With 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter on Thursday night, the Chiefs led the Broncos 24-17.
Ten seconds later, the Chiefs trailed 31-24.
What in the world happened at the end of that football game?
“I’m going to tell you, Amy: I’m still trying to figure it out myself,” former Chief and current Chiefs radio analyst Kendall Gammon said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “You’re sitting there and you think, ‘That stinks Peyton Manning drove down and tied it up, but we’re going to go into overtime. We’re at home. Let’s see how we do.’”
Instead, the Chiefs – after watching Manning march 80 yards in 10 plays to tie the game – coughed the ball up on what would have likely been the final play of regulation. Jamaal Charles took the handoff, gained a yard and fumbled.
“The standard protocol is you run a screen or you run a draw and see if you break a big play,” Gammon said. “Otherwise you just down it. I think Jamaal (was) fighting to do too much and the ball comes out as he’s going down and kicks right up to somebody and they run it in.”
That somebody was Bradley Roby, who scooped up the ball and ran in the winning score.
“I played 15 years. I’ve been broadcasting for eight now,” Gammon said. “I don’t know if I’ve been apart of a game that was this crazy. When you talk about five turnovers, nine very critical penalties – the Chiefs, really, they just shot themselves in the foot.”
Perhaps it would have been better for Andy Reid to simply kneel the ball and go to overtime, but Gammon has no issue with the play call.
“I really don’t,” he said. “The majority of the offensive coordinators in the NFL, they’re probably going to run a draw or screen. Again, it’s just what a lot of people do. And of course hindsight is 20/20. Now that this happened, you think, ‘Well you should have downed it.’ Well, of course. But it’s what I’ve always seen done for the most part in my career. So I don’t have a problem with that.”
Chiefs fans might disagree. What was Arrowhead like after Roby’s touchdown?
“I don’t know how to describe it any more than just utter and complete total shock, disappointment,” Gammon said. “Early in the game, you’re up 14-0 and you’re having your way with them – and that’s even with the turnovers that the Chiefs had. You had several different chances, quite honestly, I think to put the game away, but the turnovers continued to keep Peyton Manning and that Denver Broncos offense in the game. Give Denver credit. They won the game. They caused turnovers. But I don’t know. I still think there’s a changing of the guard. It’ll be interesting to see the next game but probably more interesting for Chiefs fans is to see how Kansas City comes back Monday night in Green Bay.”
The silver lining for the Chiefs is they still had a chance to win despite five turnovers, nine penalties and going 0-of-7 on third down.
“It’s still just one game,” Gammon said. “Now, it’s a division game and it’s a game you had a chance to win, but it’s still just one game. They’re 1-1 and now they maybe got to go take a game somewhere that people don’t expect them to win. If I’m going to put my money on anybody, it’s going to be an Andy Reid-led football team. If there’s a positive you can take away, the Chiefs still had a chance to win that game, even with five turnovers and the nine penalties. So they were doing some good things. They just continually shot themselves in the foot. That’s the name of the game. You can’t win in the NFL if you turn the ball over five times. It’s just that simple.”