The Chiefs Were Never As Good As We Thought

How low can they go?

That seems to be the only question left to answer at this point for the Chiefs. Let there be no mistake, the Kansas City Chiefs are the worst team in professional football right now, and will almost certainly remain so through the rest of the 2012 season.

What has led us to this point is also pretty clear. We are on pace to commit the most turnovers ever in an NFL season


with an average turnover ratio of -2.6 per game. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars have scored few points than us. We’re 28th in the league in points allowed and hold the dubious distinction of being the only team to never take a lead in a game through the first seven since 1940.

We’re not even close to being a competitive NFL team. The Chiefs are broken.

While no obvious solution to the Chiefs’ woes has yet arisen, we can be certain of what will not fix the team at this point:

1.) The current coaching staff. The team is playing undisciplined, uninspired football and everything this staff tries makes it worse. Opposing teams have scored on their first possession of the second half in every single game against the Chiefs this year. Whatever halftime speeches and adjustments are being made are having the opposite effect.

2.) Brady Quinn. After two weeks of taking the starter’s snaps in practice he did not look like an NFL quarterback before apparently being kidnapped by the medical staff in the first half. His throws were way off, and he looked very uncomfortable in the pocket. Cassel has made horrendous, critical errors in every game this season but, sadly, he is still the best quarterback on the roster.

3.) Firing Pioli (but it sure would feel good). I’m not suggesting Pioli should not be fired, I just don’t think it will help us in 2012. He purged and replaced practically the entire front office staff and anyone who takes over for him now will be one of his disciples. There’s not much any new GM can change on this team at this point. Last week, I would have advocated sending a fifth-round pick to Miami for QB Matt Moore, who at least knows OC Brian Daboll’s offense and might make the remainder of the season less painful to watch. But now that Miami QB Ryan Tannehill is hurt, chances are zilch that they’ll trade away their backup. So, firing him will not change anything (putting his head on a pike might though).

4.) The defense. With its short, mistake-ridden possessions, the Chiefs offense has consistently put the D in a bad spot, forcing them to defend short fields and stay out there for most of the game. But, the defense, for its part, gives up big plays at inopportune times, allows teams to gash them late and has generally failed to make opportunities of its own. They’re not going to be able to bail us out.

While waiting for the Chiefs’ kickoff (at midnight my time), I watched the Steelers-Redskins game, which ended with a similar score (the Steelers offense looks fantastic under OC Todd Haley by the way). Having lived several years in Washington, I am familiar with their pain as well, but this game was so much different from watching the Chiefs. The ‘Skins have a quarterback. A future. They’re 3-5 and their defense is atrocious. I counted 11 drops by their wideouts in the game. And yet, they kept pace and they had a chance to make something happen all throughout the game. I noticed I was watching their third and fourth downs with genuine anticipation. When watching the Chiefs, I just tense up and brace for the dumbfounding blunder that will inevitably follow.

That’s all I want at this point. A dignified loss. One in which the team fights hard to the end but is eventually overpowered by a better team. One in which the team leaves with battle scars, not self-inflicted wounds.


Watching the Redskins gave me another thought. The Chiefs are not as talented as we think they are, and the sooner we realize that, the better for the team. I lived in DC from 2005-2009. In 2005, the Redskins had a solid defense that it rode to a playoff win at the end of a 10-6 season. On top of that, they had just drafted a quarterback in the late first round and he had spent the year riding the pine and preparing to start.

Instead, Campbell struggled and the team aged. Continually convinced that they were one player away from greatness, the Redskins gave a $100-million contract to Albert Haynesworth and traded high picks for Jason Taylor and Donovan McNabb. Since their 2005 playoff run, they have been 37-59. The solid defense and offensive line they relied on retired and the roster had to be blown up to get young.

You know who else was 10-6 not too long ago? The Cleveland Browns. In 2007, they had a season much like the Chiefs 2010 run. They were effective both on the ground and in the air and looked like a squad full of young stars. All they needed was the right coaches to make them into a dynasty. Through four years and two head-coaching changes, the Brownies ended up 14-34.

