Trusting our Eyes
Written by: Chris Rubio
With all the hype around AI, there are equivalent conversations about what happens when AI goes wrong, resulting in AI hallucinations. In the worst cases, bad decisions can be made about the AI model – so buyer beware! Thinking about hallucinations reminded me of “the dress” that blew up the internet in 2015, pictured here in case you forgot. Me? I always saw the dress as blue and black. Even when I squinted, blinked, and looked away, I could never see the dress as white and gold. This outcome made me believe that the people who saw white and gold were “special” or had some sort of special powers. Perhaps their superpowers are that they can see more clearly with a glass of chardonnay or a fine red wine. Another hallucination that always gets me is the one when you are driving on the highway on a hot day. You know, the one, where it looks like there is a huge pool of water ahead. I used to accelerate the car just to try and hit the puddle, only to find it kept moving! So this led me to wonder, can we really trust our eyes always, especially when it comes to these 2023 Chiefs?
So far, we’ve seen a team that, at the break, is now 7-2. This is a fantastic start, and if the playoffs started tomorrow, incredibly and matchlessly, the “best party ever” would be hosted in Arrowhead Stadium for the 6th season in a row. Fortunately for us, a great deal of football is still to be played and watch our great team transform. So, how does our team perform historically in the upcoming November-December stretch? In the Andy Reid – Patrick Mahomes Era, the Chiefs have played 40 games and have won 35 of them. This is an impressive 88% winning percentage. Maybe the following stat gives more weight. More recently, over the past 3 seasons, the Chiefs have played 24 games in November and December, and they have won 22 of them.
Let that sink in a minute, 22 out of 24. If you consider our two losses this season, if Kadarius Toney caught either of 2 crossing routes, the Chiefs would’ve beaten the Lions. If Mecole Hardman doesn’t attempt to field a punt we could be looking at a 9-0 team. So why is it that the football media and all of the experts have everyone convinced that this team is in trouble? We hear talk of how our receivers do not create separation, how our offense is centered around Taylor’s boyfriend, and how he’s getting older. These facts are true, but it can also be true that the design of this team was always to be a defensive team. What if the master plan of the 2023 Chiefs was to build a great defense to surround the best quarterback in the world, knowing that he would eventually figure things out? What I mean is that the experts could be wrong in assessing who these Chiefs are designed to be. The experts want to see these Chiefs as the high-flying Tyreek Hill Chiefs, and this is a mirage because Tyreek doesn’t play here anymore.
This past Sunday’s game against the Dolphins was a fantastic Test for our defense. I wondered if our team could slow down a high-flying offensive machine and a revenge-minded Tyreek Hill. The defense passed the test with flying colors. The Chiefs defense pitched a shut-out in the 1st half leading 21-0. The Dolphins had not been shut out in the first-half all season.
The Dolphins offense averages 435 yards per game, yet our defense impressively held them to 292 Yards. The Dolphins had never punted more than four times in any game this season. In the game against the Chiefs, the Chiefs defense forced seven punts. The defense and Steve Spagnuolo cleverly devised their strategy to stop Hill by relying on what they knew about Tyreek Hill in the past from when he was on the Chiefs by watching tape of our Lajarius Sneed covering Hill in old practices. Simply Brilliant!
The play of the game this week was not a Patrick Mahomes pass or escape, instead the play of the game was a touchdown scored by the Chiefs Defense.
On the play of the game our emerging talent Trent Mcduffie blew up Tyreek Hill near the line of scrimmage forcing his league-lead tying fourth fumble of the season. The ball was picked by Mike Edwards, who then felt himself being tackled and saw Bryan Cook behind him. Edwards flipped the ball to Cook, who then rambled 59 yards for what became the decisive touchdown. This play only happened because Mcduffie saw the play, blew it up, forced Tyreek to fumble, Edwards saw Cook, and Cook saw the opportunity to take the ball and score. Watch the play here. Coincidentally, the Chiefs acquired McDuffie in the Tyreek Hill trade, so here they were face to face, and at this moment, McDuffie and the Chiefs won this battle.
So as we start to have a closer look at these 2023 Chiefs let’s be sure not to have any hallucinations about what we are seeing. We are seeing a great defense that is learning weekly how to trust one another. We are seeing a love story unfold with Taylor and her new boyfriend. Remember when you fell in love with that “it person?” the more we look we can see this seems to be the case for our tight end. Finally, we see a team showing us who they were designed to be.
The 2d half of our season is about to start, and if the past is any prediction of the future (as AI models usually begin) we can conclude that we should be in for a great November and December. To be sure, there are challenging games on our schedule against hungry teams that want to dethrone these Chiefs such as the Eagles, Bengals, and the Bills. Our defense will be challenged by each of these offenses in these upcoming games. Let’s See!