Well, if last Sunday wasn’t the perfect storm for suck. The bye-week was good to the Denver Broncos. I imagine that having to start their break fresh off a loss to the San Francisco 49ers in London wasn’t easy but they got healthy, they were prepared and the Broncos were the better coached team than the Kansas City Chiefs.
The last three games for the Chiefs have not been ones to hang your proverbial hat on. Like John Elway, I am starting to feel scammed. Not that anyone on the Chiefs’ coaching staff or in the Chiefs’ front office is actively trying to scam the fans but the Chiefs gave all the signs that they were going to take advantage of their easy schedule and maximize their current potential with ball control and mistake-free play. Now, I don’t know if the Chiefs can make the playoffs. I feel a lot like Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders feels. For all the fans that wanted recognition for their Chiefs, they got it and it turns out it was as if the cockroaches had asked for light.
My fears about the safety position and Denver’s offensive line before the game started were correct. Still, I thought the Chiefs would manage. Then, after the game, I hear Bill Maas talk about “Mc Snub” Todd Haley and “Front Butt” Charlie Weis bickering about the game plan, the Chiefs are going to get fed to wolves every week. If any substantial feud has started, it is already over.
Denver Broncos 49 Kansas City Chiefs 29
The Broncos won because they found multiple weaknesses in the Chiefs’ pass coverage and they were able to run the ball when they wanted to. The Chiefs lost because they gave up doing what the Chiefs are best at: running the football. Why abandon the game plan so early? Yes, the Broncos scored early and often but it was only 14-0 when the Chiefs decided to start chucking the football around. That shows me that a two-touchdown deficit against the Chiefs is practically insurmountable if the game plan is going to be scraped at the drop of a hat.
The offense wasn’t the problem, however. Donald Washington and Ricky Price were awful but Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher were just as over-matched in pass coverage. Tyson Jackson should be getting as much playing time as Anthony Toribio currently does. The Chiefs had no answers for Denver’s offense and I don’t think the Chiefs would have won even if they had a competent free safety. Chris Chambers is just terrible. He should be at the bottom of the depth chart because he’s garbage. Verran Tucker has been impressive and he should get more time on the field than Chambers.
Whether the Chiefs needed a wake-up call or not, they got one. In all this talk about being a young team and taking steps, let us all remember that the two most inexperienced people on the team at their jobs are head coach Todd Haley and Matt Cassel, who have 1.5 and 2.5 total years (including college) of experience at their current roles. The Chiefs have came a long way since the end of last season but it’s time that the Chiefs have the attitude that they aren’t on borrowed time in the NFL. The Chiefs are an NFL franchise like any other and it’s time that they operate as such.
Raheem Morris calls his Tampa Bay Buccaneers, another young rebuilding team, the best in the NFC and Haley won’t call the Chiefs a good team. At the moment, they are both about right.
Dead Red Bird Redemption
The bad Arizona Cardinals will be in Arrowhead Stadium today and this should be the relief the Chiefs need. The Cardinals are fresh off a disappointing loss of their own as they got doubled up at home by the Seattle Seahawks, 36-18. Derek Anderson is terrible which marginalizes ballhawk Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals will air it out against the Chiefs but Tamba Hali should have a field day against Levi Brown. On defense, the Cardinals have safety Adrian Wilson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie but little else. The Chiefs should stick to the run but they should not be afraid to pass on the Cardinals, who have given up the most points in the NFL to date.
The injury report is disturbing to me. Kendrick Lewis should be ready to go. Guards Brian Waters and Ryan Lilja are questionable. If one of them plays, the Chiefs should manage but if they are both sitting, it could get ugly. Tony Moeaki will be sorely missed and, yes, their is a drop-off in the quality of tight ends without Tony. I am going to be watching both guard positions and the free safety positions because if new guys are stepping into these positions, it could be trouble. I will not be watching the tight end position. I am hoping Leonard Pope has a grudge against his former team and Jake O’Connell brings his hands today because they are all we have unless Mike Vrabel counts.
I wish I knew what Dennis Green thinks the Chiefs are because I don’t know what they are and I hope the Chiefs are good enough that they are “let off the hook‘ by the Cardinals sooner than later.
Prediction: The Chiefs will be crowned as the winners of today’s game!
Game Day Update 10:45 CT –
No Dexter McCluster. It shouldn’t matter because they shouldn’t need him. G’s Waters and Lilja are in so good news there.