Monday Morning Quarterback: Shortened version

By Steve Sell
November 14, 2016

Today will be a truncated version of Monday Morning Quarterback as I plan on reviewing McPherson High and McPherson College’s seasons in separate columns this week...

• VICTORY SLIPS AWAY — The Kansas Jayhawks’ only chance left to win a Big 12 game took place on Saturday as it was a battle for the basement with Iowa State.

Here’s how far the Jayhawks have fallen — they were a 10-point underdog at home against another 1-win team.

For a while it appeared the Jayhawks were going to get it done. But Iowa State scored the game’s final 15 points for the 31-24 victory.

At least KU covered the spread.

The stats were relatively close. The Cyclones, not exactly an offensive juggernaut this year, had 458 yards and KU 415 in the first game with Carter Stanley at quarterback.

Ke’aun Kinner had 152 yards rushing for the Jayhawks and Taylor Martin added 83, which gives KU the knowledge that it does have the potential to run the ball. Don’t expect anywhere near the same numbers this week against Texas, but it did move the ball against a team of similar ilk.

Stanley completed 26 of 38 passes, but for just 171 yards as KU’s heavy use of the bubble screen was never more evident. Stanley did a good job of managing the game until a late pick that came during a potential game-tying drive, or a game-winner if coach David Beaty had decided to go for 2 had KU scored.

The Jayhawks’ special teams were again a mess with a fumbled punt and missed field goal. That should be an area that is highlighted during the offseason because special-team woes have killed this team all year.

KU is going to finish 1-11 in Beaty’s second year, which means he’ll be 1-23 for two years. Not exactly the progress I’m sure the KU brass and especially their fans like to see.

• WILDCATS OFF — Kansas State took advantage of an open date to get healthy, which often doesn’t occur this late in the season.

The Wildcats have three games left and have a great chance to run the table to finish 6-3 in the Big 12. They are entertaining a sliding Baylor team on Saturday that is dealing with inconsistent play and a mass of off-the-field problems that threaten the program. Then after an expected walkover against KU, they close at TCU, which is a hard team to figure out. 

I really believe if the Wildcats survive Baylor in Waco, they’re going to finish 8-4.

• WHAT JUST HAPPENED? — Arrest the Kansas City Chiefs. What they did on Sunday against Carolina was nothing short of highway robbery.

The Chiefs were beat. They slogged through three quarters like a team that in its mind could throw away this game and still be in good shape to make the playoffs.

But Eric Berry’s interception return for a touchdown turned the game around. It energized the Chiefs and gave them the feeling they could win.

Then Carolina coach Ron Rivera made a bad move as he should have had quarterback Cam Newton take a knee as the Panthers didn’t have any timeouts and had too far to go against a good defense.

Marcus Peters then stole the ball from Kelvin Benjamin to set up the Chiefs for the game-winning field goal. I don’t think I can remember a Chiefs game that ended with such a rush.

The Chiefs won the game even though Alex Smith was way off his game. He missed open receivers time and again and when he was on the mark, they dropped the ball. The offensive line also had numerous penalties and the offense, in a nutshell, was terrible.

But the Chiefs live off their defense as they lead the league in takeaways. That’s probably going to have to be the formula the rest of the year since there’s no Jamaal Charles, Jeremy Maclin is banged up and Spencer Ware was dinged again Sunday. There’s just not many weapons for the Chiefs.

But they’re hanging tough. The AFC West teams haven’t had many divisional games, but that’s what will determine who makes the playoffs.