiefs, gifted in so many ways, not only commit the same critical fuckups they always have, but to now do so while playing a likable brand of football using a cast of deeply unlikable people. This is the NFL team that’s best to watch and you STILL feel like shit while doing it.

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This version of the Chiefs is going to go down as the Seven Seconds or Less Suns, a fun team that never wins anything because their defense gives up 33 points to the rotting carcass of the Raiders. They’re every NFL fan’s second-favorite team now, yet somehow doomed to lose to more boring and competent and Burkhead-laden outfits when it matters most. Will that deter their hometown fans from getting high on their own delusions? It will not. Stay as far away from Chiefs internet as you can. It’s even worse than QAnon. Their fans have already gone full Tyreek Truther, proving every fan base is exactly as dumb as you think it is. Their local radio puds have already used Reid’s coaching failures to blame him for his own son’s death. Chiefs fans are Packers fans without the success. The Hunt family are scum. The Chiefs exist to enact karmic vengeance upon a town and a fanbase that will remain forever oblivious as to why they so richly deserve such a fate.

Sammy Watkins still sucks.

What might not suck: The defense is so awful that it won’t take long for you to see the offense back out on the field again. COOL!

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HEAR IT FROM CHIEFS FANS!

Kyle:

“Offside, defense, number 55. Lined up in the neutral zone. Five yard penalty and we will replay third down.”

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Scott:

Interception! We’re going to the supe...........FUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKK!!!!! FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anon:

When we picked off Brady to seal the game my first instinct was to look for yellow on the field. This team never fails in that department. Dee Ford. Dee Fucking Ford. Dee Motherfucking Ford.

Tyreek Hill will probably get a massive contract extension later in the season only to nullify it when he punches a blind person.

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James:

We’ve been gifted a QB that should be able to carry us to a Super Bowl title, but deep down I know it won’t happen.

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Jordan:

Can’t wait for that sweet, sweet cognitive dissonance when I cheer for a wide receiver who’s assaulted his girlfriend multiple times!

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Dustin:

The Chiefs cannot have a good offense and a good defense at the same time.

Jeff:

The only crunch time Andy Reid knows is lunchtime.

Brian:

In 2017 it was a questionable holding call.

In 2018 it was losing a two touchdown lead to the awful Titans.

In 2019 it was lining up so far offsides that it was clearly visible from space.

All of this happened on our home turf.


Neil:

Like most of the civilized world, I was rooting like hell for them in the AFC title game. And like most of the civilized world, I was totally expecting them to lose.

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Chris:

It’s currently 99 god damn degrees in shit hole that is Kansas City and I am sitting here at work pissed as fuck because Dee Ford couldn’t line up onside. Our best restaurant is a gas station. Fuck Elway and fuck you too Magary.

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Gibby:

Mahomes has a cereal that cost $33 right now. That’s more than all of our defenders should be worth.

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David:

The Kansas City Royals drafted Dan Marino and John Elway.

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted Todd Blackledge and Brodie Croyle.

Josh:

I sat through years of watching Alex Smith check down and waste a great defense. Now I get to watch a terrible defense waste the career of our new QB, who is Football Jesus. I can feel it in my bones. Super.

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Tyler:

70% of the country thinks the team is located in the state of Kansas, including Tyrann Mathieu. This has caused so much confusion that the state of Missouri has recently declared them the “Official Team of Missouri.” Kansas City, Missouri has this perception that we’re the new “cool city” to move to/visit. It shows that most city leaders don’t get out of the metro area much.

A large portion of fans who sit in the upper deck of the stadium are racist Trump supporters who hated Marcus Peters because he didn’t stand for the National Anthem. Mind you, these are the same people yelling for TYREEK! every time he catches a punt.

St. Louis no longer has a football team and has won a Super Bowl more recently than the Chiefs.

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Kyle:

The minute the Patriots won the coin flip in OT, every single Chiefs fan knew it was over. Eric Berry is a brave man who beat cancer and was once a stellar safety, but in that game he couldn’t cover the opening riff to Smoke on the Water.

You know how you can spot tourists in big cities because they look dorky and they’re wearing the shirt of the city they’re in? In KC, it’s the exact opposite.

Half the city eats so much BBQ that they bleed molasses and Boulevard Wheat.

Nick:

The same team that scored 51 points against the Rams (the team that shat all over my hometown St. Louis), scored NOTHING against the Patriots in the first half. Every time I go to Kansas City there’s a smelly homeless person who tries to get me to buy him a dinner at TGI Friday’s.

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Nate:

Your average Chief fan drinks like they are bringing back prohibition tomorrow during tailgates.

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Richard:

Chiefs fans missed out on a trip to the Super Bowl because the defense could stop Rex Burkhead from scoring two touchdowns in six minutes. Also, fuck phantom pass interference calls. Brady’s face gets hit harder than that when his kid comes in for a kiss.

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Aaron:

Patrick Mahomes is cool and good. His arm will probably fall off at some point this season.