What do these three teams have in common? In 2005, the Redskins faced the 5th easiest schedule in the NFL. The Chiefs in 2010 had the 10th easiest. The Browns had what appeared to be a tough schedule in 2007, but in the end they had just one win over a team with a winning record by the end of that year (the Seahawks). Likewise, the only winning team the Chiefs beat in 2010 was the Chargers in the home opener.

So, yes, Pioli and Crennel will be gone this year. Matt Cassel is not a good quarterback. But, we shouldn’t expect this team to suddenly dominate with the addition of a new QB or head coach. We were impressive in 2010, but we won against schmos and had a point differential at the end of the season of just +40. The Browns had +20 in 2007. That indicator plus the strength of schedule is a big red flag for teams that are not as good as their records indicate.

Moving forward, we need to forget 2010 and look at this team as what it is — a disaster with a few bright spots. Acknowledging a problem is the first step to fixing it. A lot needs to change on this team. If not, this awful hangover of bad football and self-medication will drag on for many more Mondays (and in this week’s case, Friday).

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  • PunjabiPete

    I think you left one group out. The offensive line was, in a word, offensive. Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel, Ben Roethlisberger, Warran Moon, Len Dawson, fucking Johnny Unitas could not complete a pass with piss poor blocking like that. I don’t blame the D as much outside of Stanford Routt (who was terrible) because I have played on teams with shithole offenses and knowing I was going to be playing 48 minutes out of 60 put a damper on my gameplay, in that to ensure I could stop shit late in the game I would never give my all early (conserving energy and all that). The Chiefs suck ass all around, and I know I have been one to while about bandwagon fans but this loss looked like no one wants to work for their paycheck and thats sad. Can someone send Crennel a copy of Invincible and see if we can get a spark from a campy former hip hop artist who thinks he can workout enough to make people forget about said hip hop career?

    • Derek Jamison

      Yesterday the announcers were saying the Chiefs OLine is the 2nd rated line in the league. How is this possible?

      • chiefridgy

        because of rushing…which i guess romeo doesnt want to do anymore ….charles with 5 carries….

  • ArrowFan

    I think it would be beneficial to go ahead and fire the GM at this point. It would open the job to the market and possibly even allow the new one to take charge or at least be present within the organization to evaluate things while we are still in season. Sure a Pioli clone will be running things in the mean time, but what harm can be done the trade deadline is tomorrow is it not? Replacing the Gm would inevitably mean replacing all the coaching staff and several players as well. It would most likely be positive to go ahead fire Romeo as well, after all our team can not play any worse. As much as I hate to say it the entire organization needs to be blown up, again. At this point Herm is looking like a good coach.

  • Travis Forsyth

    to think i actually thought this team was going the beat the niners in the super bowl and make the ’12 season a remember-able one….. :( I COULDN’T BE MORE DISAPPOINTED…

    • ArrowFan

      It’s a memorable one all right, one for the ages and the record books. What is the worst win lose record in franchise history?

      • Travis Forsyth

        2008 2-14…not that long ago.

        • Doc

          I think 2012 will be the year that breaks that 2-14 record. Hmmm… interesting that the same GM is behind both records. Coincidence? I think not. It’s the NE way after all. Just proves that Belichick is the brains behind that organization. Sadly, Clark bought into his smooth talking way when he hired him.

          • KCMikeG

            The 2-14 was Carl & Herm’s last year in 2008. Pioli & Haley were 4-12 their 1st year in 2009.

  • Danny W

    Nice article man. I think we do need to fire Pioli because the Panthers have fired their GM and are in the market for a good guy and we should be competing with them for the best GM available. I do think this team is headed for a top pick in the Draft and that is pretty exciting.

  • tm1946

    It may not be official but realistically, the season is over. It is so bad, I want everyone fireable, fired. Do not care who they are but if they get a Chief’s paycheck, out they go.
    Real problem, I fear 2013 -15 may be more of the same. And there is no light at the end of this tunnel. Our stars are from Carl’s era, they will be long gone before draft talent can develope. 4 seasons of Pioli management and we are so far behind the 8 ball, no words for it. 4 seasons of missing the mark over and over.

  • boothis

    this year’s team cant even stay with those “schmo” teams the 2010 team beat. so frankly, discrediting that year is laughable.

