BY CRAIG SMITH
The Kansas City Chiefs season came to an end this past Sunday night, Jan. 20, against the Pittsburgh Steelers by the final score of 18-16. For the second consecutive season, the Chiefs season finished in the divisional round with both games ending by a one score margin.
The Chiefs scored on both their first drive and last drive of the game but were unable to get anything going in between. The Chiefs stopped the Steelers from scoring a touchdown but allowed six field goals and became the first team in NFL playoff history to lose a game when scoring two or more touchdowns than their opponent.
The game itself provided drama until the very end. The holding call on Eric Fisher on the two-point conversion attempt will be remembered by many as the play that ended the Chiefs season. Although it was a crucial play at the end of the game, the Chiefs still had four quarters in which they were unable to move the ball effectively. Overall, the right call was made; if Fisher hadn’t held Harrison, there was a chance Smith would have been sacked and we would be criticizing Fisher anyway. The holding penalty rather than a sack gave the Chiefs another chance at the conversion attempt albeit a much more difficult one.
Now the Chiefs must decide what changes need to be made to an already talented roster in order to take the next step in the playoffs next season.
They put together back-to-back winning seasons and have done so without their star running back Jamaal Charles. There have already been multiple questions surrounding Alex Smith and whether he will be under center next season. The Chiefs have one of the least flashy offenses in the league, and it became even more evident with key contributors such as Charles and Derrick Johnson sidelined due to injury. If Charles and Johnson return to full strength next season, between the team’s weapons on offense and one of the best defenses in the league, it is not crazy to think they could be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy come next February.