Road Team Underdogs Take Both Saturday Wild Card Games
The postseason curse of the Kansas City Chiefs continued on Saturday when Andy Reid’s team was shocked at home by the upstart Tennessee Titans.
On paper, this game had all the makings of a blowout but that’s why they play the games. The Chiefs roared out to an 18-point lead in the second quarter and then imploded in front of a home crowd that once again went into the offseason disappointed.
The Chiefs have not won a home playoff game since last century.
The wheels began to come off when KC tight end Travis Kielce was knocked out with a concussion, depriving Reid of his most potent offensive weapon. Reid then inexplicably gave up on the running game despite having leading rusher Kareem Hunt to lean on.
The Titans caught fire in the second half as they were led by quarterback Marcus Mariota who was clutch in his first ever playoff game. The ball bounced right for Tennessee including a wild play where Mariota threw a touchdown pass to himself.
Running back Derrick Henry decimated the KC defense, rolling for 156 yards and finally fulfilling his promise with starter DeMarco Murray out.
Let it be said that the Titans also were the beneficiaries of several critical blown calls by the officials, other then the protests, the officiating has been the biggest problem facing the NFL this season and many are starting to believe that the suits in New York are deliberately manipulating the games.
It’s getting harder to argue with that idea every week.
The final score of 22-21 will be another addition to the sad book of Kansas City failures since the team won the Super Bowl in 1970.
There will likely be significant changes next season and after his latest debacle, even Andy Reid may not be safe.
The nightcap saw the amazing run of the Los Angeles Rams halted by the Atlanta Falcons.
Pity the Rams whose reward for returning to the playoffs was a matchup with the reigning NFL champion Falcons. Even if Atlanta did blow a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl in one of the most epic self-immolations in sports history, they were a seasoned team and when it comes to the bigger games, that counts for a lot.
The young Rams were never able to get untracked and their high-powered offense was completely shut down by the Falcons – with a big assist from some horrific early turnovers on special teams. The dirty birds held Los Angeles to a meager 13 points but they still had a shot at the win before a late Matt Ryan to Julio Jones touchdown sealed the deal.
The Rams will be back and all the better for it so just chalk up this downer of a loss to growing pains.
The Falcons move on to face the Philadelphia Eagles who despite having the top NFC seed, are a team in disarray ever since losing superstar quarterback Carson Wentz to a season-ending knee injury last month. The way that the Eagles have played under backup Nick Foles along with a tough and experienced opponent have all the makings of a one and done for Philly.
The Eagles and Falcons will play next Saturday at 4:35 pm, Tennessee’s game is contingent on who wins between the Jaguars and Bills this afternoon.