I am just going to start by saying that might have been the worst Chiefs loss I have ever witnessed. I will define worst Chiefs loss as the most painful and embarrassing loss I have ever experienced. Sure, some of the playoff losses in the 90’s were pretty bad but I was probably too young to know that Steve Bono and Elvis Grbac were not great quarterbacks. I wrote last week that if the Chiefs dropped this game, I would be bent out of shape. I am and I think this brings about a lot of coaches and players who have hit the point of no return with me. Sure, the Jets didn’t fare much better but I don’t care about the Jets. There’s no excuse for them either.
The Chiefs flat out lost to the Denver Broncos, a team that was running a high school offense. Tim Tebow may be have a future as a TE/red zone QB but I would not feel good about a quarterback they only trust to throw two passes in a game. The Broncos won in spite of Tim Tebow, not because of him. Matt Cassel is done for the season, so this may be piling insult on injury but if Matt Cassel cannot lead the offense to score more than 17 total points against two of the worst teams in football, it is about it for him. There were no good quarterbacks on the field last Sunday.
As I wrote last week, a real NFL team does not lose to an NFL team that runs the read option offense and that rule stands up. The Broncos are running this offense because they want to give Tebow the best chance he has to succeed as a starting QB. I think that the Broncos do not want him to succeed in the long run but his “success by association” will prolong the inevitable removal of him as quarterback. He will not be a starting quarterback in the NFL because he is really bad at it.
The Chiefs have lost their real NFL team status in my opinion. I am not saying it is impossible but where is a win going to come from in the next five weeks? This team has flat-out bottomed out for the second time this season and did so in spectacular fashion. If the Chiefs were in the English Premier League, they would be relegated. That is what I am doing in my mind. They are done having real football team status for the rest of the year. I was saying this before it came out that Matt Cassel will have hand surgery but after he said his hand was fine.
Tim Tebow is being given the chance to show he can be an NFL starting quarterback while there are some top Broncos brass that think he is not good and will fail which will allow the organization to move on (though I am serious about him being a red zone quarterback, tight end and intangible-emanating leader. Meanwhile, the Chiefs had the chance to keep some of their unexpected resurgence going and they gave the Broncos the game. FAIL.
Everyone running and managing this team should be held accountable. The offense should definitely be held accountable. The three best offensive skill players dropped at least a pass each so they also are attached with blame. The defense, they get some cursory and complementary blame but if there is a part of the team that you can sort of believe in going forward, it is the defense but even they weren’t good enough last week. One guy who should be off the starting defense is Andy Studebaker. When he is not getting blocked by a wide receiver, he fails to keep runners from going getting outside. Fail at doing that and you should not start in the NFL.
On Todd Haley
Todd Haley is done. I don’t feel great about it because I was hoping that a team that was 6-3 Chiefs team headed to New England and other challenging football destinations would make their mark one at least a team or two and force Scott Pioli’s hand on firing him. It is clear that the Pioli camp wants to fire Todd Haley and he has given him reasons to. I say that with no joy. Todd Haley is a likeable coach. He is kind of quirky, he did get over his petulance against reporters. I wanted him to win with the Chiefs but he has not done so outside of 2010.
I feel like he leaves money on the table, so to speak, as a head coach. He has been really gunshy about using trick plays after seemingly getting shouted out of the room early last season for scaring the crap out of everyone with his gambles. Now, it seems like he coaches pensively and conservatively when he needs to find ways to get the Killer B’s the ball more, you know, like he did in Arizona with those ballhawks. The problem is more Cassel than anything but has their been a single game plan that was good, even in the wins, other than the Raiders game and the plan there was to intercept 6 passes and return two of them for touchdowns.
His approach to the preseason was of similar fashion. I think he felt like he had some wiggle room with the whole lockout delays, so if the Chiefs were not sharp in the first couple of games, they would have time to get on track. In reality, Haley was on thin ice because the one offensive weapon added the team in the offseason was a rookie wide receiver in Jonathan Baldwin, who’s thumb met Thomas Jones. Haley had to do well this year to get a new contract and he frittered away three games of the season, injuries notwithstanding. He did bring the team back but he would have a hell of a time doing so, even if Cassel were healthy, because of this second collapse.
Todd Haley is gone and, if you do not think that by now, you just can’t visualize head coaches getting fired.
Matt Cassel and the Offense
I am done with Matt Cassel too, though that doesn’t mean that I want to see Tyler Palko and/or Ricki Stanzi taking snaps, either. I think Cassel will be back but his credibility with me is lost. The offense is too important to go another season watching Matt Cassel try to prove that he can run an NFL offense. He can but he will never run a good one unless everything is going right. He will be a fine back-up quarterback somewhere but he should not be the starting quarterback for the Chiefs without another real quarterback prospects waiting in the wings.
