Despite my seat on the “Suck for Luck” bandwagon, I have to say that the Chiefs played a good game against the Minnesota Vikings and were the better team in that game. The problem is that the Chiefs will not be the better team in many of the games that they play the rest of the way through this NFL season. What’s more, this year’s Chiefs can play their asses off for Todd Haley but it seems that the team will have to make the playoffs for Haley to keep his job and, even then, I still think he is a marked man in GM Scott Pioli’s eyes and, deservedly so, though Haley was Pioli’s choice.
Nonetheless, the season goes on and the Chiefs will face-off against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have been the Chiefs’ roadblock for many a playoff game in the last decade. Without Peyton Manning, though, the Chiefs are the Colts’ equal. Because of this fact and the upcoming bye week, I don’t think we can say much about the Chiefs for another two weeks. If they beat the Colts, what can you say about the Chiefs? That they beat teams at their lowly level? That they win games by attrition? Not to piss in anyone’s Cheerios but this team will have to win definitively like they did against the San Francisco 49ers last year for this game to have any resonance in terms of the Chiefs’ slim chances of any semblance of a competitive season this year.
Suck For Luck Corner
The Suck For Luck camp is not closed down yet but we have packed up some of our belongings and are sitting on our coolers drinking beer and prepared to leave if this team wins another game. The fact that we are in this race is due to injuries, yes, but also due to the fact that Todd Haley totally mismanaged the preseason. If things continue to go south, he deserves to be fired and I say this with no joy. I like Todd Haley and I wish his way would have worked because I think that while camp is crucial, donning full pads and playing four meaningless games does a lot of harm for a football team. Tony Moeaki is out for the season and Matt Cassel nearly missed the opener this year. Yet here we are, one of the few teams in the running for what seems to be a no-doubter top prospect quarterback in Andrew Luck.
Quick, I want you to name the best five quarterbacks in the NFL. Mine are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger. They’ve all won Super Bowls and are capable of winning another. Needless to say, when an NFL team has a quarterback of such a high caliber as the aforementioned five, such a team has a chance to at least make the playoffs every year and generally find themselves deep in the playoffs consistently. Andrew Luck has A CHANCE to be of this caliber. He is not a lock by any means but he has the best chance of any QB prospect to come along in quite a while.
If you are against this Suck For Luck campaign, I ask you this: what is your plan? The S4L plan is to consider this odd, injury riddled season a wash and have a chance at a quarterback that could be a legend, could be a Super Bowl winning quarterback. He could also be a bust but, in this case, who blames a team for taking the consensus #1 pick. The S4L is not so much of a plan as it is a dismal path with a payoff but there is no reason to be against it if one is realistic about the Chiefs and their current condition. The Chiefs get their stars back come next season and maybe Clark Hunt takes the silver spoon out of his ass and spends some money to build a winner. This is not to say that Andrew Luck wins the Super Bowl for his team next year but maybe the next year or the year after that, just like Brady, Rodgers and Big Rapist did.
Andrew Luck does not solve all the Chiefs’ problems if he arrives here in April but a quarterback of high caliber is more and more a necessary facet for a team to win a Super Bowl. If there is another plan to get a quarterback of high caliber, it must have a less likely chance of working and probably relies on a lot of unicorns and rainbows. This is a passing league and the Chiefs need one of those wizards making game winning drives happen. I would be fine relinquishing the S4L stance if the Chiefs turn out to be at least competitive but, like I said, we may not know for another two weeks.
The King is Not in his Court
In Peyton Manning’s place, Curtis Painter (or possibly Kerry Collins) is at the helm at quarterback for the Colts. This has to be a matchup for the Chiefs that can be exploited. The Chiefs’ pass rush, led by the one man wrecking crew Tamba Hali, will bother Painter like they did Donovan McNabb last week. I am not worried about the defense. The defensive line did a great job at leading Adrian Peterson into the linebackers’ arms. Some credit for those efforts goes to the Vikings’ porous offensive line but the front three did their job on running downs. Painter will target Dallas Clark, a tight end good enough to give the Berry-less secondary trouble all day.
The Chiefs’ defense is not what I am worried about. If the Chiefs’ offense is lukewarm, this is a game decided by a field goal. The Chiefs offense needs to own today. I am excited to see Jonathan Baldwin on the offense today in any capacity. This may be a lost season for the rookie wideout but he could end up with some good performances at the tail end of this season and we can all agree that it would be great for the potential of this first round draft pick to be realized as soon as this year.
The Chiefs offense may have some struggles if the tornado that is Dwight Freeney has anything to say about it. He and Robert Mathis can bring a pass rush and the Chiefs could struggle keeping them and their 4-3 defense at bay. Brandon Albert has his hands full again but he certainly was up to the task of relatively negating old friend Jared Allen. It’s time that the offense starts clicking because that is why a team brings in an offensive mind like Todd Haley. If he is going to keep his job or at least put himself in position for another, it’s about time to make the magic happen.
Drawing up plays and game plans only go so far, though. There are still some weapons on the team that can make some plays. Making those plays involves letting Matt Cassel throw downfield. Getting into shouting matches on the field cannot happen every week. Eventually, Haley will have to let Matt Cassel have chances to look downfield and Matt Cassel will actually have to look that far afield and find some open receivers. At this point, you have to live and die by the pass.
There will have to be a ground game established and this will take more than running Dexter McCluster here and there. It will mean getting Zombie Thomas Jones out of there and let Jackie Battle get more carries. Not because Battle is any good but because he is a better running back at this point in time and because the offensive line is not terrible at blocking the run. The run will have to set up the pass. I do not believe Matt Cassel leads this team back to relevancy but he will before anyone else runs the Chiefs back to such a level. It’s time for Haley and his team to show explosiveness, prowess and strength. The reason that I am on the S4L bandwagon is not because I think they cannot do it but because Haley has not shown that he is capable of steering his offense in such a direction. This is the week to stick this nemesis of ours in the dirt.
Prediction: I have no damn clue.
Also, Jason Whitlock is once again way off. Unlike Bocephus, Whitlock has no excuse.