If you came here for an in-depth, numbers-based analysis on why the Chiefs suck, you’re in the wrong place this week. This is going to be a purely subjective, knee-jerk explanation of why they suck.
For those that don’t know me, I live and work as a journalist in the Republic of Georgia. The game ended at about 1 a.m. my time and today Georgians are going to the polls in the most competitive elections in this small country’s long history. So I sort of have my hands full.
Nonetheless, I also represent the voice of Chiefs nation as the official Chiefs superfan for the fantastic ESPN Football Today podcast. I send them my thoughts on the game and they are periodically read to the Internet. Below is what I sent them today.
What can been said about the Chiefs in the wake of their third blowout loss this season? They’re hard to watch.
I try not to fly off the handle, but there is mounting evidence for a number of unhappy conclusions about the Chiefs.
1.) We have the worst coach in the NFL.
The Chiefs have now looked totally unprepared in the first half of three out of four of their games. Obviously, committing a stunning six turnovers is a problem of execution, not play-calling, but the head coach has a lot to do with the team’s focus and composure going into the games. Our players have looked like deer in headlights most of the season across all three phases. The Chiefs actually failed to kick an extra point yesterday. Wrap your head around that. Despite the fact that Romeo Crennel is certainly a brilliant defensive mind, our defense has been the worst in the league.
Worse, Crennel has continued to pursue pathetically vanilla game plans, even when down by multiple TDs, and honestly he seems content to put a few points on the board and lose by just 17 points or so at home. Everything about this team reminds me of the Mike Singletary 49ers, except we don’t go out and hit anyone in the mouth.
When the players come out playing lackadaisical and look defeated in the first half, you need a leader to shout at some people and get them fired up to play. We do not have any such leader on our coaching staff. As much as Todd Haley rubbed people the wrong way, at least he looked like he cared our opponents were mopping the floor with his team.
2.) Despite its talent, this is a fundamentally flawed team
The Chiefs were built to play stout defense, be productive with the run and have a QB who can keep the game under control. The problem with this model is that there is extremely little margin for error, and when things start going wrong, it all goes wrong. Also, Matt Cassel is not Alex Smith. Up until this point, I bought into the idea that as long as the run game and defense were clicking, we could count on Cassel to manage his end. The problem — other than the fact that the defense has been horrendous — is that, in reality our entire offensive scheme is based around hiding him. He stares down receivers, he’s inaccurate and he takes a lot of sacks. Every Chiefs fan holds his/her breath when Cassel is counted on to make a third-down throw, and despite having the top running back and top-ranked running game in the league, we still can’t make up for his ineptitude.
3.) Oddly enough, we could still come back in the division fight
Every team in this division has shown inconsistency, and the Chiefs defense has its moments where it is able to lock down halves — just not games. The second half of our schedule is extremely soft and the Chiefs have shown flashes on offense. If we can put together a complete game, we can probably beat anyone in the league. But right now, there’s no team in the league that I can’t imagine them losing to. The fan base and even the KC Star columnists are clamoring for the Chiefs to intentionally tank the season to get a high-round draft pick to use on a quarterback in the next draft, but that’s just stupid. Not only will there be a lot less teams drafting QBs next year, you can still find good quarterbacks in the teens and 20s — Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers and Dan Marino, just to name a few.
4.) This could be the end of Pioli
It appears that Pioli has now whiffed on two head coaches and has committed serious money and a second-round pick to a bad quarterback who he has protected from any competition for his job over the past four years. All of the team’s best players — Tamba Hali, Jamaal Charles, Brandon Flowers, Derrick Johnson, Brandon Albert etc. — were drafted before he got here, and are peaking right now. His first-round picks are Tyson Jackson, Eric Berry, Jonathan Baldwin and Dontari Poe. None have made a major impact. Still I would not rejoice at his departure, because it means total rebuilding and Chiefs nation is exhausted from starting from scratch over and over again.
I would not be surprised if neither Crennel nor Cassel are on the field by the end of the season. If that’s the case, Pioli is cooked.
What do you guys think about picking up David Garrard?