The M4 Sherman tank was used by the United States and other Western Allies in World War II. It was a reliable, medium sized tank that held its own against much larger German tanks and destroyed its smaller Japanese counterpart. These are qualities NFL coaches look for in a fullback.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a Sherman of their own. Fullback Anthony Sherman was acquired from the Arizona Cardinals this offseason in a trade involving former Chief Javier Arenas. He leads Jamaal Charles into defending front lines and has been quite successful.
In the first seven games of the season Charles joined O.J. Simpson as the only other back in history to have 100 yards on the ground and a touchdown in each. Kansas City had been winning the ground battle, but they hadn’t fared so well through the air. Going into Week 8 Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith had thrown 104 consecutive passes without a touchdown — only the struggling Josh Freeman had thrown more.
Kansas City’s air attack was coming off the feet of place kicker Ryan Succop and punter Dustin Colquitt. The first quarter of Sunday’s war with the Cleveland Browns was no different. It ended with the Chiefs leading 6-0 by way of two Succop field goals.
In one drive in the second quarter Kansas City decided to try and utilize their tank in the air assault. It didn’t make much sense, but it worked. Sherman had a total of three receptions in the charge. On a third-and-10 from the Cleveland 12-yard line the Chiefs were looking at possibly kicking another field goal.
Sherman caught the first TD of his career, breaking through the red zone barrier that had been holding the Chiefs back. It was the difference between winning and losing the 23-17 battle.
World War II famously ended in the dropping of two nuclear bombs that the United States had been secretly developing. If the 8-0 Chiefs are willing to use their tank as a streaking jet, I can’t wait to see what other weapons they are developing.
Bring on the Buffalo Bills.