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Mitch:

I’m French, for Christ’s sake. I’ve been a fan for 4 years now and have exactly 4 playoff heartbreaks to show for it: night games air at fucking 3 in the morning here, and I wake up like an asshole to check.

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Brett:

My dad died last year, right after the season, and was the world’s biggest Chiefs fan (curmudgeonly though: Alex Smith plays the right way, I can’t believe we traded him).

Of course, the Chiefs slay the Colts after getting the 1st Round bye. It’s destiny, Dad is watching from above! All his buddies and ex-girlfriends are calling and texting me ,”he’s with us! can you believe it? Sign FROM GOD! SUPER BOWL OR BUST”

I’m glad he was dead, or Dee Ford would’ve killed him.

Meredith:

Most days I fretfully check over Patrick Mahomes’ social media accounts just to assure myself he’s still a nice Texas guy with an arm cannon and absolutely NO sociopathic tendencies. But it’s the NFL so it’s bound to creep one way or another - he may not brutalize a family member or a female acquaintance in a hotel lobby, but in the five or so years when he finally brings the Vince Lombardi trophy to KC, they’ll be that weird Russell Wilson slide of bleak, dead darkness over his eyes and he’ll start hawking Ionic Dude Juice to make your ions dudelier or whatever. He’s already wearing some of the dumbest sunglasses I’ve ever seen, so the transformation has begun.

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Izzy:

We lucked into the best QB in the league, and lost to the ghost of Tom Brady anyway because our Defensive Coordinator, who everyone knew before the season was a liability, let the Patriots beat him with the same fucking route into the same fucking coverage on three consecutive 3rd downs.

The Chiefs are the best they’ve been in my lifetime, and all I have to show for it is a shit-pie of racists, abusers, and regrets. Andy Reid has somehow already burned his last time out of the season, and I’m not nearly drunk enough for football season.

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Jack:

Apologies in advance to every other NFL fanbase. If you think Pats fans are toxically obnoxious after a few rings, strap in. It will be so much worse.

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Jeff:

You know that feeling when you are at a car lot and about to buy a car; you know you are going to get fucked, you just don’t know how? That’s what it’s like watching a Chiefs playoff game.

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Jake:

The last time the Chiefs appeared in (and subsequently won) a Super Bowl was on my dad’s 16th birthday. He retired last year and is eligible for AARP benefits.

If the Chiefs don’t at least appear in a Super Bowl by the end of the 2020 season, their last appearance will be chronologically closer to the end of World War I than modern day.

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Matt:

This fucking city is so hypocritical. Twice every year we stand up even higher on our already very high horse to talk shit on how awful of people the Raiders employ. “How can they let that trash on their team?” “We’d never allow those type of people in our city!” Now, because we almost made it to the Super Bowl, we are incapable of seeing our own flaws. Tyreek Hill is on tape telling his girlfriend “You better fear me, bitch.” For those keeping track at home, this is the same girl that he pled guilty to strangling and punching in the stomach while she was pregnant with their now born child. After recently being charged with physically assaulting said child, one female reporter in the KC area calls Hill out for being the obvious piece of shit that he is and everyone in KC turns on the reporter. Now, most people are saying that Kareem Hunt didn’t really do anything wrong. Can’t beat those Midwest values! Tyreek Hill will fuck this team and city over at some point and we’ll completely deserve it.

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Kyle:

The refs threw a penalty flag on an offside call where the player normally receives a verbal warning first? Tom Brady converted three 3rd-and-10 plays to score a go-ahead TD and then Patrick Mahomes came down to get a game-tying FG to force overtime? Chiefs lost the coin toss? Brady marches straight down the field to score a sudden-death, AFC Championship-winning TD? Sure.

I told my best friend before the start of last season that, “The Chiefs are winning the Super Bowl this year, because they’ve run out of ways to lose a playoff game.” Turns out, even though they already experienced “QB catches his own pass for a TD,” they still had “last-minute, game-sealing INT gets nullified thanks to an offside penalty” up their sleeve, because the Chiefs are an endless font of excruciating ways to lose a playoff game. Well, I learned my lesson.

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Alex:

My dad and I are lifelong Chiefs fans and we landed tickets to the AFC championship game. On the infamous Dee Ford offsides play, nobody in my section saw the flags thrown - we only saw what should have been the game-sealing interception. Delirious with joy, everyone stopped paying attention to what was happening on the field, hugging each other and shouting “We’re going to the SUPER BOWL!!!” Our Super Bowl drought was over, and we were here to witness it! The future was here - suck it, Brady! We turned around just in time to see the offsides penalty called.

I thought that after seeing this team blow a 38-10 lead against the Colts, lose to the Steelers despite giving up zero touchdowns (an NFL first!), and choke away a 21-3 lead to the goddamn Titans after allowing the QB to throw a TD pass to himself, I would be numb to any additional playoff heartbreak. Each year this team does something a little more stupid with the stakes a little bit higher so that we can all keep feeling the pain.

