Who deserves to get some sweet revenge this season? Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz makes a few picks.
Welcome to Revenge Week at SB Nation NFL, where we are celebrating the dish that’s best served cold. You can keep up with all our latest revenge content here.
As my favorite artist, Tupac, famously said, “Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to … “ — well, you can fill in the rest. Getting your revenge, in life and in sports, is so special because it’s so rare.
We all prove people wrong. I had a high school football coach who told me I’d never play college football because I was playing baseball and basketball. A college coach tell me I wasn’t good enough to play in the NFL. I proved those people wrong. There’s more to revenge than that, though.
Revenge is “the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.” Translating that to football, it’s “the action of defeating an opponent who you’ve suffered against.” By that definition, it’s uncommon in sports, but it happens. And when it does, it feels so rewarding.
Entering the 2019 season, there are plenty of opportunities for high-level revenge, and I’m here for it. Let’s check these dream scenarios out together.
The Chiefs defeat the Patriots in Foxborough to advance to the Super Bowl
We all know how the AFC Championship Game ended this year. The Patriots shut down the Kansas City offense in the first half. The Chiefs scored 31 points in the second half. They intercepted Tom Brady to end the game, but wait, Dee Ford was offsides. New England got new life, tied the game, and won in overtime.
It just ripped the hearts out of Chiefs Kingdom. But this season, the Chiefs could get revenge.
The Patriots’ schedule is easy. They have their six division games as usual and each of those teams has a second-year quarterback. Four of their toughest out-of-division games are at home: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Kansas City. In fact, the Patriots are currently favored in 15 of their 16 games.
Besides their schedule being set up for success, they are still talented (duh) and had a great draft. They should be the No. 1 seed in the AFC and have home field throughout the playoffs.
The Chiefs had one of the greatest scoring offenses in league history in 2018 and return almost that entire core. They could be without Tyreek Hill, which would slow down their explosive plays a bit, but otherwise, there are no concerns with the offense. They’ve upgraded the defense, especially with Tyrann Mathieu at safety, and more importantly, with a new defensive coordinator. Their defense should be better.
So the Chiefs will likely be the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, setting themselves up for a rematch. If the Chiefs head to New England to face the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots will be favored by at least a field goal. Tom Brady is 20-3 at home in the playoffs, so that advantage is clearly warranted.
The Patriots, and Brady, know the end is coming and this could be one last opportunity to add to their dynasty. The Chiefs going into New England and winning the AFC title would not only avenge the loss of last season, but it could put an end to the Patriots’ dynasty.
The game would also make Patrick Mahomes a Chiefs legend forever. It would even elevate Andy Reid’s coaching aura. Topple New England on the road, and get the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl: That’s a perfect revenge outcome.
The Chargers win the AFC West
The Chiefs are the favorites to win the AFC West, as they should be. But the Chargers can’t be counted out, despite recent history.
Since Andy Reid has entered the conference, he’s completely dominated the Chargers, even more so lately. After losing the first two matchups in 2013, the Chiefs rattled off nine straight wins before the end of last season.
The Chargers tried to do their part last December by knocking off the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium and almost costing them homefield advantage. But, the Chiefs still ended up winning the division and getting the No. 1 seed.
Now entering 2019, the Chargers might have the most talented roster in the NFL. Philip Rivers isn’t getting any younger and if they don’t win soon, they won’t ever make the Super Bowl. Breaking the spell of the Chiefs, besting them in the AFC West, forcing them either into a road wild card game or, much unlikelier, out of the playoffs, is the first revenge step for them.
The Saints get payback against the officials
I have no idea how the Saints would get revenge against the officials, but they’d be lying if they haven’t thought about it already.
They could get back to the NFC Championship Game — which feels unlikely, IMO — and win the game on a reviewable pass interference that puts the ball in field goal range. Or, to put it another way: Think what happened to them against the Rams, but pass inference is actually called.
Daniel Jones plays earlier than expected and quickly shows everyone he’s legit
This would be the sweetest revenge for Jones and the man who drafted him, Giants GM Dave Gettleman, to the haters (including me) of this draft pick. The Jones selection was loudly criticized and while Jones, who is a great kid, had no part in deciding his draft position, he’s getting his playing abilities crushed because he was drafted in that No. 6 slot.
That’s not exactly his fault. So if Jones gets to play early this season and he shows flashes of brilliance — similar to Baker Mayfield last season — that’d make people like myself have to eat our words about Jones.
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