If you’re in a funk, there’s no better situation to break out of it than the one we face this Sunday: the Raiders at Arrowhead.
For most of us Addicts, we are mightily pissed. In slightly more scientific terms, our anger is directly proportional to the difference between our preseason expectations and the reality of our season thus far. The bye week did little to assuage the mountain of resentment that is building in Chiefs nation.
Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli should consider this Sunday as their final exam. The questions are easy and have been handed out weeks in advance. There are no trick questions here. If Crennel and Pioli pass, then we will know, as fans, that not all is lost. If they fail, then Clark Hunt needs to fire them immediately. Here are my final exam questions:
Can the Chiefs score on their first drive? Enough is enough. As we’ve heard for the past six weeks, we haven’t scored on our first drive since the old AFL days. Brian Daboll better take this personally. I really don’t care that Quinn is at quarterback this Sunday. This team must score on its first drive, period. I don’t care how we do it either –a 99 yard run by Jamaal, an eighteen play drive consisting of nothing but draw plays and fake punts or hell, even a direct snap to Shaun Draughn who hits a sprinting Brady Quinn down the sideline. Bottom line: the Chiefs must score on their first drive.
Can the Chiefs lead for significant parts of this game? From the opening drive to the final gun, the Chiefs must be competitive. The Raiders are 2-4, but for this final exam, it doesn’t matter who we are playing, because every Chiefs player on that field and every coach on that sideline and every general manager looking down from the box should be performing for their professional life.
Can the Chiefs’ secondary not get burned? And by burned, I mean giving up a big play because of a communication breakdown or an assignment completely missed. These types of big plays have destroyed the Chiefs this year. No more. Not one. Kendrick Lewis and Eric Berry need to get their mojo back, and now. We are six games in. No more excuses.
Can the Chiefs go an entire game without turning the ball over, even once? For some teams, having zero turnovers is semi-normal. For us, we can’t even imagine a game with no turnovers. It is literally unfathomable to go turnover free. You mean some teams play an entire sixty minutes without a bounced pass being lofted into the air for others to grab? This Sunday, we need a zero tolerance policy for turnovers.
Can the Chiefs have fewer than two penalties? And even these two penalties should be widely disputed by us Addicts, because the refs made bad calls. Eric Winston, we’re talking to you here.
Can the Chiefs win? If there ever were a must-win game, than this is it. If we somehow lose to the Raiders, than we will see faithful fans and Addicts alike flee this sinking ship, and fast, filling our Sundays with all the stuff we were saving up to do in January.
Each of these exam questions may seem impossible to accomplish for our Chiefs, but many teams routinely achieve these results. Our expectations have fallen so much in six games that we can’t even imagine success.
Let’s see what you got, Romeo and Scott. You’ve had two weeks to prepare for this game – to scout, to gameplan, to teach – to coach.
Addicts, what are your exam questions for Sunday?!