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BonerFace:

The most popular (as far as I know) team blog underwent a civil war last year and there has been a website schism. A sizable minority of the people who read it threw a complete fucking tantrum when the site banned posting cheesecake gifs of Asian girls in victory celebration threads. People whined and complained about it so hard, a lot of them got purged. Then they went and made a new website that respects FREE SPEECH or whatever (I imagine it’s like Barstool for Chiefs fans, but with somehow even less talent). Now they drop by the original blog every now and then to talk about how much it sucks and how management is doing a terrible job.

Chiefs fans: Apparently we don’t know that PornHub exists.

PS: The tomahawk chop is so fucking racist and they just built a new section in the stands specifically for the drum so we can be more fancily racist.

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Andrew:

I spent the entire off-season watching Chiefs fans throw themselves in front of a bullet for Tyreek Hill more or less every day on social media, and it was hard not to be disgusted by the sight. I know Chiefs fans are far from unique in that regard, and the entire situation with Hill was so scrambled and unpleasant that it would have been reasonable to just throw up your hands and say, “Look, I have no idea what happened there.” But nope, that wasn’t enough - Chiefs fans had to adopt “Hey, sometimes bitches lie” as their unofficial motto and question the horrifying crime Hill pleaded guilty to in college (Chiefs fans are now very concerned about racial inequities in the criminal justice system, you know). Just so we’re clear on the hierarchy of sins here: Marcus Peters? Loathsome thug. Tyreek Hill? Poor, innocent, maligned victim of a sensationalist media.

The worst part? Hill’s due for a huge contract extension soon, and if those negotiations get contentious the same people who’ve been defending him will immediately pivot to condemn his greed.

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Beau:

I was at a hotel in Denver the morning of the Jovan Belcher incident, and woke up to this text from my mom. I still laugh extensively every time I read it, and will probably go to hell for it.

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KC:

I’m writing this email on Monday, September 24, 2018. The Chiefs just beat the 49ers to move to 3-0 and we look unstoppable. Patrick Mahomes is entirely un-hateable. Everyone is happy right now and it makes me sicks, because I seem to be the only one aware of what is going to happen. We’ve done this before. We started 9-0 in 2013 and does anyone remember that team? We started 10-0 in 2003 and do you see any banners in Arrowhead for it? NOPE.

This season is going to end in misery. We will probably make the playoffs and then lose to the goddamn wild card Patriots that we can’t stop at home because SURPRISE SURPRISE you need a defense to do anything meaningful in the postseason. The Chiefs have a miraculous ability to be the team that everyone is saying “They might be for real?” in September and by January no one even remembers that they are an NFL team.

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Alex:

We cut Kareem Hunt, not for kicking a girl while she was on the ground, but for lying about it to our billionaire dipshit owner, then immediately went out and signed Frank Clark, also a domestic abuser, while defending Tyreek Hill, who plead guilty to punching his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach. Now our fanbase is tearing itself apart trying to say Hill is innocent because of something he said in a recording while arguing with said girlfriend, and has taken up harassing our local beat writer (who, surprise surprise, is a woman) for covering the story like he’s a convicted abuser. At least we get the chance to waste Patrick Mahomes’ career.

Triple fuck Dee Ford for being offsides.

Jeremy:

There is a scene in Friday where Smokey is ripping on Craig’s family. “Y’all ain’t never got two things that match. Either y’all got Kool-aid, no sugar. Peanut butter, no jelly. Ham, no burger...”

That’s the Chiefs over the last 28 years. They ain’t never got two things that match.

In the 1990s, Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith were wrecking quarterbacks on one of the best defenses in the league. Meanwhile, on offense, it was insert a broken-down NFL castaway QB and pray for 17 points.

In the 2000s, Dick Vermeil had the offense humming along with one of the greatest o-lines ever assembled with Willie Roaf and Will Shields anchoring what was essentially a scoring machine. But on defense, it was soft, squishy zone coupled with an inability to even look at a QB let alone sack one.

Andy Reid shows up and we get two playoff game first halves where the Chiefs look unbeatable followed by second halves that made them a historical footnote in the annals of “largest playoff comeback victories” for their opponents.

Enter football holy terror Patrick Mahomes at QB and the most thrilling and ballsy offense in the league last season... Once again coupled by spare parts, the ghost of Justin Houston’s knee and Eric Berry’s heel, a cold ham sandwich, one guy from the parking lot, and a cross-eyed Dee Ford on defense.

Fuck Dee “They said I was offsides. Was I?” Ford for subjecting all of us to an atrocious Super Bowl.

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Jennifer:

GOAT QB and sentient Trump steak Tom Brady wins the OT toss, rips off 75 yards on 13 plays - a drive in which he faced 3rd and 10 three fucking times and converted all of them - so he could finish the job we started with a 2-yard punch-in to piss on the Chiefs lifeless body to go and win the Super Bowl AGAIN.

Fuck Dee Ford, fuck Bob Sutton, fuck Tyreek Hill and fuck Tom Brady with Gronk’s detached robotic arm.

Patrick Mahomes is the man though and I’m sure we’ll win it all this year.

Submissions for the NFL previews are closed. Next up: New Orleans Saints.