Off The Couch: MMQB Suggest The Chiefs Are A Mirage / Fescoe Asks If TV Broadcasters Are “White Noise”

“A win is a win, but another ugly victory in Buffalo begs the question: Are the Kansas City Chiefs really contenders in the AFC? What should we make of the Chiefs? Are they true contenders, or are they pretenders?”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist,
GH: Who in the AFC doesn’t have some ugly wins or visible warts? The Chiefs spanked Tom Brady so hard on MNF that Bill Belichick pulled him out of the game. I think the Chiefs are as real as the Pats. Better yet, why not ask Brady what he thinks?

“Offensively, the Chiefs were outgained (364 to 278), couldn’t convert third downs (3-for-13) and were overwhelmed up front by the Bills’ defensive line. Kansas City, which only had the ball for four plays in the third quarter, had two drives that netted 127 yards. The other 11 gained 151.”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist,
GH: And still managed to find a way to win the game on the road in Buffalo. I find that more of a reason to be impressed with Andy Reid’s bunch than depressed about how it happened.

“This game was more about what the Bills didn’t do—three fumbles, all lost, poor decisions from Doug Marrone and his staff—than what the Chiefs did. And you’re naturally a bit skeptical considering Kansas City’s six wins have come against five teams that are currently out, or on the fringes, of the playoff picture (Dolphins, Chargers, Rams, Jets, Bills). The other win was over the Patriots, who bottomed out on that Monday night but are a completely different team now.”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist,
GH: Wait. The Patriots “bottomed out” on MNF in Kansas City? But they are a “completely different team now?” They might be a completely different team now because they are no longer playing the Chiefs. The Chiefs win over the Pats is simply not getting enough credit. Instead of classifying it as a fluke, it might be the most impressive win this season by an NFL team.

“The offensive line could be the key area for these Chiefs. Outside of center Rodney Hudson, this is not a good group, at least not yet—and that’s taking Sunday’s dismal performance out of the equation. Left tackle Eric Fisher, the first overall pick in 2013, hasn’t come close to living up to that billing, or even the billing of a solid left tackle. Left guard Mike McGlynn and Harris are definition of journeymen with a combined nine teams (10 stints) on their résumés. Fulton, the right guard, is a sixth-round pick. With games against the Seahawks, Broncos, Cardinals and Steelers still to come, the performance of the offensive line will determine whether the Chiefs sink or swim.”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist,
GH: On this point I will agree with Bedard. The Chiefs offensive line looks iffy for a team that expects to advance beyond another first-game playoff loss.

“The real opportunity for the Chiefs will come Nov. 30 when the Broncos come to town. Despite having a dynamic defense with the type of athletes in the secondary to matchup with the Broncos’ many weapons, Kansas City hasn’t come close to slowing down Peyton Manning (66.3 completion percentage, 9.6 yards per attempt, nine touchdowns against two interceptions and 118.8 rating in the three matchups so far). It’s perplexing because, if you were to draw up a defense to give Manning fits, the Chiefs have all the pieces. If Kansas City can knock off the Broncos, that would serve notice that they have arrived as an AFC contender. But right now, they’re not on that level.”
Greg Bedard, MMQB columnist,
GH: Beating Peyton Manning and the Broncos would be big. The Chiefs have yet to prove they are on the same level as their AFL West rival. A win over Denver would make one heckuva close to the Thanksgiving weekend.

“(The Chiefs) may have two Pro-Bowl players this year. What you have is more of a true team. It’s hard to watch sometimes but they trust the script.”
Jeff Chadiha, NFL writer for ESPN, 810 AM
GH: This is a bit of a no-name a Chiefs team – especially on the defensive side of the ball. This is the kind of team that make rooting for the Chiefs easy. Some of these starters were just a few steps away from joining the fans in the parking lot to tailgate on game day.

