Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Quinnch Who Stole Christmas


Coming back from my home abroad in the Republic of Georgia for the holidays, the only thing I really wanted for Christmas was to be able to witness a competitive Chiefs game in person.

Statistically, the team’s past performances and the overall matchup with the Colts made it pretty unlikely I was going to get my wish. But, despite Brady Quinn’s and Brian Daboll’s best efforts I was able to stand a few dozen rows back and watch my beloved team play a dignified game against a better opponent.

I even got to see the team make history. The 2012 Chiefs are the only NFL team to rush for more than 350 yards and still lose the game. Let that soak in a little.

I’m preaching to the choir here on Arrowhead Addict, but if there are any readers who have not been watching the Chiefs all season, this game is your indisputable proof that the Chiefs have been sunk singlehandedly by horrendous quarterback play and worst offensive coaching and play-calling in the league. It is very difficult to have 507 total yards and score only 13 points without doing it on purpose. If that was Daboll’s intent, well done, sir.

If not, well …

Matt Cassel would have won this game.

Mark Sanchez would have won this game.

Heck, Chad Henne would have won this game by two touchdowns.

Andy Reid, who is about to be fired, would have never called for a draw play on 3rd and 8 with the game tied in the last three minutes against a team that already had six wins in which they came back in the fourth quarter. Norv Turner, who is also about to be fired, wouldn’t even have this dumb play in his binder.

In fact, any offensive coordinator who decides to hand off to his power back in a clutch situation from the shotgun formation (!) on 3rd and 8 in what is likely your last possession of a tied game needs to be taken in for a round of electroshock treatment. I’m not trying to be crass, it’s for their health.

The fact that Jamaal’s historic performance was wasted because his quarterback not only couldn’t score at the end of drives, but actually killed one drive and gave up an easy pick six, is criminal.

Quinn needs to find himself a nice spot in the UFL or CFL and I don’t say that out of spite or malice. I believe him when he said he’s not interested in the glory, but rather an opportunity to play the game he loves. Through five seasons in the NFL, he has shown that he is a low-end backup quarterback at this level, and even at that, I’m not sure I’d want him to try and carry my team if my starter gets hurt. He’s made his money; if he really wants to play this game I think he’ll find it’s a lot more fun in the minor leagues. There it won’t matter that he can’t hit a single deep throw – the Colts’ coverage was nothing special on Sunday; he wouldn’t have completed those throws even if the receivers were wide open.

It also struck me at this game how much we have lowered our expectations as Chiefs fans. A lot of the post-game talk was about the fact that Jon Baldwin had one of his best games with two (!) catches for 64 yards on six targets. The fact that this is considered to be a noteworthy performance is among the best evidence I can summon for just how much this team has played like garbage this year. In fact, it feels like we have undergone a slow slide in our expectations over the last few years towards saying, “Well, we didn’t get totally embarrassed. Good day.”

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

That bears out in the stats dug up by the Star’s Sam Mellinger: the Chiefs current point differential is a league-worst  -179 and is also the worst in team history. For our sanity’s sake, our brains have prepared us for such an outcome as the four worst seasons in terms of point differential in the 52-year history of team were 2011, 2009, 2008, and 2012.

We have grown accustomed to being blown out or barely scraping by for a win. The only reason Sunday’s game was even watchable was due to Charles’ herculean efforts along with Peyton Hillis, who decided he was in the mood to run, apparently.

Before the game, I was at the Chiefs VIP tailgate, which was near empty like Arrowhead’s stands. On the plus side, it meant no line for food, beer and autographs from Chiefs Hall-of-Fame safety Deron Cherry. Cherry, who racked up six Pro-Bowl seasons from 1981-1991 with 15 recovered fumbles and 50 interceptions, was a quarterback hunter for a decade. So, I took the time to ask him what he thought about the incoming QB class.

As everyone else has said, he agreed that this year’s crop is less than awe-inspiring, but he was more interested in what the Chiefs would do in the front office. I found it very interesting that he brought that up unsolicited because he was presumably brought in by Chiefs PR for the event. The fact that he said he thinks Crennel should go and it doesn’t make sense to trust Pioli to pick his third head coach in five years  speaks volumes because it was Pioli’s office that hired him for the appearance.

For his part, he said he thinks the Chiefs should bring in Bruce Arians, who has ties to the team as a running backs coach in the late 80’s when Cherry was playing. We’ll be pouring over head coaching options over the next few weeks, but I respectfully disagree with the choice of Arians.

Although he has been an accomplished coordinator for several teams, Arians has never distinguished himself as anything more than that and had a disastrous tenure coaching Temple in the 70’s. He should be highly commended for how he has steered the Colts from afterthought to playoffs in one season, but it’s difficult to tell how much of that was his own efforts and how much came from the team’s wunderkind quarterback and emotional drive to win for their official head coach who has been battling leukemia.

It’s a great story, but so was Romeo Crennel last year, and there are too many parallels there for me to get excited about him.

I’m open to other possibilities, but for now, the rest of my Christmas list reads: Bill Polian, Geno Smith and the ability to hold lofty expectations for this team without subjecting myself to inevitable psychological trauma when they take the field.

