The Chiefs will take on the Bills on Sunday, an opponent all too familiar to Kansas City. But what about the other 6 teams remaining? Let’s dig up the grudge we have against each one.
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Let’s take it back (no pun intended) to the beginning of September of this year. The 2020 Chiefs latched on to the slogan “Run it Back” after their victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl 54, and run it back they did – almost. The loss to the Bucs stung the entire Kingdom, most notably the gentlemen who suit up and take the field every week. So, coming into 2021, the Chiefs latched onto another rallying cry – “Take It Back”. It being the Lombardi Trophy, of course. Well, in order to Take It Back, the Chiefs are going to have to Run It Back on some teams that made the incredibly short sighted mistakes of either beating them too early (regular season) or took them down in years past providing one thing that you do not want to provide to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs – added motivation.
Let me start by saying (repeating, actually) that I am the most superstitious person possibly in the world. I am even more superstitious when it comes to all things Kansas City Chiefs. When I had my season tickets, I sat in the same seat every game. When I watch from home, same spot on the couch. Same socks, underwear, shirt, you name it – I keep it the same. Unless it doesn’t work, then we rotate. I’m saying all of this as a disclaimer. By writing this blog, I am in no way looking past the Buffalo Bills. They’re squarely on my radar heading into Sunday’s game, and I fully understand that the Chiefs have to play their best game this season in order to beat the Bills, who are also stacked and also very dangerous.
But damn if it isn’t fun to look ahead and see who we might see a little further down the line. Every team in the playoffs has a past with the Chiefs, some far more extensive than others. Some have pained us far more recently than others as well, making the grudge for those teams (ie, Bengals) much hotter than the grudge we have against, say, the Rams. For a team and a quarterback that seem to have the memories of elephants, there are past transgressions that each of the remaining teams in the divisional round have committed against the Kingdom which I will lay out below. I don’t know how Patrick Mahomes will commemorate each potential win if the matchups do come to fruition, but I can say that there’s a possibility that we see something very similar to QB1 counting to 4 coming off the field against Baltimore last year. He was of course referring to his NFL 100 ranking of 4 compared to Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson’s number 1 ranking coming off his MVP campaign two years ago. Mahomes took his rightful spot as number 1 on that list before this season, now let’s have a look at how he can extract his rightful revenge on the teams that the Chiefs could possibly see later on this postseason.
We’ll start with the opponent this week – the Buffalo Bills. Ahh yes, Buffalo. With their media darling quarterback Josh Allen and their defense that came into Arrowhead and “shut Mahomes down” while simultaneously mugging Travis Kelce every time he took a step forward. Definitely not defensive pass interference, though. In fact, if you ask Bills fans on Twitter, the Chiefs are the ones who constantly get away with DPI! Officiating aside (we’ll spend more time on this once we get to another opponent), the Bills did get the better of the Chiefs in the regular season. They had the sauce that night. But that, in fact, is the beginning and end of the Bills impressive wins in 2021. They played bully ball against the NFL’s weaklings for an entire year, with their only other win against a playoff team coming against New England. They don’t come into the house that Lamar built in the postseason and think that their back-alley bully type play can suffice when the calendar turns to January and the Chiefs start seeing Red. Josh Allen may have the Bills offense flying high right now, but KC is about to clip their wings, deep fry them, and baste them in some barbecue, because after the Chiefs run it up on the Bills on Sunday there will be no sauce left in Buffalo. The Week.5 Super Bowl will be the only title the Bills come home with this season.
What about the Tennessee Titans? A team that the Chiefs could face in the AFC Championship game after the Bills are left to waste. Let’s think back to the last time the Chiefs lost to the Titans in the regular season then went on to play them in the AFCCG. How did that go again? That’s right, with Patrick Mahomes and the boys from KC hoisting Lamar’s trophy in Lamar’s house for the first time since the Nixon administration. Mike Vrabel’s wife has to be a Chiefs fan, because she knows if the Titans see the Chiefs in the playoffs, a certain appendage is safe. Derrick Henry’s kryptonite has always been the Chiefs, and even a less than scholarly football fan can recognize that Ryan Tannehill may have dressed up as Superman once for Halloween, but on the field (especially in the playoffs) he’s more Clark Kent –there’s only room for one Clark at the trophy ceremony, and it just so happens that his last name’s all over the hardware.
But what is the Titans slip up in the divisional round? Then the Chiefs would see Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, that’s what. Oh Joey, Joey, Joey. I really want to like you, I do. What cost more – the purple sunglasses you were rocking after you beat the Raiders by 7 points (lol) or the referee bribe from week 17? Guessing the shades, the refs in the league this year are so bad you probably didn’t even have to bribe them. 65,000 fans at Paul Brown was cute, and I’ll admit they did get pretty loud at times, but 77,000 maniacs at Arrowhead in late January is something that you’ve only read about online. Good luck running your hurry up offense in that madhouse. Ja’Marr can Chase his record day all he wants, but the Chiefs defense combined with the crowd in KC is nastier than a bowl of spaghetti chili from Skyline.
