COMMENTARY: Another Chiefs championship is good news/bad news for Bengals

Another football season is in the books.

It ended not with a bang, but a kneel down as analytics continue their march across the sports landscape leaving mostly destruction in their wake.

Was Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon smart to take a knee at the 1-yard line instead of scoring a touchdown that would have left more time for the Eagles to answer?

Yes, unfortunately.

Does that make it fun to watch? No, not at all.

Karma causing the Chiefs to fumble the ensuing snap or botch their game-winning field goal instead would have been fitting, but sometimes the ball does lie.

And now we have to wait six months for another football game the outcome of which we might actually care about.

Here are some more thoughts on Super Bowl LVII:

  • Like many people who immediately weighed in, I hate that a penalty pretty much clinched the game, but the reaction of a lot of people was off base. The Eagles DB confirmed afterward there was enough contact to be a penalty, saying he hoped they wouldn’t call it. But they did. Because a penalty occurred, you see. I get those who wish a penalty didn’t play such a large part in determining what was a fun, back-and-forth game, but I also think they should call penalties when they happen. I guess the confusion really arose from this being a play that sometimes is flagged and sometimes isn’t, which naturally creates a (valid) wish this was a time they didn’t. On the other hand, lots of people seem to think it wasn’t even a penalty, which is weird because it seems fairly obvious he grabbed and impeded the receiver, but that’s also Twitter for you: The world’s largest group of people who can’t see and/or don’t know what they’re talking about but have no idea that’s the case.
  • The Chiefs’ winning another Super Bowl was good/bad news for the Bengals. Cincinnati was a play or two away from not only getting to the Super Bowl but beating the team that won it, and the Bengals did not even play that great in the AFC Championship Game. Perhaps that adds to some frustration from the way the season ended, but it’s better than feeling like it was all a fluke.
  • On the bright side, this was a win for a team playing with a QB on a massive contract, something the Bengals are going to have to do soon thanks to Joe Burrow’s nearing the end of his rookie deal. I was among the doubters after the Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill in the offseason, but they’ve drafted well, made a few shrewd pickups and Patrick Mahomes continues to get better. Mahomes and the coaching staff adjusted to the way the Bengals were able to frustrate them last season, finding new ways to move the ball and win games rather than going down with good ol’ rock (chuck and duck, in this case) because nothing beats rock. Kudos to them.
  • More to the point, the Chiefs are built the way future Bengals tames need to be built in all likelihood. They drafted eight of their starters on defense, including seven who are on rookie contracts so they are young, successful players who don’t make a lot of money yet so you can afford to have more of them on the roster. The offense is more pieced together around a great quarterback with a rookie seventh-round pick at running back and three receivers brought in from somewhere else, though the star tight end is the focal point of the offense.
  • Kansas City’s elite offensive line has no first round picks and only one long-term financial commitment. Two starters are second-year guys, including a 6th rounder, while their left tackle is a stud player on a one-year prove-it deal, and the right tackle is a guy who wasn’t drafted and only made $2.5 million this year. The headliner of the group is Alter grad Joe Thuney, a two-star recruit turned third-round draft pick turned Pro Bowl selection who was a big-time free-agent signing, but that is a mix that can easily be copied.
  • Also for what it’s worth, the Chiefs are like the Bengals a small-market team still owned by the family that founded it and run by the son of said founder.

Other quick-hitters: Hitting the post on a field goal try should actually be worth a point. It’s harder than getting it through the uprights, isn’t it?… McKinnon threw a nice lead block on a vintage Wing T play for a Chiefs touchdown… The Chiefs offensive braintrust was really impressive against the Bengals and the Eagles… I’m still offended by Mich Ultra being presented a a beer people enjoy drinking… Despite what Dave Grohl said on a commercial, Canada did not give us football (but neither did Rutgers)...

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