On Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs squeaked out a victory in overtime, 23-20, over the Los Angeles Chargers to move to 2-0.
My, oh my: that game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers was more a heavyweight boxing match for world champion than it was just the second game of the regular season. It was Sonny Liston taking on Floyd Patterson. Or Muhammed Ali taking on George Frazier. Or Larry Holmes taking on Ken Norton. Or…
You get the point.
It was a knock-down, drag-out type of game, one where each team had to dig down deep to find what was left in order to walk away with the victory and a 2-0 record.
So of course the hero ended up being a dude who uses his right foot to earn a living. Yes, I’m talking about the first like on the list this week.
1. Harrison Butker
In my home office I’ve got an old dog-eared, marked-up copy of Eugene O’Neill’s 1939 play, “The Iceman Cometh.” I’ll have to look through it again, but I’m pretty sure the iceman isn’t named Harrison Butker. Maybe there needs to be a remake.
Butker, who had his only extra point attempt blocked after a Chiefs penalty, nailed all three of his field goal attempts, from 58, 30, and 58. He also added a 53-yarder and another 58-yarder for good measure before his final make of the afternoon, neither of which counted due to a) another Chiefs penalty and b) a Chargers timeout.
No matter. Butker couldn’t have done it without…
2. Playmaker Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes had an ugly first-half, and spent most of the day under pressure thanks to LA’s defensive front getting the better of the Chiefs’ offensive line. Yet, Mahomes still came out on top, thanks to some big-time throws and being able to create offensive using his legs. Perhaps his biggest play came on the team’s final drive of regulation when he scrambled to convert a 3rd-and-20.
Huge play. The biggest of the day for the Kansas City Chiefs? Tough to say, especially when you consider the play of…
3. The Landlord
Late in the first quarter, the Chiefs were down by a touchdown with the Chargers driving. Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, who was thrust into action seemingly at the last minute, launched a pass for the end zone. Mike Williams only had one man to beat, and beat him he did not.
Think what you will regarding momentum, but at least this play kept the Chiefs in it, kept them from going down 13 points before the initial 15 minutes were up.
In fact, even though the defense didn’t have its best performance, that side of the ball kept the Chiefs around until…
4. The Legion of Zoom Awakes
Tyreek Hill had no receptions in the first half. And while he had an egregious drop in the second half, he followed it up with the most exciting play (non-kicking edition) of the day.
A play made possible thanks, in part, due to…
5. The Offensive Line’s Second Half
Check out this stat:
As such, Mahomes had a lot more time in the second half to do his thing. Sure, the offensive line had a rough day against a fantastic front-seven, but they hunkered down after a tough first two quarters.
The Kansas City Chiefs don’t win that game without the front five upping their play.