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Chiefs’ Backups Let Down by Starting Kicker

Once again a kicker cost the Chiefs in a heartbreaking loss. Fortunately this loss didn’t really cost the Chiefs anything since they were already locked into the #5 seed, but it’s still disappointing after the gutsy and inspired performance put in by Chase Daniel, A.J. Jenkins and the rest of the Chiefs’ backups.

Chase Daniel’s first pass of the game bounced off a Charger in what would have been a pick six. His last pass was a desperation floater to nobody, which he threw beyond the line of scrimmage. In between those two plays Daniel looked at home directing the offense and seemed to have a particular connection with Jenkins. Daniel also completed numerous passes to Dexter McCluster.

It all went for naught when Ryan Succup, doing his best Lin Elliott impression, missed a 41 yard field goal at the end of the 4th Quarter. The Chiefs offense couldn’t get within field goal range after the Chargers kicked what turned out to be the game winner.

Some items I noted:

  • One of the Chiefs’ offseason priorities needs to be replacing Kendrick Lewis. He looked terrible, again. He missed a tackle that led to a 44 yard Ryan Matthews run in the first quarter, and he left Antonio Gates wide open for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
  • Josh Martin looked good and seemed to be in Rivers’ face quite frequently. The defense as a whole played as well as you could expect against a desperate Chargers team and even recorded three sacks.
  • Dunta Robinson missed an interception in overtime which almost certainly would have led to a Chiefs’ win. He has been disappointing too but seems to have already lost his job to Marcus Cooper (although both played today).

And no, I’m not ignoring the fact that the refs cost the Chiefs this game twice, first by not calling a penalty against the Chargers which would have given Succop a 36 yard field goal, then by somehow ending the Weddle fumble play without actually blowing a whistle or giving any other indication that the play was over. This is being covered plenty elsewhere such as at Arrowhead Addict. If I were a Steeler player or fan I would be angry beyond words. The refs not only cost the Chiefs a game, they cost the Steelers their season. Of course the Steelers could have beaten the Browns or won any of the eight games they lost to avoid being in this situation, but the fact is that if the fumble return is called correctly then the Chiefs win and the Steelers are in the playoffs.

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Roy Z

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