“(Solomon) Wilcots’ baffling performance was a reminder that sometimes watching a network telecast of a Bills game leaves one wondering where the announcers get their information and opinions about the Bills. It happened repeatedly Sunday with Wilcots and his on the ball play-by-play man, Spero Dedes. … At times, the analyst’s performance was almost as aggravating as the Bills ability to give away a game that was there for the taking.” Alan Pergament, columnist, on the CBS broadcasters assigned to the Chiefs/Bills game Sunday,
GH: Pergament writes a popular column that covers the media aspect of the Bills games each Sunday called “Talkin’ TV.” Click here to read his entertaining work.

“Wilcots might have been the only person at the Ralph more conservative near the end of the game than (Doug) Marrone. The analyst made one of the biggest head-scratching suggestions in recent memory when he said the Bills should kick a field goal inside the Red Zone to close to within 17-16 with a little more than two minutes left and then go for an onside kick.”
Alan Pergament, columnist,

“To me it’s all white noise. I don’t pay attention to anything what these guys are saying. I spend a lot of time on Twitter (during the game) seeing what you guys are saying and how fans are reacting to the game. I don’t really zero in on what Spero Dedes and Solomon Wilcots have to say because we’re around the team more than they are.”
Bob Fescoe, on his disinterest in the network broadcasters
GH: I enjoy the broadcasters whether they are competent or not. I do not get as upset as most fans when Joe Buck or Phil Simms or Gary Danielson verbally slights my team. I find it entertaining. It is not that much different than listening to local sports talk radio. Even bad radio can be entertaining radio.

“I like to learn something from the game. I like to walk away from a broadcast and say, ‘Wow, he told me something I didn’t know.’ ”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM

“I think we are so critical of these (network broadcasters). Everybody thinks what these guys do is so easy. They think what WE do is so easy! ‘All you do is talk sports all day!’ I think when people view our jobs everybody thinks they can just sit down and do that. If somebody makes their job looks easy, that means they’re doing a pretty good job at it.” Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Do people think sports talk radio is easy? I think more believe it is a great gig. The hours are ridiculous. Filling 20 hours a week with live content is a challenge. Not screwing up on live radio five days a week is next to impossible. But in the end, you get to talk sports and not lift anything heavier than pizza and beer. That’s a good gig, Bob.

“The Big 12 does not break ties. Everybody will get a trophy. It’s like first-grade soccer.” Dennis Dodd, CFB columnist for, 810 AM
GH: It is a little different from first-grade soccer in that you have to actually tie for a conference championship but Dodd has a point. Do any of the other major conferences handle championship ties in this same manner?

“I think I can sum up the rest of the (CFB) season in one sentence – Alabama wins the rest of their games and goes to the playoffs. Alabama is the best team in the nation.”
Dennis Dodd, 810 AM
GH: Here is the good news – we get to find out by watching the games. That Thanksgiving weekend slate of games in two weeks is going to dent many a couch beyond repair. Does anybody else change their couch sitting location to avoid their wife’s weekly wrath? A better question – is there a way to avoid a wife’s wrath? I think not. Dent away.

[email protected] and @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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39 Responses to Off The Couch: MMQB Suggest The Chiefs Are A Mirage / Fescoe Asks If TV Broadcasters Are “White Noise”

  1. Kyle R says:

    I don’t know how good the Chiefs are, but I do wonder when was the last time a playoff team went 9 games without a wide receiver having a touchdown catch. That’s a KU-under-Weis/Gill levels of ineptness.

    • Jim says:

      And the flip side? 9 games without giving up a rushing touchdown. Some weird shit going on with this team……….but I like it.

    • Kyle says:

      I seriously do not understand why this is such a big deal. First of all, KU’s WR’s hardly even made any catches at all. Not the case with the Chiefs. Bowe over his last 4 games: 25 for 296. That’s 100 for 1188 over the whole season. The Chiefs have put up 24 points per game this year, many of which are the direct result of Bowe’s 3rd down conversions. So whether the WR scores a TD or not is irrelevant. Kelce is almost used as a WR in several offensive sets and had 4 TD’s. Smith is using the WR’s, they just aren’t getting into the end zone. But who cares, as long as the team scores?

