After a long, torturous lockout, Chiefs fans were looking forward to the start of the NFL season. Even though the Chiefs mailed in the preseason, there was cause for optimism. The Chiefs were an ascending team, growing a nice core of young talent. Then came the Bills game. That game turned into a perfect storm of sorts. The Chiefs looked like they didn’t belong on the same field with a Bills team that, frankly, is not that good.
There is simply no way to polish that turd of a performance. To add insult to injury, Eric Berry was lost for the year. Berry is probably the defensive player the Chiefs could least afford to lose. So, where do the Chiefs go from here?
Well, the official Merlin preseason prediction of 7-9 goes out the window. Without Berry and Moeaki, the Chiefs will be doing well if they win five games. No season is lost, but realistically, the Chiefs are no longer playoff contenders. The rest of the season, I will be evaluating the following.
- Todd Haley. Yes, Todd Haley is coaching for his job. The Chiefs lack of preparation lands on the coaching staff in general and Haley in specific. Haley needs to show that he can get the Chiefs motivated to play and maximize their talent. I don’t want to put a win number up as a goal. I want to see Haley get the most out of the Chiefs.
- Growth in the rookie class and all young players. It was nice to see Sheffield and Houston get a lot of playing time.
- Can Jim Zorn earn the coaching staff’s trust enough to become the play caller? I was going to write this last week, but I was sick. I consider Zorn a key to the Chiefs this season. Todd Haley should not be calling plays, either himself or through his sock puppet, Bill Muir.
- I have suggested before that Romeo Crennel is the next Chiefs coach-in-waiting. However, that defensive performance against the Bills didn’t help his cause. Can he work his reported genius on that defense without Eric Berry?
- Matt Cassel. Cassel needs to show that he can drive the Chiefs offense. If the Chiefs only win a handful of games, a first-round quarterback becomes an option.
- Jamaal Charles. Did he contract fumblitis during the offseason or are the last couple of games an aberration?
OK, Addicts, that’s what I will be keeping my eye on. Do you think I am being too harsh on the Chiefs? What are your keys to the season from this point forward?