View Full Version : Posnanski: Don't put this all on Tynes

12-12-2005, 02:12 AM

Don’t put this all on Tynes
Kansas City Star

IRVING, Texas — There’s nothing like this feeling in sports. A relief pitcher might give up the game-winning homer in the ninth. A basketball player might hit some crazy three-point shot at the buzzer. A golfer might sink one out of the sand in a playoff.

There’s nothing, though, like watching your kicker miss when it matters.

“I felt sick to my stomach,” Chiefs quarterback Trent Green said.

It wasn’t as if Lawrence Tynes’ missed 41-yard field goal at the buzzer was the reason the Chiefs lost this demoralizing, kick-in-the-teeth game 31-28 to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. No, there were plenty of other reasons. Here were three: a missed block, a dropped interception, a lethal penalty. We’ll get to each of those in a minute.

But none of those three hurt like watching the missed field goal at the buzzer. Nothing in sports hurts quite like the missed kick.

“We’re the better team,” Chiefs linebacker Kawika Mitchell insisted as he was surrounded by cameras and dirty socks and devastated looks in the locker room after the game. He wasn’t spitting sour grapes, either. Everybody in the room felt that way. The Chiefs were the better team. They should have won this game a dozen different ways. But maybe this is why Cowboys coach Bill Parcells is one of the best ever. Pitcher Greg Maddux always left hitters thinking they should have gotten three hits when they went zero for four.

Parcells leaves opponents feeling as if they should have won when they lost.

This game had all sorts of heartbreak for Kansas City. But everyone will remember the finish. The finish was more heartbreaking than “Brian’s Song.” The Chiefs’ offense had the ball on the Kansas City 28. There were 16 seconds left. The Chiefs trailed by three. It was hopeless. And then … Bam! Green hit Samie Parker for 14 yards. Bam! Green hit Dante Hall for 34 yards. There were still 2 seconds left.

And like that, the Chiefs set up for a 41-yard field goal to tie the score. Pain had turned to joy. Anger swung to euphoria. Chiefs were hugging each other. Tynes had missed only one field goal all year from 42 yards and in, and that was way back in the first game.

The Chiefs were suddenly going to tie this game and head to overtime with all sorts of momentum. Suddenly, all the missed chances and bad breaks that had haunted the Chiefs all day long were forgotten. Amazing how that happens.

The Chiefs had missed big chances. They had a chance to, more or less, put this game away in the first half, when they were down to the Dallas 9. A touchdown would have put the Chiefs up 21-10. Larry Johnson missed a block, and Green was sacked by former Chief Scott Fujita. He fumbled. Dallas’ Marcus Spears scooped up the ball and ran 59 yards. The Cowboys ended up leading at the half.

The Chiefs had a chance to put the game away early in the fourth quarter. They were up by four, and cornerback Patrick Surtain had a ball tipped into his hands. There was nothing but wide-open Texas Astroturf in front of him. It was a sure touchdown. He dropped the ball. Two plays later, the Cowboys scored.

The Chiefs had a chance to put the game away late. The Cowboys faced fourth and goal from the 6 in the final minute. A pass was dropped. The Chiefs celebrated. A referee threw a flag. He called holding on Greg Wesley. It was actually linebacker Derrick Johnson who held on the play. Not that it mattered. Two plays later, the Cowboys scored.

The simple truth is, no game can kick you in the teeth like pro football. Coaches and John Madden can talk all they want about controlling the line of scrimmage, winning the turnover battle, dominating the time of possession. But these games so often come down to a big play not made, a bad bounce, a costly penalty, a first down gained by a millimeter. You can make yourself crazy thinking about it.

All of the blown opportunities vanished, though, when Lawrence Tynes jogged out to the field to tie the score. Millions of words have already been written about how absurd it is to have these monster-truck games decided by slight kickers who spend their practices on the sideline bouncing the football to themselves. But, as the line goes, it is what it is.

Tynes steadied himself. This was his dream. He had come a long way to get here. He had kicked for the Scottish Claymores in NFL Europe. He had kicked for the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League. He had come to Chiefs camp three times — he badly wanted to win an NFL job. Finally, in the third attempt, he beat out one of the greatest kickers ever, Morten Andersen. He was in the NFL.

Now, he set himself to make the game-tying field goal at Texas Stadium. Ed Perry’s snap was low and wide. Dustin Colquitt grabbed the ball and somehow got it set up for Tynes. It’s hard to say whether all that threw off the timing. It’s pointless to break down the finer points of a missed kick, anyway. He missed it. Period.

“Put this one on me,” Tynes would say. “I missed the kick.”

There was shock and anger and, as Green would say, a sick feeling after the kick drifted right. The Cowboys ran onto the field to celebrate. Cowboys fans stomped and cheered.

“Wouldn’t want to be that guy tonight,” one Cowboys fan said of Tynes.

No. He wouldn’t. Lawrence Tynes looked tortured after the game. He bravely stood up to answer the questions kickers are always asked after they miss (“Did you hit it solidly?” “Did the bad snap throw you?” “Did you think it was good?”). But it was easy to see that Tynes was broken inside. There was nothing to say. He headed to the bus and the plane ride home.

A few feet away, Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez explained it better.

“It’s never, ever, one person’s fault,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a pressure situation … the life of a kicker.”

In the aftermath, the Chiefs still have control of their destiny. Every way I figure this, if the Chiefs win out, they make the playoffs. Of course, it won’t be easy to win at the New York Giants and then at home against San Diego and Cincinnati.

But this is the situation now. The Chiefs should have won Sunday. They didn’t. They didn’t make the plays, didn’t get the breaks, and the last kick sailed wide right. There’s nothing the Chiefs can do after losing a crushing football game like this except win out and earn the playoffs. This is pro football. You don’t get a second kick.

12-12-2005, 02:19 AM
I was really hoping JoPo would make me feel better. Oy.

12-12-2005, 02:23 AM
oh i have a feeling he is going to get a second kick against the chargers and miss it again

Hammock Parties
12-12-2005, 02:35 AM
Christ this sucks.


12-12-2005, 02:41 AM
Christ this sucks.


Chuck Norris does not appreciate you talking about him like that.

12-12-2005, 02:48 AM
Chuck Norris does not appreciate you talking about him like that.

I smell a roundhouse kick on your future GC

12-12-2005, 03:03 AM
man i just got done watching a movie. If you ever needed to be cheered up don't watch the deer hunter

12-12-2005, 05:47 AM
man i just got done watching a movie. If you ever needed to be cheered up don't watch the deer hunter

Well we watched "Cinderella Man".
It was salve to the soul after losing that game.
Tremendous flick.

kc hopeful
12-12-2005, 08:48 AM
Christ this sucks.


You might want to stay indoors if there is lightening in the area.

12-12-2005, 08:51 AM
My cell phone didn't make it through the game.

It suffered de-celleration trauma.

Thig Lyfe
12-12-2005, 11:37 AM

12-12-2005, 11:53 AM
Christ this sucks.


Look everybody...gochiefs has turned to salt!???