The Kansas City Chiefs lost the AFC Championship game to the Cincinnati Bengals. Surprisingly, it was not the end of the world.
As I am writing this, it has been over 24 hours since the Chiefs melted down against the Bengals. I will not tell any of you how you should or should not feel about the game. We all fan differently, but we are all still fans. You aren’t a better or worse fan based on your reaction to the game. I saw every range of emotion possible on social media.
As expected, most emotions involving the game were anger and frustration. It’s hard not to have those feelings to one level or another based on the horrible second half of the game. It was a colossal meltdown that Chiefs’ fans, unfortunately, have lots of experience with. For me, it started in 1993 with the kicker whose name shall not be said shanked three field goals. I’m sure older generations have their own stories.
But I am here to let you know that it is not as bad as you may currently think. Those past crushing defeats hurt me so much because I didn’t know if we’d be back. The following season was never guaranteed with Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac, Trent Green, or Alex Smith. It would take perfection and take advantage of every mistake to make a Super Bowl with those guys. So when they let wins slide between their fingers, it just crushed your dreams. All of our dreams are still very realistic even after this loss.
I think we would all agree this season was easily the worst of Patrick Mahomes’ young career. Yet he still threw for over 4,800 yards while maintaining a nearly three to one touchdown to interception ratio. The Chiefs had the hardest schedule in the NFL and won 12 games, the AFC West, and hosted the AFC Championship game. It then took the worst half of football any quarterback in the NFL has had to lose that AFC Championship game in overtime.
That means Mahomes’ worst season is still the greatest Chiefs season anyone under the age of 50 had ever seen prior to Mahomes. He is only 26 years old and not going anywhere for at least the next ten years.
Along with Mahomes, nearly all of the offense is returning. The only starter who may not return is Orlando Brown; everyone else is back. And while it was a disappointing season, the Chiefs still had the league’s third-best offense. In the offseason, Andy Reid will work with Mahomes to prepare an offense built to handle what they saw this season. I can’t think of any reason to believe Mahomes will play worse than he did this year.
The coaching staff isn’t likely to change. I can see where people view that as good or bad. I prefer some fresh ideas, but at the same time, having the same system isn’t all bad. How often do we hear the story of the player ruined by having too many system changes? And again, these coaches led the Chiefs to a fourth straight home AFC Championship game.
The defense will have some new faces. But we have seen the defense go through massive changes before, haven’t we? We made many changes following our last AFC Championship game loss that helped us win the Super Bowl the following year. The Chiefs have plenty of cap space to bring in the players needed to do that again. General Manager Brett Veach is coming off a fantastic draft class that should have everyone excited to see what he does this year.
Yes, this loss sucked a lot. It should never have happened. We were the better team; we just shot ourselves in the foot for an entire half. I fully understand that it stings, and people are likely still pissed off whenever you read this. But I promise you that the sun is still shining brightly on the Kansas City Chiefs.
The window is not closing, and this is most definitely not the end of an era. This is simply a bump in the road. I have a very good feeling that in 365 days, we will be celebrating the Lamar Hunt trophy coming back to Arrowhead.
Will the Chiefs be back for the next AFC Championship? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion.
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