      • Kyle R says:

        Not saying it’s a barrier to winning, just that it’s bizarre and probably hasn’t happened in a long time and not typical of a winning team. Aaron Rodgers had 4 TD’s to WR’s in the first half on Sunday night football, so it’s just weird that the Chiefs haven’t at least accidentally gotten one in 36 quarters of football so far.

  2. Jim says:

    Conference road wins at SD, Miami & Buffalo. The only stat that ever matters is final score. Look at the stats for the KC/Denver game. Chiefs literally won every single stat in that game……….except the only one that mattered. Score!

    A win is a win.

    Just like golf………they don’t ask you how, just how many.

  3. Gavin says:

    Bedard’s comments feel like a less troll-y version of the sportswriter last year (was it Clerk Judge? I can’t recall but I think he was with CBS Sportsline) who kept hammering the Chiefs all season long. And then, when the Chiefs shat the bed, he was all over Twitter reminding us that he had been calling them a paper tiger all season. There was definite malice there.

    With Bedard it feels less malicious but more uninformed. Beat the snot out of the Patriots and excuse that as the Pats “bottoming out” and not the Chiefs playing well. Beat San Diego on the road for the first time in what feels like an eternity and dismiss them as being on the “fringe” (same thing for a win against Miami). Beat Buffalo on the road and it’s all because of a couple of lucky fumbles and Marrone’s questionable decision making. Not for nothing, but OUTCOACHING someone is a huge part of what makes a team good, so if Marrone made some iffy decisions, well, their coach isn’t as good as our coach. And those fumbles didn’t happen in a vacuum; they were CAUSED by the defense stepping up and making a play when they needed to.

    I admit there has been some good fortune for this team, but it’s not as if their record is based solely on playing Jacksonville and Oakland.

    • Mike says:

      You’re thinking of Pete (Pricko) Prisco. Perhaps the biggest NFL troll out there.

      • Gavin says:

        Thank you. You’re absolutely right. I was thinking of Prisco. Huge troll.

        • Kyle R says:

          Having read a lot of Bedard’s work (he used to be a Packers beat writer along with Dolphins and Pats), I think he watches a TON of tape and is pretty fair in his analysis. He doesn’t typically get to conclusions without a ton of tape watching behind it.

          The Chiefs just need to show he was wrong.

  4. Mike says:

    A couple of years ago (I think it was Deitch) did an analysis of all the TV network announcers for the NFL, and they found that the pairing of Harlan-Wilcots was the most wordy (read: talkative; verbal diarrhea) of all TV pairings.
    Now I see why: Wilcots doesn’t shut up. He even decides to over-analyze the plainly obvious.
    He’s kind of painful to listen to. If he doesn’t over analyze every play with cliches, he might be tolerable. Spero seems a bright dude; too bad Wilcots doesn’t take the same cue that less can be more. (See: Aikman and Collinsworth)

  5. Hot Carl says:

    I wouldn’t call the Chiefs pretenders but, at best, they squeak into the playoffs and make a hasty exit. This is a typical Chiefs team…built to finish 8-8 to 10-6 but lacking the playmakers or willingness to take the chances that determine postseason success nine times out of ten. I’ll enjoy the ride but won’t be surprised at the outcome.

  6. kevin says:

    It’s not like I think the Chiefs are winning the Super Bowl, but to use the schedule to show that they are not good doesn’t make much sense. I would LOVE to know how many teams in the NFL have won THREE games on the road against teams above .500? Plus they crushed the team that is currently the #1 seed in the conference, and lost on the last drive to the team that is the #2 seed, and did it on the road.

    You want to doubt them b/c they can’t throw the ball down field, sure, but don’t point to the schedule. 6 of their 9 games have come against teams above .500, and 4 out of 6 of those on the road, and they are 4-2.

