Nasrani Reflects on the Season

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A Fanpost by Nasrani:

Whew… that was a heck of a ride last night. Watching that game was thrilling. I was hoping for a different outcome, obviously, and I think we all were. But that game was still exciting. I can remember thinking, especially after the Pats came out to a rolling start, that it wasn’t going to be pretty and we were in for a shellacking. I was wrong, and I’m definitely glad I was wrong. That game… wow. One for the ages.

As I reflect back on this season, I feel like I should be eating some crow. A lot of crow. I can remember not being completely sold on Patrick Mahomes, not thinking he’d be this good this early in his career.

“But you should see his college tape,” people told me. “The kid can play.”

“Good in college does not necessarily mean good in the pros,” I answered. I figured the Kid would be good, but great? No. (Admittedly today is the first time I’m watching said college tape; I’ve got Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech 2016 – also known as Mayfield vs. Mahomes – in the background as I write this.)

In the spring of 2017 I was working with a guy who went to Texas Tech with Mahomes (though he didn’t know PM2 personally), and he seemed excited that we had drafted him.

“He was taken in the first round,” my colleague told me. “That should count for something.”

“Ryan Leaf was as well,” I answered. “And we see how that panned out.” (Incidentally, whatever happened to Ryan Leaf?)

The Kid has brought us the most exciting offense I’ve ever seen, and I was watching the second incarnation of the Greatest Show on Turf. Like our 2003 team, this team’s defense was – by and large – lackluster. That’s not to say it was without its pieces – Charvarius Ward has shocked us all and has gotten steadily better since we put him in, Chris Jones continues to do good things, and Ford and Houston both tore it up most of the year. But it seems like the Chiefs can never balance a stellar offense with a stellar defense (Martyball notwithstanding).

Controversy reared its ugly head this season, with the Kareem Hunt debacle coming to light. I won’t comment on what he did, or on the league’s actions or team’s actions and whether they were the right move. Suffice it to say that it would be rough for any team in such a setting. But the 2018 Chiefs showed that we are not just any team, and bounced back after the Hunt incident, traveling to Oakland and beating the Raiders, all but cementing our hold on the AFC West for a third straight year. The committee of Williams, Williams, and Ware stepped up and (particularly in the case of Damien Williams) surprised us all – okay, maybe not all of us, but it surprised me. Damien is exciting to watch, and I look forward to seeing him again.

Problems were not just limited to the team. Ongoing incidents with the brass at ArrowheadPride, long a hangout for Chiefs fans and a place where one could talk about everything from dancing Asian girls to existentialist philosophy, caused Fist, Tony, Tony II, the Wizard, and others to branch off and form a different site, one where the fans rule the roost and freedom of speech still abounds. Thank you guys for making this site, and for its surprising growth over the span of, what, two months?

This season was one for the ages, with an offense that set all kinds of records. Patrick Mahomes of course became the youngest QB to throw for 5,000,000,000 yards and 50 TDs, and only one of two to ever do it. Travis Kelce became the greatest tight end in football. Tyreek Hill showed once again that he can outstrip even the fastest cheetahs. Chris Conley caught a TD pass on a wild scrambling toss from Mahomes against the 49ers (here’s hoping Conley comes back again next season).

Last night’s game was not what we hoped, obviously. But it took Hillary Swank – uh, Tom Brady – and the Patriots dynasty five quarters to beat us, and even then the result could have been far different if we had won the coin toss. I think that despite all the finger-pointing and blame, ultimately the difference last night boils down to experience: the one thing nobody gets until just after it’s needed. The Patriots have been in the postseason since the fall of the Roman Empire, and in the AFC Championship Game since the end of World War II, while the Chiefs really haven’t. None of the players who were part of that team 25 years ago are still playing (of course). Ours is a young team, while I’m pretty sure Tom Brady is Methuselah (the same one mentioned in the Old Testament) and Bill Belichick is probably Cain.

Ours is a young team, and we’re only trending upward. As Mitch Holthus said last night after Damien William’s first touchdown run in the 4th quarter, “And the Chiefs are back in the thick of it, baby!” (Also, if anyone has access to that particular radio call, that was awesome and if at all possible, could you share it?)