In Week 1, two teams that lost came away looking very different as a result of their respective performances. One of those teams appeared to have hit rock bottom. The other, even though it had lost, nevertheless seemed to have accomplished something unexpected, something that could be built upon, possessing a renewed sense of hope. As fate would have it, those two teams would face each other the next week and after four quarters of play, those competing perceptions underwent a dramatic reversal. Those two teams played at Arrowhead last Sunday.
I was there. It felt like an all-time low. My list of grievances is long.
A home opener which hosted a storied rivalry began with far too many empty seats.
Eleventh consecutive regular season loss.
Sixth consecutive loss at home.
Second consecutive home loss to an otherwise lackluster and dysfunctional division rival.
Another Herm Edwards‘ 0-2 start.
Surrendering 300 yards on the ground, nearly all of which came in the second half.
No points in the first half.
No leadership on either side of the ball.
No rushing attack.
Incompetent quarterback play.
Hundreds of Raiders fans partying it up – IN MY HOUSE!
A scoreboard banner displaying to a near empty stadium that season tickets were still available.
A disgruntled LJ hinting he might find more respect elsewhere.
Peasants with torches and pitchforks.
And on and on.
It was sad. It was disgusting. It was humiliating. It was absurd. How could it have come to this? Did it all just end with a whimper? The once mighty Chiefs utterly vanquished? A once loud, proud stadium out-roared by the opening flyover?
Come now. Are things really as bad as they seem? Ever? Did Week 1 mark the end of the Raiders’ season? Did Week 2 signal the end of Chiefs’ season? Should Chiefs’ players not even bother suiting up from here on out? Should we fans display our displeasure by raking leaves on Sunday or by rooting for our second favorite team? Should we withhold our support until the day the Chiefs are once again exciting to watch, approaching greatness, and give us a good reason to be proud fans?
Maybe? Maybe not? That’s a personal decision I suppose. Over the decades, I have seen the best and I have seen the worst in my Chiefs and one thing I can tell you is that when you’re only two games in, there is a whole lot of season left to play and a lot can happen along the way. When you have a young team, debacles like the one we witnessed on Sunday are to be expected every once and a while. Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? Not really.
We have a team with the kind of energy and talent that will likely excite us one week and dash all of our hopes the next. It’s simply going to be like that this year. What one expects is that as the season progresses, this team will reach a point where their level of play shows more polish and more consistency, where their preparation improves with each passing week, and maybe, just maybe, they start stringing together some wins.
Losses like the one that took place on Sunday also generate opportunities. There is the opportunity to learn and grow from one’s mistakes. There is the opportunity to question your mindset and then redefine yourself in a more competitive way. There is the opportunity to question your preparation and redouble your effort. There is opportunity for leadership to arise and take command of the battlefield.
Look around. We are tied (in last place) with what is arguably the best team in the division. The Broncos undeservedly (thanks to the zebras) lead the division a mere two games ahead of us. We get the chance to reduce that gap by one when we face them in a couple of weeks. Things are still wide open. Opportunity abounds for anyone willing to make something of it. Roll over and expect the worst? Not me, not just yet.
Was Sunday a major bummer? Absolutely.
Were there any positives? I think I saw a few.
An undrafted rookie free agent, Mike Cox, continues to show why he belongs in this league.
Tony Gonzalez never, ever stops trying to win; no matter what.
Dwayne Bowe can still ball.
Donnie Edwards can still hit hard and make plays.
Bernard Pollard continues to show up; his best days lie ahead.
The option attempt was sort of interesting and fun to see.
It was still anybody’s game midway into the 4th quarter.
We recovered 2 fumbles from Oakland and gave up 0 fumbles to Oakland.
The sooner Bro Cro returns, the better our chances become of winning.
Once Thigpen settled down, he wasn’t totally horrible. If he can learn to look off defenders and stop telegraphing his throws, he might actually be an okay backup someday.
This Sunday the Chiefs go against an opponent that is also going through the pains of rebuilding. What better opportunity for our players, both young and old, to pick themselves up, dust off, not worry about all the boobirds back home and show some resilience? The Raiders just taught us an important lesson about perseverance. Hopefully it sticks.
I think I have it in me to give this team the rest of the season to see if they have it in them to make their way back from Hell.
How about you, Addicts?