I think a fair number of people don’t believe in the Kansas City Chiefs, and I’m one of them. I’ve never been a fan of quarterback Alex Smith, and his Chiefs losing to the 1-8 New York Giants on Sunday was shocking… but then again you’re talking about the Chiefs…. and Alex Smith.
I still haven’t gotten over Smith’s best-ever NFL game, when he led the 49ers to that epic last-second win in the 2011 divisional round against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. That was the year the Saints were dominant and went 13-3…but still finished third in the NFC because Green Bay was 15-1 and Smith’s 49ers were 13-3 (and had the tie-breaker over the Saints).
New Orleans had blown out Detroit in the wild-card round, and if the Saints had then beaten the 49ers in San Francisco, they would host the Giants in the NFC Championship Game. The Giants-Saints matchup would have favored New Orleans big time, and there was no way the Giants were going into the Superdome to beat Brees. That would have set up a dream New England-New Orleans Super Bowl… Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees.
But Smith had to ruin that, foiling everything with that last-second TD pass to Vernon Davis. You know what happened next… San Francisco hosted the Giants the following week and lost in OT. Eli Manning and the 9-7 Giants then upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl…
Thanks Alex Smith for ruining that potential Brady-Brees matchup. I still haven’t gotten over that one and Smith not beating the Giants again… not a major surprise, I suppose.
As for the Chiefs, it’s been meltdown after meltdown for that franchise. There was 1995, when the 13-3 Chiefs had homefield advantage and were one-and-done, losing 10-7 under frigid conditions at Arrowhead Stadium to the Jim Harbaugh Colts, a domed team. That was thanks to Steve Bono’s inept play at QB and Lin Elliot’s three missed field goals. Then there were the 13-3 Chiefs from 1997, when Marty Schottenheimer thought Elvis Grbac was a better choice at QB than Rich Gannon, who’d played extremely well down the stretch when Grbac was injured. Naturally, they were one-and-done again, losing to John Elway’s Broncos.
You know the rest… Under Dick Vermeil, the Chiefs began the 2003 season 9-0 and finished 13-3. And they were one-and-done, losing to the Colts in a shootout. Then 2013, when with Alex Smith at QB, they began 9-0. But they lost twice to Denver and finished 11-5, second behind the Broncos in the division. Of course, that wasn’t their worst meltdown; that came in the wild-card round, when KC coughed up a 28-point lead and lost in Indianapolis, 45-44. That was the second-largest comeback in NFL playoff history.
Of course, they eventually ended their losing streak in the playoffs in January 2016, after the skid had reached eight games. But we’re talking about a franchise that went to two of the first four Super Bowls, and haven’t been back since. Yes, they’re still on pace to win the AFC West this year… but the way they looked against the Giants in Week 11…. don’t count on their Super Bowl drought to end this season.