Someone on the line needs benched and that is one is a minimum. Rodney Hudson should be ready enough to play center for the a Chiefs team whose season is basically over. Casey Weigmann and his consecutive snap streak can stand on the sidelines and try to snap the ball up his ass. If Jared Gaither could conceivably stay on the field for the rest of the season, I would say it is time to put Brandon Albert at his rightful position: left guard. You could make an argument for right tackle and that may be a better spot for him now. However, Albert will not move anywhere this season but I don’t think he is a future left tackle for the Chiefs and, if he is a better LG (or RT), he still has better value.
This may be going back to Haley but Dexter McCluster needs to stay out of the backfield for the most part, especially when the Chiefs are passing AND having problems stopping the blitz. Perhaps anyone on the team short of the kickers would be a better blocker than Dexter McCluster. I think he has some value but he is more valuable when the Chiefs are better. As of now, he is pretty easy to game plan for and just as easy to stop.
On Scott Pioli
Looking at the way this team was set up after the 10-6 season the Chiefs had last year, do you get the feeling this team was set up to fail in a way? It definitely wasn’t bolstered to assuredly win the AFC West and try for a first round bye. For all the outcry from people opposed to Suck For Luck, and I’ve asked this before, do you not think that Scott Pioli and Clark Hunt have attempted to do so, given their inaction in the offseason and their ostensible low valuation of this year’s chances to succeed? I do not think that they actually tried to Suck For Luck but it definitely appears that they were banking on a lot of things going right and did not try to improve upon last year’s division winning team.
Scott Pioli has lost a lot of my respect since the lockout ended. What is it with the Belichickians that came to Kansas City and this swagger that they carry themselves with like they have all the time in the world and they have the next great strategy and their own process. Why don’t you emulate the desirable facet of the Belichick way and win some damn football games? Maybe hire a coach that you respect and believe he will succeed next time.
Chiefs fans, keep sending the message that you will not put up with a crappy football product. Hopefully, this team can bounce back next year but, when it comes back, do not accept mediocre football either. The Chiefs downfall this year is two-fold: the blame for the Chiefs are not the class and the obvious leader of this sorry division goes to Scott Pioli and the blame for why this team has looked like one of the worst team in football for four games goes to Todd Haley. To be more precise, blame Pioli for the Chiefs not being good and blame Haley for the Chiefs being bad.
Going forward, Scott Pioli will remain and Todd Haley will go so, with Pioli, you do have to find something to like about him. At the top of the Chiefs Command page, you are beckoned to take a side. Me, picking between Todd Haley and Scott Pioli may be like picking between cancer and AIDS right now but I will go with Scott Pioli. I am not happy about it, I am skeptical of Pioli but I am picking a side. Pioli just isn’t going anywhere and he is capable of building a winner but it is time for him to actually do it.
Clark Hunt better make it clear to Scott Pioli that this second hire counts and he had better bring a winner in. This isn’t Carl Peterson bringing Chiefs football back into relevance, this should be about the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl. The only identity and celebrated successes should be those that involve winning a Super Bowl.
They Have To Play, Don’t They?
Looking at the Patriots game, whoa Nelly, it’s not going to be good. The good news: the Patriots do not play defense. Bad news: the Chiefs do not play offense. That might be the most obvious reason why there is no defense for Haley. There is no real defense for anyone running the Chiefs this year. The injuries were unfortunate and significant but there should be more talent here, that is on Pioli and, if you get credit for a four-game winning streak, the rally beard, the motivation and the bags, you have to hold Haley accountable for being at the helm for a team that has collapsed twice and can’t score to save their lives.
This will be the national embarrassment that might just help the cause to knock the Chiefs out of any claim on prime time games. It’s a shame because they just worked their way back to having some national cred. I want to see how the Chiefs defense handles the mighty Patriots offense. I want to see the Brandons battle back from, well, a game they had little to do with the loss. Brandon Flowers was not to blame for Tim Tebow’s second completion which resulted in a touchdown but he was close enough to the ball to probably feel he could have done something. I also want to see the defensive line battle back and get back to where they were a couple of weeks ago.
On the other side of the ball, not so much. Just avoid saying that the Chiefs are better off without Matt Cassel. I do not think Matt Cassel will be the quarterback of the Chiefs for much longer and I think that is for the best but a team needs their starting quarterback. Sure, he has been bad the last few weeks but this team may just quit on the offensive side of the ball if Tyler Palko is running for his life like Matt Cassel was the last couple of weeks. Tyler Palko will be bad, Ricki Stanzi is not ready and there is no Santa Claus. There is a Jesus but he just whooped the Chiefs’ bitch asses.
Watch drunk, don’t watch the game alone and don’t feel you have to watch it all if things are in the tank. It is going to be a gauntlet for the next five weeks so take shifts or whatever you have to do. It may just help if you pretend the Chiefs are a minor league football team for the rest of the year. Enjoy reliving a rendition of the Chiefs circa 2007 and 2008.