  • DerekNY

    Can anyone please explain to me why at this point we do not trot Stanzi out there???? Seriously, see what this kid has at some point. Worst case scenario he blows and we continue to lose, and on the flip side he may show some promise. Also, why not see what we have in Wylie or even promote Hemmingway from the PS and give him a shot as well. Maybe at the very least you will see some guys that want to make an impression and play with a little heart. Give the ball to Eachus, at least he plays his freaking tail off constantly…Something!!!!! Everyone else is playing like they have signed deals that have a non compete clause in them and their jobs are not on the line. I have played athletics my entire life and can not comprehend how you do not see some of these players on the sideline getting in their teammates faces and demanding more or trying to get them fired up. I do not get this at all.

    • Drewfish

      YES….finally someone else feels the same way!!!!

      • ArrowFan

        I agree, Trick Shot, he was not give any time during the preseason and his one pass looked very good compared to our other QB’s. At the very least he has huge potential.

    • Jonathan Aldridge

      i wish alex tanney wasnt on injury reserve. i honestly think he could be an ok nfl qb

  • Daniel Mayfield

    Good point! Get rid of the GM, like 99% of the fans want, and that’s a step to improving the team. Quinn might be better then what it looked. Give him another chance and we might see something better. The line is good, no sacks for 80 passing plays. (Get the ball to Charles more) But they do need a new and better QB. A new GM, HC, and maybe a new OC

  • Jonathan Aldridge
  • Chiefswatch

    WHAT? Cassel wasn’t any good in 2010? How dare you say that….lol. Yep we have been hamstrung by that piece of shit since he graced the city. Likewise these Pioli drafts have been largely a ton of busts. We are not a good team. Not even close.

  • chiefsfan4life

    I know this is pretty far fetched, but what if we acquired tebow? The jets are hardly using him, and a tebow-Charles or a tebow-hillis option would be pretty damn nasty I think. He could also provide a much needed spark for this team, bring some life and intensity back to our beloved chiefs. Thoughts?

    • BurtGummer44

      We’d be better off drafting Klein in the mid rounds next year………..he has more upside in the passing game. Hell as far I’m concerned take Geno in round 1 and Klein in the 4th. They sure as hell couldn’t be any worse than Cassel/Quinn

      • chiefsfan4life

        I agree on your draft picks, geno looked pretty horrible vs kstate though. I was thinking tebow by the deadline in the next 48 hrs…

  • KCMikeG

    Good article. I get everyone wanting to fire everyone but realistically – who the hell could we get to replace anyone fired that would be worth a shit and not more of the same AND would actually want to come into this hornet’s nest in the middle of a shit storm?

    • Ribs61

      Why replace them at all? Will the Chiefs be LESS prepared without a HC than how Crennel has prepared them?

  • RIP Chief

    I’ve been a Chiefs fan since 1974. I’ve always been optimistic about the Chiefs chances for success every year since. I’ve made excuses for their coming up short every year but this season. I’ve heard other fans clamor for the return of Marty Ball and I have to admit Marty’s teams were always well prepared and it didn’t matter how good the other team may be if they played at a Arrowhead the visiting team lost 95% of the time. Now we have visiting teams looking forward to kicking our a$$ at home, in our backyard. If this was high school the Chiefs would be the team all the other schools schedule to play homecoming week. I travel for a living and I’m usually very proud to be a Chiefs fan but now …I can’t continue this abusive relationship anymore. I’ve taken down my Chiefs gear, when colleagues kid me about Chiefs record I no longer defend them. What am I going to say, “Hey if we played all our games at Arrowhead we’d be undefeated!” or “Wait till next year, we have a new GM, new NFL retreads and a new losing philosophy (The Patriot Way or San Francisco West Coast Style). The Chiefs need to rediscover their true identity and philosophy. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I thought the Chiefs were all about suffocating defense and efficient offense. Anyway I’m done…good luck to all you true, hardcore Chief fans. Okay maybe not completely done I’ll break out the gear once again in 2014 or 2015 hopefully the latest rebuilding will be complete by then

    • lonewolf1366

      Dude, I know exactly how u feel!