    But good try, SI. maybe next time..

  7. randyraley says:

    Just win, baby.

  8. Hipity Hop says:

    The Chiefs have been there before.

    Once every five to six years they pull off a season that has every fan thinking Super Bowl only for heartbrake to happen. Remember those 13-3 seasons? Everyone thought they were going to the SB. Even if the Elvis GrBono was QB in ’95 and ’97. Even if in ’03 the D couldn’t stop a fly.

    People still thought SB.

    The Chiefs have been here before. Ugly wins that they pulled out of nowhere. Wins were the loser looked like the better team. Act of God wins. Fools luck.

    Until it happens KC will always be pretenders. At least until they finally go to the SB.

  9. Kyle says:

    What makes his article incredibly lazy is that this is the first win all year you could call “ugly”. 19 point win at Miami. 27 point win vs. NE. 27 point win vs. Rams. 14 point ho hum win vs. Jets. Winning at SD is NEVER ugly no matter what the score. I honestly think some of these morons think it’s better to lose 42-38 and look good on offense rather than win a tough, hard fought, low scoring game. Pretty amazing that some of these folks are so inept.

  10. geoknows says:

    Everybody told us the Chiefs were a mirage last year too.

    • Kerouac says:

      And they were a mirage… a playoff team doesn’t give up 45 points & win, a playoff team doesn’t score 44 points & lose: KCinderella, by any other.

      • 3GP says:

        Wrong on both accounts.

        2009 playoffs. Packers 45 at Cardinals 51.

        • Kerouac says:

          Clearly, nuance& subtlety is lost on you… lemme help: any one can make post season nowadays the ‘no team left behind’ NFL; that they show up doesn’t mean they belong.

          • 3GP says:

            Clearly grammar rules for plural are lost on you.

            If a team qualifies for the playoffs, then they are a playoff team. They belong. Is this too dificult of a concept for you to grasp? Or am I being too subtle?

            Sorry the qualifications for a playoff team don’t meet your lofty standards.

            The 7-9 Seahawks were a division winner and a playoff team. They belong.

            • Kerouac says:

              You have been caught with your football IQ down around your ankles; not a pretty sight. Don’t make it worse by trying to tap dance it away – you only succeed in showing more of your backside.


              • 3GP says:

                What’s the matter, you’re nursing home not serve vanilla pudding today? Or maybe you have some sand in your vagina?

                Oh no, the great piece of Kerap got his ass handed to him. Are you gonna cry? Shall I call the nurse to bring you some tissue? Or maybe a new diaper?

  11. Nick says:

    It’s showing my age, but…

    Anyone else remember the brief NFL experiment a decade (okay; maybe two decades) ago wherein 3 or 4 games were broadcast sans announcers?

    Pure bliss.

    It was declared an utter failure, but I found listening to just the sounds of the game combined with the fans reactions truly entertaining. It was closer to an actual game experience than anything an announcer could add.

    I seem to be in the minority about this, however, so I’ll just continue to turn the sound on the TV off on game days.

    • TiberiusGracchus says:

      I think that was the early eighties. Bryant Gumble was still play-by-play for NBC….He would only talk to convey what down it was maybe….or maybe just a concise play result? But I and everyone I knew thought it was great. The Gus Johnson type crap along with the typical blowhard constant yapping of a espn broadcast is beyond annoying.

  12. Oracle says:

    Last year Dodd said the same thing about Alabama. That’s why a playoff is better than polls. Because the ‘eye test’ is rarely right regarding the best team in the nation.

  13. 3GP says:

    If NE struggles at home against Oakland, the Jets & get pasted in KC, they just had an off day, but if KC struggles on the road against Buffalo, they were lucky?

    I like how Bedard mentions the fumbles like KC had nothing to do with them.

    Bottom line though, until KC wins an F’N playoff game, they will not get the benefit of the doubt like Brady does..

  14. Kerouac says:

    KCindy… forever


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