And, yes, I am willing to share these presents with others.

Next Chiefs Game View full schedule »
Saturday, Aug 2323 Aug7:00Minnesota VikingsBuy Tickets

Tags: Brady Quinn Colts Deron Cherry Indianapolis Jamaal Charles Peyton Hillis Romeo Crennel Scott Pioli

  • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

    Merry Christmas, Nick. Don’t let the Quinnich get you down. It will all be over soon.

  • TAZMOSIS

    Nick,

    Please don’t fret. We are about to see the last of the latest edition of the Kansas City Chiefs. And that is led by the aforementioned Quinn, along with Crennel, Pioli, Cassel, Hillis, Jackson, Dorsey, et.al. I don’t want to miss anybody, so let’s just say that the entire coaching staff is toast, along with probably 25% of the roster. It isn’t necessary to blow up the team, because we all know that there is talent on both sides of the ball. It may be naive of me, but I really believe that with the right QB, GM and coaching staff, this could still be a playoff team. If we look at the Colts, Skins and Seahawks, (ok, let’s leave them out.they are just insane) if these teams have shown us anything, it’s that even a rookie QB can win in the new NFL. I also believe that this Chiefs team has better talent than either the ”Skins or the Colts. So, bottom line. Will this draft produce another Luck or RGIII for us? If you take the time and look at film from RGIII’s college career and Geno Smith, it is uncanny how much these two look similar. Both are athletic, can move in the pocket, can escape a rush, are devoted to not only their craft, but to the game. The one very important trait about Smith is that he doesn’t make stupid mistakes, something that Quinn and Cassel, with years of combined experience, just cannot figure out. Just as important in getting the right guy at QB is somebody who has the ability to coach and tutor him. There is something that Smith has in his DNA. If he makes a mistake, he learns from it and is determined not to make it again. Geno Smith is a student of the game and his at his position, something that doesn’t come along all that often. At the hardest position in sports to command, Smith will be a star.

  • rich

    I think they should draft geno and if Glennon is available at their next pick or Tyler Wilson they should draft him too. I think this gives them some insurance in case Geno isn’t as advertised.

  • Matt Finucane

    My dad played a round of golf with Cherry a couple months ago, and in that instance too he was open with discussing how bad Pioli is, as well as several other Chiefs. Cassel, Stanzi, Tin Man, Baldwin, Donovan, etc.

    • NicholasAlanClayton

      Hey now, Tin Man seems to be coming around. If he’s willing to take a pay cut, I’m willing to keep him provided we stick with the 3-4.

      • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

        Actually Tin Man is having a terrible season. I know it seems like he is playing better because he’s got a couple of coverage sacks but according to his Pro Football Focus grades, he is still rubbish at rushing the QB and now his run defense, which was the one thing he was pretty good at, has fallen off.

        He is the worst graded defender on the defense with a -9.5. His pass rush is a -10 and his run D is a -1. In 2011 he had a _8.6 grade, mostly thanks to his outstanding run D. But his pressures are the same. He had four hurries in 2011 and he has three seasons.

        The only difference in his pass defense is two coverage sacks. As I recall, of his three sacks this year, one he earned and the other two were coverage.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7407726 Nicholas Alan Clayton

          Fine. Use actual “metrics” and stuff. All I know is that he has looked like one of the less useless guys on the D-line this year and he is huge. Maybe we can at least trade him for his weight in wideouts or backup cornerbacks.

          • http://twitter.com/biglump007 Leon Ritz

            Watch the games closely and see why DJ makes all those tackles in the back field. Chances are there was a whole opened up by Jackson or one of the other guys that allowed DJ the get there. DJ gets the stats but he doesn’t if other guys aren’t doing their jobs.

        • http://twitter.com/biglump007 Leon Ritz

          I gotta ask, why do you hate Jackson so much. And for my mind PFT grades don’t mean squat, they are nothing more than opinions. granted they are grades but those grades are based on how well someone else thought someone played.

  • steve phillips

    I cant wait for Black Monday….that’ll be my Xmas present.
    Crennel, Cassel, Quinn and most, most especially Dabol and Pioli -all sent to where they belong; the dust bin of NFL history. next guy that mentions “the Patriot way” gets a Patriot missile up his nose or elsewhere.
    and since there nobody worth THE top pick, trade down and get a starter or two and swap 1st rounders. how about Giants? I’ll take Usuminourya, Victor Cruz and the 18th pick for #1 overall.

  • Daniel Mayfield

    I agree on getting rid of Pioli and Crennel, but I think everybody does. Through DaBoll out too, his play calls ruin games. As for Baldwin getting the 2 catching, that’s a good game considering the QB accuracy. For Hillis having over 100 yards, shows that I would keep him for 1 more year if I could find a good QB. A good QB, Geno Smith, and 2 great RBs. Keep the line in shape and some good WRs, which we have, and then the offensive SHOULD be better. Depends on the staff. If the players are good but the team sucks, then you know it’s the staff. Just gotta wait and see