View Full Version : GRETZ: What Might Have Been, Again

dirk digler
12-27-2006, 11:35 AM

Baring the football gods granting the Chiefs one of the most remarkable gridiron miracles of recent vintage, when the clock strikes midnight and the calendar turns the page to 2007 this weekend, the guys in red and gold will be done playing football.

As they celebrate the New Year with family and friends, their beverage of choice will taste just a bit sour with a potent portion of what might have been. Those drinks will taste a lot like somebody used Lake Erie water for the mixer.

Should the Chiefs find a way to beat Jacksonville on Sunday at Arrowhead, they will finish the day with thoughts not of the playoffs and the final destination of Miami for the Super Bowl. Their final thoughts of 2006 will be of Cleveland.

Fourth quarter, 12 minutes, 19 seconds left on the Browns Stadium clock. The Chiefs held a 28-14 lead. Lawrence Tynesí kickoff sailed three yards deep into the end zone and the kick coverage unit did a great job of holding Joshua Cribbs to a 22-yard return.

Cleveland had the ball, at its own 19-yard line with 12:19 to play. Just about 60 seconds later, the Browns faced a 3rd-and-5 play. Derek Anderson, throwing the first passes of his NFL career found Joe Jurevicius open for 10 yards and a first down. About 100 seconds later, Cleveland scored and now trailed by just seven points.

Before the end of the quarter, they added another touchdown, to tie the score. A field goal in overtime and the Browns walked away with a victory.

Change nothing else in the Chiefs season other than the outcome of that final 19:54 in Cleveland and this Sunday Herm Edwards and his team would hold their post-season destiny in their own hands. They would be 9-6 and while that would be tied with the New York Jets and Denver, they would have the tiebreaker edge on the Broncos.

Instead, they must beat the Jaguars and then hope Pittsburgh tops Cincinnati, San Francisco beats Denver and New England outscores Tennessee. They are left hoping for a miracle. Consider this: the three teams they need to lose are all playing at home.

So in a season where they have played 912 minutes and 45 seconds of regular season football to date, 19:45 has put them in a position of being an also ran. Thatís two percent of their time on the field. Thatís how narrow the margin can be in todayís NFL.

Do not mistake talk of what might have been with the idea that anybody thinks the Chiefs are a Super Bowl-caliber team. Clearly, they are not. They are not as good as San Diego and Baltimore in the AFC, and they are clearly behind Chicago in the NFC. Those are the three best teams in the league.

But after those three teams, thereís this giant mass of mediocrity in both conferences. Starting with Indianapolis, New England and New Orleans and rolling through Denver, the Jets, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Chiefs, Dallas, Seattle, Philadelphia and finishing with Buffalo, Pittsburgh, the Giants, Green Bay, Carolina, St. Louis and Atlanta, there are 19 teams separated by four games, and 16 teams separated by two games.

Thatís right, half the league is between 9-6 and 7-8.

Fighting through this jungle of parity to make the post-season tournament will be valuable experience for the teams that survive. It would be another block to put in the foundation that would pay dividends in 2007, 2008 and beyond, even if winning a championship was farfetched. Knowing how to get there, then learning how to win in the playoffs are both steps that teams must take.

Thatís why the Cleveland game hurts the Chiefs. Stop the Browns once in that fourth quarter and overtime on defense, or score another touchdown or field goal on offense, and the Chiefs would be in a position to experience success, to go out Sunday and win a game and then have another to play.

Right now, that type of success would be very important for the Chiefs. Just once in the previous eight years did they reach the playoffs. Without a miracle, that number increases to nine years. More and more of the roster is further removed from the post-season. That wouldnít be so bad if this was a young team, but itís not. While itís no longer the leagueís oldest team, itís among the most experienced.

Experienced at playing in the regular season that is. Experienced at going to Buffalo and blowing a game to an obviously inferior foe and missing the post-season in 2005.

And experienced at blowing another game to an obviously inferior foe in the Cleveland Browns and missing this yearís playoffs.

That will be a bitter, bitter New Yearís drink to swallow.

12-27-2006, 11:37 AM
Talking about drinking...what ever became of Jared Allens DUI/DWI...I never heard anything else about it...didnt he have a previous warning from the NFL about drinking and driving?

12-27-2006, 11:41 AM
Thanks Gretz for bringing up the obvious AGAIN.

12-27-2006, 11:46 AM
Chiefs in Miami, it's just as well...sigh

12-27-2006, 11:49 AM
Thanks Gretz for bringing up the obvious AGAIN.

That isnt no shit! Amazing he has time to write with his lips permantly wrapped around Carls manhood.....

12-27-2006, 02:10 PM
The thing that really gets me about this game is that the CHIEFS lost it the way they lost so many under DV. Herm came to town like he had a plan and identified all that was wrong with the Chiefs. But when it mattered most, he could do no better.