This article was going to be my savior after the mistake ridden Denver Broncos' loss at Arrowhead Stadium. I did exactly what the article said to do, I took a deep breath, sat back and tried to imagine a warm tropical place. It didn't work.
What I saw when I closed my eyes was the inhospitable home of the Kansas City Chiefs. The temperature, 15 degrees with the wind chill. Steamy breath from players on the field. It's the end of the fourth quarter and the Broncos are left wondering where the team they destroyed 30-10 in week three had gone. I look at the score board and it reads Chiefs 31 and the Broncos 27. ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! I guess I have some work to do controlling my stress!
The Broncos have given up an average of 70 rushing yards a game this season. That stat is going to change considering the damage from Larry Johnson, the running back for the Chiefs who had 90 yards in the fourth quarter alone. Johnson and the now healthy Chiefs offensive line were the difference in the game. When you control the clock in the fourth quarter of a game while you have the lead, you have a good chance of winning a game.
The Broncos played poorly, but the Chiefs seemed to have some help from the officials. I can confidently proceed into this rant about the officiating without fear of the league fining me, so here I go.
When did the toughest sport in the world starts to need small undersized striped men to protect wide receivers and quarterbacks from the most natural part of the game, the hit?
I don't want to see people getting hurt, but football is a high collision sport and the players understand that. Players and fans don't need bad calls, (like the one on Broncos safety John Lynch) to change the flow of the game and on-field aggression. This is a beautiful game of men that run fast, make great moves, and hit hard. Once refs start making bad calls for good hits, the game changes. Players play less aggressive and their natural skills are handcuffed. It's boring to watch a league of players scared to play aggressively.
The hit that Lynch received a helmet-to-helmet penalty for was clean. Eddie Kennison, the wide receiver, had the ball when Lynch hit him head up. He didn't launch himself like a deadly torpedo with the intention of killing Kennison with the crown of his helmet. He hit him with the intention of separating the man from the ball. That one call may have changed the game.
If that call didn't the change the game, the lack of holding calls surely did. Johnson's second touchdown was assisted by a Tony Gonzalez hold right in front of the line judge. There were at least four other no-calls in the crucial fourth quarter.
The Broncos are still atop the AFC West by one game over the Chiefs, but I think the Chiefs have shown how dangerous they really are. In my opinion, the Broncos can't lose any more games this season if they plan to win the division. They need to pick up the aggression and dominate games like they did early in the season. They can't play like they're just holding-on. They need to play like true champions of the AFC West. If they do that they'll be fine.
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