Kansas City http://www.bearsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-riley-ridley-jersey , including the Chiefs’ huge blown lead in Indianapolis several years ago and the nip-and-tuck loss to Pittsburgh last season.
None of them compares to Saturday night.
After leading the Chiefs to a 21-3 halftime lead over Tennessee, the veteran quarterback watched in horror as everything unraveled. Marcus Mariota led the Titans on three touchdown drives, Smith could not even manage to get his team a field goal, and the Chiefs were stunned 22-21 to end their season.
Perhaps even end Smith’s career with the Chiefs.
So when he was asked in a somber postgame news conference whether this was the most disheartening loss of his career, Smith was unequivocal: ”Yeah,” he said. ”Without a doubt.”
”You know, it felt like the opportunity we had in front of us, the talent we had – the group – when we play the way we’re capable of playing, yeah, the sky’s the limit,” Smith said. ”Tonight isn’t a good example of that. Not consistent enough. Didn’t come out and make the plays we needed.”
That has become a familiar refrain for the Chiefs in the playoffs.
Especially the games at Arrowhead Stadium.
Despite having one of the proudest traditions in the NFL, and their stadium having a certain mystique about it, the Chiefs are miserable when the postseason rolls around.
They haven’t won a home playoff game since January 1994, when Joe Montana was under center, and only two in their entire history.
If not for a road win over the Houston Texans a couple of years ago, the Chiefs would still be searching for their first postseason victory of any kind since that home win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
”Whenever you lose it always hurts, regardless of if it’s one point or 20 points. But to go down like this – it really hurts,” said Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson Jonah Williams Jersey , one of the longest-tenured players in the history of the franchise.
”I’ve been playing this game for a long time and 21-3 at halftime, you win. And we didn’t. You’re good enough, you come out with that win.”
There were numerous plays that made this defeat particularly gut-wrenching.
In the first half, Johnson blitzed in a flash and sacked Mariota, who clearly lost the ball before he hit the ground. But the officials ruled the play was over, it could not be reviewed and the Titans had time for a field goal that wound up being crucial in a game where every point mattered.
”I thought that’s why we had replay and some of those things,” Smith said afterward.
In the second half, the Chiefs took umbrage with another whistle when the Titans scored the go-ahead TD on a pass to Eric Decker. The Titans went for a 2-point conversion.
Mariota was getting sacked when the ball popped out again. Frank Zombo picked it up and began running the other way for what would have been two points, giving the Chiefs the lead back with just over six minutes left in the game.
The whistle again had been blown, and referee Jeff Triplette told a pool reporter Mariota’s forward progress had been stopped, allowing the Titans to retain the slimmest of leads.
”I don’t really have anything good to say,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, ”so I’m just going to kind of stay away from any comments on those guys. I don’t want to get fined or whatever. It’s not worth it.”
The final frustration came as the Titans were trying to run out the clock. Derrick Henry coughed up the ball and this time no whistle was blown, so Johnson returned the fumble for a touchdown. The crowd went wild as fireworks popped over Arrowhead Stadium – until replays showed that Henry was down.
The officials gave the ball back to the Titans and this time they ran out the clock.
Along the way, the Chiefs lost All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce to a concussion and defensive tackle Chris Jones to an ankle injury, depriving them of emotional leaders on both sides of the ball.
The result was yet another heartbreak for a franchise that has known its share of them.
”Honestly we just didn’t come out ready to play in the second half, that’s what I’d say,” Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt said. ”Nobody likes losing and this one’s for real. We’re going home.”
Fletcher Cox is playing in the first Super Bowl he’s seeing.
Or so he says.
The three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle is a big reason why the Philadelphia Eagles are facing the New England Patriots next Sunday in Minneapolis for a chance to bring home the franchise’s first Vince Lombardi Trophy.
But the 27-year-old Cox isn’t much of a football fan. He insists he’s never even watched a Super Bowl.
”I don’t watch sports Elgton Jenkins Jersey ,” Cox said. ”You know that.”
If he spends the night getting in Tom Brady’s face and helps the Eagles win their first NFL title since 1960, Cox may want to watch the highlights sometime.
First, all that matters is winning.
”We haven’t been talked about all year,” Cox said. ”That’s our story. No one has been talking about the Eagles, the defense, or the offense. If you go back and look, we finished in the top five of a bunch of different categories. This team just keeps finding ways to win, and that’s our motto.”
Cox, the 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft, had 5+ sacks in 14 games, recovered two fumbles and returned one for a touchdown. He often faces two or three blockers, so that allows his teammates opportunities to make plays.
”Cox is as good as anybody in the league at his position,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. ”He’s a very disruptive player, hard to block, run, pass, no matter what it is.”
Earning praise from Belichick doesn’t come easy. Cox appreciates it.
”It’s a lot of respect from a coach like Belichick, a guy that’s been around http://www.packerscheapshoponline.com/cheap-authentic-jace-sternberger-jersey , a guy that’s seen a lot of great players in this league,” he said. ”For him to say that that means I obviously must be doing something right. But at the same time, I’ve got three other guys besides me that’s helping me push that limit, that’s helping me get that recognition and I want to do the same thing for those guys.”
The Eagles have plenty of depth on their defensive line. Ends Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry and tackle Tim Jernigan start along with Cox. Chris Long, Derek Barnett and Beau Allen also played at least 40 percent of the snaps.
”I wish it was just four (linemen),” Belichick said. ”It’s a very disruptive group. They have some edge rushers, a good interior pass rush. They come hard every play. You have to block them on every play. There are no plays off. To deal with that front down after down, they wear you down. It’s a great group and a huge strength for their defense.”
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has enough confidence in all the players to rotate them in and out for series at a time. Because they split reps, they still look fresh this late in the season. It showed in a pair of dominant performances against the Falcons and Vikings in the playoffs.
”To roll in that many guys and not see a drop-off, it’s great,” Cox said. ”We’re pushing those guys to be on the same level as us.”
Cox knows harassing Brady is the key to success against the Patriots. The Giants sacked Brady five times in their stunning Super Bowl upset 10 years ago, spoiling New England’s perfect season.
Led by Cox and Graham, the Eagles generate a strong rush without having to blitz much. They’ll need to keep extra defenders in the secondary against Brady.
”It’s going to come down to the front four guys getting after the quarterback, making him uncomfortable in the pocket,” Cox said.
Easier said than done against Brady.
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