Suddenly the top seed looks like a realistic possibility.
It was a great Sunday for the Chiefs, as just about every game went our way, including ours, of course. When the Chiefs beat a 7-2 team by double digits, you know there’s going to be winners, but there are a couple losers too.
I’ll get into specifics in a bit, but this was a huge game for a defense the started the season so badly. The Cowboys are one of the top offenses in the NFL, and while it’s true they were missing some players, to hold them to 9 points is an incredible achievement for any defense, but especially for one like ours that needed to prove themselves.
Jones had a monster statistical game, with 3.5 sacks and a tipped pass that lead to the game-ending interception, Dak will have nightmares about number 95 for life. And with this production coming from the interior, it will likely kill the Chris Jones: Defensive End experiment for good.
While Clark didn’t have quite the same statistical dominance as Jones, he still showed up all game. He had a strip sack early to set up the offense with a short field, forced a hold on 3rd down, and got pressure on Dak on another 3rd down to ruin the play. It’s nice that he’s finally starting to play to the level we’re paying him for.
L'Jarius Sneed is doing things that won’t show up on the stat sheet. He’s having a damn good game today.— Farzin Vousoughian (@Farzin21) November 21, 2021
Sneed only got the one interception at the end of the game, but he was all over the field and made it difficult for Dak to overcome the pressure he was facing.
There was concern about him as he apparently had knee swelling before the game that unexpectedly put him on the injury report, but he showed up and played well anyway. He was a big reason the Cowboys were held under double digits, and doing that while not at 100% is worthy of being listed as a winner.
The Offensive Line
I could list them individually, but the unit as a whole struggled. Micah Parsons was a menace all day, and not just against the backup tackle. Orlando Brown gave up his fair share of pressures as well.
On top of that, both guards had costly penalties. Joe Thuney got a hold, while Trey Smith got two holds and an unsportsmanlike conduct because he complained after one of his holds, which killed one of the Chiefs’ drives. To be fair, I agree with him that those holds were questionable to say the least, but you can’t make it worse (especially when the refs had already shown that they weren’t in a good mood that day).
Complaining about the refs in a loss is the lamest things sports fans do, but since we won, you know it wasn’t just sour grapes.
Now to be fair in terms of calling things like pass interference and the like they were mostly fine, and they did seem to do better in the 2nd half, but there were two areas where it was egregious in the 1st half.
First, the aforementioned holds. It is one thing if they were calling it tight all game, but it seemed like they just called those two against Smith and let everybody else play.
But the bigger issue was the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Sure the taunting, while annoying, is technically correct and the refs are just doing what their bosses said. But when Fenton got his helmet ripped off they first called the penalty on him for complaining about it, and only after discussion did they also add a penalty for the helmet (although even then it just became offsetting). And that wasn’t even the only one!
It’s a good thing the Chiefs were so much better on the day that the penalties didn’t matter, but something like that could cost a team a game for nothing.