How the Chiefs’ futility killed a man, the Suddenly Unbeatable Saints, and the Beginning of a Quarterback Controversy in San Francisco

By: C.J. Doon

 

The Chiefs are bad.  We all know that.  But just how bad are they?

If you’ve paid any attention to the Chiefs this year (trust me, no one is blaming you if you haven’t) you would know that they are a dismal 1-9 this season, and are headed towards one of the worst seasons in the history of the franchise.  This past week, the Chiefs took on the Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, and more than 25,000 fans in attendance dressed in black to voice their displeasure with the organization and the team’s front office.  Well, either that or they were mourning the loss of their pride, dignity, or the $50 bucks they spent on parking.

Towards the end of the CBS broadcast of the game, video cut to multiple Chiefs’ fans handing out paper bags to their downtrodden brethren, who were more than delighted to adorn the sorrowful sacks of shame.  It was truly a remarkable sight.  With the Chiefs trailing 28-6 late in the fourth quarter, each fan that received a paper bag was genuinely happy to receive such a gift.  It was like Christmas morning in Arrowhead!

“You mean I can hide all of my shame, bitterness, and embarrassment with just this brown paper sack?  And it’s free!?”

That hilarious display on national television seemed to be to lowest of the low for Chiefs fans.  But then thisappeared in one of the obituaries in the Kansas City Star…

“Loren G. “Sam” Lickteig passed away on Nov. 14, 2012 of complications from MS and heartbreaking disappointment caused by the Kansas City Chiefs football team.”

“*Reading*…”

“*Still reading*…”

“*Trying to think of something to say*…”

This is it, right?  We’ve finally reached the nadir of sports fandom.  All of you Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs fans out there, you’ve suffered through some tough times, but do you know anyone who has ever died as a result of your team’s disappointment?  There has to be at least one person out there who keeled over after the ball trickled through Buckner’s legs, or someone else who collapsed after Bartman grabbed that foul ball, right?  There just has to be!

Oh When the Saints Coming Marching In (to the playoffs)!

Let’s take a moment to talk about the Saints, shall we?  New Orleans is attempting to pull off the improbable; that is, making the playoffs after starting the season 0-4.  Only the 1992 San Diego Chargers were able to accomplish such a feat, and they needed a 10-1 record the rest of the season to capture the division crown.  Although New Orleans is in the midst of a 4-1 streak, including a win against the 8-0 Atlanta Falcons, it is highly unlikely they will win their next six games.  For one thing, their schedule for the rest of the season is not favorable.  Games against NFC contenders like the 49ers, Giants, and Cowboys still remain, as well as division clashes against the Falcons, Panthers, and Bucs.

Let’s be honest: the only reason New Orleans has any sort of chance is because of their quarterback, Drew Brees.  In the absence of head coach Sean Payton, Brees has single-handedly carried the Saints to an even 5-5 record through ten games, and is in contention to win the MVP this season if things continue to go well.  If Brees continues to play at such a high level, I think the Saints can finish at 9-7, but will ultimately fall just short of a playoff spot.

Now, let’s start this week’s edition of Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em!

Start ‘Em

Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos – The Willis McGahee injury hurts the Broncos rushing attack, no question about it.  However, Ronnie Hillman now gets an opportunity to carry the load for Denver, and the rookie out of San Diego State is ready to make some noise.  After replacing McGahee late in the second quarter last week, Hillman rushed for 43 yards on 12 carries, and caught two passes for 16 yards.  Those numbers won’t blow your opponent out of the water, but given McGahee’s usual workload of 20-25 carries and 3-5 receptions, Hillman could post some big fantasy numbers on Sunday against the listless Chiefs.

Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals – What do Andy Dalton’s hair and arm have in common?…They’re both on fire!  The “Red Rifle” has thrown for six touchdowns and no interceptions his last two games, combining for a whopping 57 fantasy points.  This week, the Bengals take on the Oakland Raiders, a team that just surrendered three touchdown passes to Drew Brees and the Saints.  Not to mention Dalton has arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL in A.J. Green on his side.  Do yourself a favor, and start Dalton.  You won’t regret it.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots – When the Patriots lined up to tack on their 59th point of the afternoon against the Colts, tight end Rob Gronkowski was hit in the arm whilst trying to block and suffered a broken forearm.  The injury will keep Gronk out of the lineup for 4-6 weeks, which means Hernandez is immediately the Patriots biggest red-zone threat.  Hernandez has struggled to make an impact this season because of a nagging ankle injury, but is reportedly “feeling good” heading into Thursday night’s matchup against the Jets.  Although Hernandez is unlikely to put up Gronkowski-type numbers, he will be one of the top tight ends in the league this week against a subpar Jets’ defense.

 

Sit ‘Em

Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars – Throwing for four touchdowns in an NFL game isn’t easy.  In fact, it’s so difficult that Henne has only done it once his entire career – last week against the Texans.  Before that game, Henne failed to throw for more than two touchdowns in a single game.  Remember the Chad Henne that was 13-17 as a starter with the Dolphins, threw more interceptions than touchdowns (37 INTs vs. 31 TDs), and lost a starting job to Blaine Gabbert?  That is the Chad Henne who will fall back down to earth this Sunday against the Titans.

Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints – The Saints put their three-game winning streak on the line this week, when they take on the 49ers at the Mercedes Benz Dome.  The 49ers’ defense is clicking on all cylinders, and is coming off a dominant performance against the Bears on Monday night, where they sacked Jason Campbell six times, including 5.5 by defensive freak Aldon Smith.  Drew Brees will be under duress all night in New Orleans, and defensive backs Carlos Rogers, Daunte Whitner, and Dashon Goldson are poised to wreak havoc in the secondary.  Coltson will have trouble getting open against the 49ers tough defense, so make sure he’s comfortable on your bench this week.

Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions – Leshoure had a very nice game against the Packers (19 carries, 84 yards, and one touchdown), but don’t punch him into your starting lineup just yet.  The second-year running back out of Illinois has struggled mightily against some of the leagues’ best rush defenses (Seattle, Minnesota, Chicago), and this week he faces the toughest of them all: the Houston Texans.  The Texans have still not allowed a rushing touchdown this season, and aren’t about to give one up to the Lions’ pass-happy offense.

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  1. Pingback: New Content Added: Week of November 18th « Before Visiting The Sportsbook

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