I’m sorry your wide receiver is a moron, Patrick Mahomes

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While it’s hard to resist the temptation to point out noticing when a team that has Matt Nagy anywhere near it is melting down, because I know it oh, so well, the Kansas City Chiefs have bigger problems than that. When everyone is blaming the refs over a totally correct call, it’s pretty obvious they’re trying to avoid looking within.

Who wins the Super Bowl next year?

Patrick Mahomes had to be restrained on the sidelines. Then he was still throwing a bitch when talking to Josh Allen after the game. Andy Reid used his post-game presser to announce that the Chiefs loss to the Bills was the worst officiated game he’d ever seen.

Here’s the problem for the Chiefs: It’s not the refs’ fault their receiver is a moron. Kadarius Toney was lined up in the neutral zone. It was easy to see, the flag being thrown at the snap. Worse yet, it’s not as if he was out by the numbers. He was right off the line, making all that much clearer that he was even with the football. Or at least it should have. The refs didn’t push him there. They didn’t goad him into taking a step forward by having some sort of bait on the end of a fishing line. He stood there on his own.

The Chiefs may be surprised to see such a rare call, but usually, receivers aren’t so dumb as to stand offside. Often you’ll see them check with the officials to make sure they’re on the line to avoid an illegal formation. This is the basic stuff.

Of course, the truths the Chiefs are trying to avoid is that their receivers have been costing them games all season. Either dropping the ball, running wrong routes, but mostly the drops. The defense looks good enough to take a normal Chiefs offense (that Nagy problem again) to another Super Bowl. And yet, they’re barely holding off a thoroughly unimpressive Broncos team in the AFC West. They’re two games behind Baltimore and may soon be the same distance behind the Dolphins, come Tuesday morning. They’ve left two or three wins on the table. Mostly due to an offense that can’t quite seem to get right.

But Mahomes can’t call that out. Neither can Reid. The officials make for a good diversion that way.

The Chiefs still have three hanging curveballs left on the schedule in New England, Vegas and a Chargers team that may have already boxed up their coach by Week 18. Still a backup QB in Cincinnati as well there. Still could close with a fury. But it seems a few are already at the end of their rope. And when we get there, that’s when we’ll laugh at Nagy. Only when his job is done can those of us who have suffered at his hand truly soak it in.

Another title for Columbus

Columbus won the MLS Cup on Saturday, and I want to buy what turned out to be the winning goal a very expensive Manhattan.

Ok, yes, LAFC right-back Ryan Hollingshead picked an odd time to pick all the boogers out of his nose. But Malte Almundsen’s 50-yard ball here takes five LAFC players out of the game in an instant while breaking in Yaw Yeboah.

It’s Columbus’s second Cup in four seasons, but this one feels a little better simply because of the soccer the Crew played all season. They got aggressive last offseason by plucking Wilfried Nancy away from Montreal, where he’d already created one entertaining team, but whose execs didn’t seem to quite appreciate what they had. Columbus played adventurous, balls-out footy all season, leading the league in goals, goal difference and second only to LAFC in expected-goals difference. Nancy’s teams have an uncanny ability to knock the ball around patiently for what seems like just a little too long and then suddenly press the gas hard and are up the field in three passes or less, just like this goal above.

The Crew remain one of the few victories sports fans get, as former owner Anthony Precourt wanted to move the club to Austin before the fans revolted and were able to keep them in Ohio long enough for the Haslem family bought it and kept it right where it was. They even got a new downtown stadium out of it, though they did have to pay for part of it just like everywhere else. They’ve gotten two championships to celebrate after fighting and winning for their team. Good to know it can still happen, somewhere.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky @Felsgate.bsky.social

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