Now, over to the NFC. Let’s that’s with the Los Angeles Rams. This isn’t even about the 54-51 Monday Night game from 2018. This goes back further to when we were connected by a highway and nothing else. For years Rams fans basked in the glow of a championship won by a grocery bagger and held that over Chiefs fans heads. “When was the last time the Chiefs won a Super Bowl?” they would taunt, hanging on to their 1999 glory and their dome made out of sheet metal and asbestos. As if we didn’t have enough misery to deal with, we had to deal with a gloating fan base who regularly watched their team draft in the top 10 of the first round. That was back when they had draft picks. The answer then was 1969, the answer now is 2019, and the answer if the Chiefs play the Rams with Matthew Stafford throwing the ball to a Jake Paul look alike will be 2021. Sean McVay may claim to have a photographic memory, but he doesn’t get to write the questions to the test that Andy Reid will bring to his door – the Walrus has forgotten more offensive football than the Rams wanna-be Instagram model head coach will ever know.
How bout those Green Bay Packers? The storylines would be plentiful in this one, but two stick out the most. Rematch of Super Bowl 1. First meeting between Rodgers and Mahomes. This is a dual revenge game. First, the Chiefs will need to avenge the loss to the Packers from Super Bowl 1. In doing so, they’ll make Aaron Rodgers discount double check his decision to play in this one and not sit it out like he did in November. Rodgers will not be immunized to the Chiefs pass rush, and the Packers could be showing the Chiefs a little Love by the end of it. Even if the Packers get a lead in the game and take a Davante Adams family photo in the endzone, we all know how that goes for teams who try to flex on the Chiefs. I don’t think we need to worry about this one too much, though. The Packers seem to be addicted to losing and not nicotine, because they always get close, but no cigar.
Speaking of family photos in the end zone going poorly, the San Francisco 49ers know a thing or two about facing the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. They could very well meet again in the Super Bowl in 2022, but the outcome will inevitably be the same. A healthy Jimmy Garoppolo choked the game away against the 49ers in 2020, and whether the Chiefs face a banged up Jimmy G or rookie Trey Lance the game still won’t be played on Friday, negating any intimidation brought by Deebo. In all seriousness, I don’t have a lot more mean things to say about the Niners. A matchup with the 49ers would be like a kid at school who got beat up in front of all of his friends picking a fight with the same person shortly after. The Chiefs have already crushed their souls in front of everyone once, they’ll do it again if given the chance.
That leaves us with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The grand finale. So many revenge points in this game it’s impossible to identify them all, but I’ll try. Let’s start with the obvious – Tom Brady. Sure, Brady got the best of Mahomes in the Super Bowl last year, and the AFC Championship in 2019, but this is a ticking time bomb. The Chiefs have developed quite the appetite for putting old dogs out to pasture. They ended Peyton Manning’s time as a productive NFL quarterback in 2015. They shut the door on Ben Roethlisberger’s career twice in 4 weeks. Now, it’s time to do the same to Tampa Tom. Consider the Chiefs the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. A 44 year old won’t fare well against the Chiefs pass rush, especially with an injured center and right tackle in front of him. There are positives to this for Tom – he’s already in Florida, a perfect retirement spot, and he can drown his sorrows in the same avocado tequila he got white girl drunk on after last year’s Super Bowl. But once this happens, Gronk better hope the WWE calls him back, because the USAA commercials aren’t cutting it, and without Tom he’s definitely not special. Even if Jason Pierre Paul lends (half) a hand to the Bucs pass rush, the revamped Chiefs offensive line will make it a point to allow Mahomes to drop dimes with his feet on the ground this year.
And one last thing. During the Bucs victory boat ride last February, Arians said “We have the best coaching staff in the NFL and we’ve damn sure got the best players in the NFL. Anybody that says ‘Run it Back’ – bull shit. That was Kansas City’s bull shit. We’re going for two. We’re going for two and we ain’t stopping.” You would think a NFL head coach would be a little more classy in victory, but then again we are talking about the guy who ran one of the two receiving weapons out of town that the Bucs had left and just smacked one of his own players across the head last weekend. Bruce, Chiefs Kingdom will do you a solid – watch how Andy Reid handles winning a championship, then you’ll understand how champions are supposed to act.
As for the “Run It Back, bull shit” comment, you’re right, that was bull shit. But now it’s time for the Chiefs to take it back, and nothing would be sweeter than taking it back from the Bucs.