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Chiefs let Dontari Poe pass for a touchdown because it's OK to have fun sometimes

People were mad and confused by Andy Reid’s decision, but there’s really no need for either reaction. What the Chiefs did made perfect sense.

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

If there’s been a recurring theme to the 2016 NFL season, it’s been the constant reminder that a lot of people involved with the game, from the league office to the press box, have had just about enough of players having fun.

Three-pump celebrations and imaginary bow and arrows are getting players fined. And then there are the takes, columnists complaining about everything from celebrations to the read option and everything in between.

Surprise, a lot of people didn’t like Dontari Poe throwing a touchdown pass when the Chiefs were up 27-10 on the Broncos with two minutes left in the game on Sunday night.

Reactions ranged from downright grouchy to utterly confused as to why the Chiefs would call that play. Not only were there those tedious unwritten rules someone has obviously written down somewhere, the Andy Reid’s “Bloated Tebow” was just so far off script it confused the hell out of people.

As conservative as Reid’s offenses have a reputation for being, he can occasionally get aggressive with his playbook. His explanation for why he ran that play was simple enough.

"I've learned this over time: You can't score enough points against these teams,'' he said. "We don't take anything for granted. We're going to score as much as we can do it.”

Makes sense, but it doesn’t answer the question of why run THAT play of all plays. We’ve seen Poe put on his offensive weapon hat and crash the ball through the goal line before, the Refrigerator Perry ultra fullback play. He became the heaviest player to score a rushing touchdown, topping The Fridge, with a 1-yard score against the Chargers last year. However, that game was tied 0-0 at the time.

The best answer to the question of why have Poe attempt a touchdown with a 17-point lead and less than two minutes to play is another question. When would be a better time to run that play?

It’s a high-risk call. Not only is there a good chance it doesn’t work, it might also get someone injured. You can’t really use that play “when it matters,” like say trailing by a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. In that situation, Reid would want the ball in the hands of his best offensive players, the ones who put 27 points on the board against one of the NFL’s best defenses and made it look easy while doing it.

The Chiefs ran that play because they could.

If you can’t give Poe the chance to be the heaviest man since JaMarcus Russell to throw a touchdown pass and the first defensive lineman with a sack, a rushing touchdown, and a passing touchdown in the same season with a big lead at the end of a game against a division rival, when the hell can you run that play?

Reid ran that play because it’s a game, and games are supposed to be fun. And that play was the most fun 10 seconds or so of the entire season so far. Not the most dramatic, not the most impactful, just the most enjoyable.

That should also destroy the hot takes.

There’s no better time to make the waking motion than after reading that take, or any other one about Reid not being “classy” or whatever.

One of the underrated aspects of Reid giving Poe the chance to make history is that he did it against the Broncos, a team the Chiefs already have a healthy rivalry with, one of the best in the NFL.

A few Broncos were miffed about the play. After the game, Broncos defensive lineman Shane Ray said, “that’s coach Reid, we won’t forget this.”

But the players, unlike the pearl-clutching columnists, also had some perspective on it.

"Great play by them," safety Darian Stewart said. "Oh yeah, absolutely ... any time a defensive lineman throws a touchdown on you, you definitely remember that."

Aqib Talib was even laughing about it with Poe after the game.

The Chiefs eliminated the defending Super Bowl champs from the playoffs with Sunday night’s win. And to hammer the point home, they sent out a 346-pound defensive tackle to drive home the final stake.

In a year filled with boring football games, the Chiefs and Broncos have now given us two games we won’t forget. Two games the Broncos DEFINITELY won’t forget.

I’m glad they won’t forget. Rivalries make for great football, and the Chiefs just poured gasoline on one of the NFL’s most intense. I can’t think of a better time to call for a “Bloated Tebow.”