That Chiefs/Titans wildcard game was basically the entire essence of the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs in one single game.

The 2017 Chiefs made the grandest opening statement you could make. Going into Foxboro, for a season opener, primetime, against the best team of the past two decades coming off one of the greatest SB comebacks ever, and beating the snot out of them in front of a stunned crowd. That’s how you start a season. That’s also going to be the only thing we remember the 2017 Chiefs for, honestly.

They won 5 games in a row, against a very respectable slate of teams. They beat the Eagles. They beat the Chargers, which at the time looked like a joke but proved themselves more worthy as things went on. They beat the Skins, who weren’t quite so injured at that point. They beat the Deshaun Watson Texans, the only good Texans. They kept it close with an excellent Pittsburgh team, then struggled against a rival Raiders team, beat the Broncos, and that’s when things got bad. After getting shellacked by a mediocre Cowboys team and embarrassed by the dumpster fire that was the 2017 Giants, everyone kinda wrote them off. The team that started 5-0 ended up at 6-6. They rode a 4 game streak into the playoffs but it was too late. None of those games came against substantial competition with only the Chargers game meaning anything. We all gave up on the Chiefs.

Once they lost to Ben McAdoo I stopped giving the Chiefs any thought whatsoever, because seriously, they lost to Ben McAdoo. Ben McAdoo. That may very well go down as the last game Ben McAdoo ever wins as a professional NFL head coach.

And we should have, because that was a sorry showing. Yes, the refereeing was terrible. Yes, they lost Travis Kelce to injury halfway through, severely hurting the offense. But these excuses only work so far. They still gave up a 21-3 lead to another AFC team a lot of people probably wrote off even sooner and many likely forgot was even in the playoffs. They started strong, they fell apart. At one point Marcus Mariota threw a touchdown to himself. The Chiefs cannot protect a lead. I think this would be a bigger deal if we didn’t see almost this very same scenario just a few years ago.

RIP, 2017 Chiefs. For a few games this year, you were very good. Now we get to see where Alex Smith ends up.