Sadly, the Kansas City Chiefs miraculous season came to a close in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots. It was the first time Kansas City had hosted an AFC Championship, and it certainly lived up to the hype.
The Chiefs gave in to the Patriots game plan of slowing the game down and keeping the ball out of Patrick Mahomes’s hands. The offense mustered zero points in the first half and the team trailed 14-0 at the half. However, they made up for their first half struggles by roaring back in the second half for 31 points, tying the game with a last second field goal to send it into overtime.
All it took was the coin toss going in the Patriots’ favor to end the Chiefs’ 2018-19 Super Bowl hopes. The Patriots marched down the field in over time, converting three 3rd and longs and scoring a touchdown on the only overtime drive of the game. Blame it on the referees, bad luck, or a coin toss, but the Chiefs season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion.
Even though any season without a Super Bowl victory is a technically failure, the Kansas City Chiefs made some big strides this season. They put together an impressive playoff team that broke a long time curse of 25 years without a home playoff win, beating the Indianapolis Colts 31-13 in the Divisional round. They built a lead early and stayed ahead for the whole game, despite the fact that staying ahead in the playoffs has been a problem for the team. The defense played its best game of the year and gave the Chiefs hope that they could indeed perform in the postseason.
The offense put up historic numbers in the 2018-19 season. This year’s offense broke the franchise record for most points, touchdowns, and net yards. For example QB Patrick Mahomes broke the Chiefs’ franchise record for touchdown passes, passing yards, and passer rating, among other things. Chiefs established tight end Travis Kelce broke their franchise record for receptions in a season and most receiving yards by a tight end. Tyreek Hill also broke the Chiefs’ franchise record for most receiving yards in a season and most 20+ yard receptions.
Needless to say, this offense proved to be dangerous and has potential to be special for many years to come. The only problem was the Chiefs’ defense. For as good as their offense was, their defense was just as bad. Other than sacks and takeaways, the Chiefs ranked near last in every defensive category. They were 31st in yards allowed and 32nd in first downs allowed. Fans tirelessly complained about defensive coordinator Bob Sutton all season and called for his firing. This was even more frustrating because the Chiefs were just as bad defensively two seasons ago season but chose to bring Sutton back. Kansas City finally parted ways with Sutton following the conclusion of this season. They hired his replacement, Steve Spagnuolo, shortly after they fired Sutton. Spagnuolo has become notorious for his 4-3 defensive scheme that he will likely bring to Kansas City. The best part is that Spagnuolo doesn’t need to make the Chiefs a top ten defense, if they can just settle in the middle of the pack defensively then their potent offense can take care of the rest.