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Chiefs/Chargers Divisional Round Recap

DivRecapIt was a weekend of complete and total domination for both AFC West participants, but only one was on the right side of it. The Chiefs smashed the Colts 31-14, and the Chargers were crushed by New England 41-28.

KC

Like I mentioned in the preview blog for this game, it came down if KC’s defense could out-muscle the Colts stellar offensive line. They did exactly that, hitting Luck 6 times and sacking him thrice, including a fumble recovered by Justin Houston. His performance (2 sacks, FR and a pass batted down) made a huge difference in the game along with Dee Ford’s 3 hits, 2 TFL and strip sack. They kept Indy’s offense from being able to throw effectively (11 total passes defended!) while also limiting Marlon Mack to 46 total yards rushing.

(If you’re a KC fan and don’t follow Matt Lane on twitter, you should) On offense, they ran an outstanding offense to counter Indy’s strengths, getting Damien Williams into the second level multiple times all game to the tune of 129 yards and 5.1 YPA. This helped Pat Mahomes finish with 278 yards passing and a 4-yard rushing touchdown, completing 30+ yard passes to Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins. Tyreek Hill had a phenomenal game under tough conditions, finishing with 72 yards receiving and an insane 36-yard TD rush. Remember when Jalen Ramsey said he was a just a returner? BUY A SHIRT!

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Takeaways: Please bear with me here, but the Colts were just not very good. That said, credit for Andy Reid (and to a very low low degree Bob Sutton) for dialing up a perfect defensive gameplan to get around Indy’s offensive line without leaving their susceptible secondary hanging out to dry. They dominated in every stage of the game except special teams, where they had a nice PR by Hill called back for holding and a punt blocked for a touchdown. That needs to be locked all the way the fuck down vs New England. I’ll have a separate blog on what to expect in that game out on Friday.

Notes: Dorian O’Daniel, Eric Berry, Deon Yelder, Jimmy Murray, Kahlil McKenzie, Spencer Ware and Kelvin Benjamin were all inactive.

chargers

I mean, there really isn’t much to say. They were dominated from start to finish with no hope of wining the game at any point. An embarrassing showing that was an exhibit in lack of preparedness that I hope resonates in their brains next year.

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On defense, Gus Bradley decided to stick with the 7 DB scheme that worked vs the Ravens to compensate for the injuries at the LB position. Surprisingly, this failed miserably vs a run heavy Patriots offense. As it turns out, Rob Gronkowski and James Devlin are actually very good at blocking safeties and cornerbacks into the earths crust as compared to, say, any average NFL linebacker. This terrible scheme lead to Sony Michel carving up the defense for 129 yards on the ground, while James White hauled in 15 catches for 97 yards on screens and open field slants. They weren’t even able to make up for that lack of coverage by pressuring Brady, who was only hit twice and was positively surgical in his throws. They don’t deserve a highlight, so instead here is a link to buy a shirt for the team that humiliated them. teeOn offense, they did themselves no favors. Besides a wide open touchdown to Keenan Allen on the first drive, they were unable to get anything going at all. The Williams boys combined for 162 yards, including some tough catches, but they also dropped a few that were surefire first downs. Melvin Gordon wasn’t used much considering they were down by a billion by the end of the first quarter, and a lot of that has to do with the play of the offensive line. The regular season is the regular season, but the patriots were not very impressive rushing the passer. In this game, however, they dominated the line of scrimmage. They hit Rivers 8 times, sacked him twice, and seemingly hurried him every play. I’m not sure how there was seemingly a jailbreak on every dropback, but it was pathetic. To loop special teams into this, Desmond King also fumbled a PR which immediately lead to Patriots points to close the half. Miserable.

Takeaways: This was an ass whooping. I was on the electric chair for it and what a waste that was, because they never had it in reach. I have no clue what sort of preparation went into this game, but I put a lot of blame of Bradley and Lynn’s gameplan going into this matchup. Lots of people chirped about how a lot of the calls went the Patriots way, and thats mostly true. There was a few very noticeable no calls and some garbage PI/holding calls that bailed out the pats offense. That said, it’s literally not even close to an excuse. They were fucking dominated from start to finish in every phase of the game. If the Bolts were one blown call away from winning, it’s one story. That’s not the story, though. The actual story is that they were destroyed, and the title is “Terrible Preparation and You: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”.  The only legitimate gripe I have is that the Chargers, a 12 win team, had back to back 10am PST starts across the coast. That’s straight up exhausting.

Notes: Sean Culkin, Detrez Newsome, Cole Toner, Forrest Lamp, Dylan Cantrell, Anthony Lanier and T.Y. McGill were all inactive. Adrian Phillips and Mike Williams were both injured early, but later returned.

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