Dec 30 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Members of the Kansas City Chiefs sit on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 38-3. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs' Season Finale & The Future

Kansas City’s final game, of a woeful 2012 season, ended in a loss to the AFC West Champion Broncos. The win for Denver secured the #1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The 38-3 loss for Kansas City was the team’s ninth blowout of the year. The Chiefs’ 32nd-ranked scoring offense posted just three points on Sunday. Much of that can be attributed to a paltry 49 passing yards by quarterback Brady Quinn. As a result of no real passing game, runningback Jamaal Charles amassed only 53 yards on the ground and averaged just 3.8 yards per carry.

Peyton Manning put on an absolute clinic on Sunday afternoon. The 12-time Pro Bowler completed 23 of 29 passes and threw three touchdowns on the day. Kansas City’s run defense was gashed by the Denver ground game to the tune of 172 rushing yards. The Chiefs were +1 in the turnover category and still managed to lose by five touchdowns. Denver had four times as many first downs and won the time of possession battle by 15 minutes. John Fox and the Broncos imposed their will on Kansas City in every way.

The Chiefs will wake up on Monday morning from a 17-week nightmare. This organization fielded the single worst team in franchise history this year. Sunday’s loss secured a share of the league’s worst record and the #1 draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. That’s the first time the franchise has owned the #1 pick since the 1963 AFL Draft. Such a distinction will be cause for celebration in April. For now, everyone’s left wondering why a team, expected by many to win the division, is still regressing in the fourth year of the Scott Pioli administration.

Everyone’s on pins and needles at One Arrowhead Drive. Head coach Romeo Crennel has already been fired. Scott Pioli’s future is uncertain, but several reports suggest that he’ll be retained by Chiefs owner Clark Hunt. Here’s what Hunt had to say:

The entire football operation will remain under review, and there may be additional changes to come. No final determination has been made at this point on the future of General Manager Scott Pioli.

I’d venture to guess if he stays on as general manager, it’ll be with the understanding that serious change must follow. I won’t be surprised if he’s also on the unemployment line in a few days though. Chiefs Kingdom will have to wait to see how the rest of the drama will unfold.

What do fans have to look forward to in the meantime? The best-case scenario would be for the front office dominoes to fall quickly. Ridding the organization of the wrong personnel, sooner rather than later, will allow Hunt to get on with the process of finding their replacements. The Chiefs were behind the 8-ball the last time a general manager was fired (Carl Peterson in late 2008). Scott Pioli wasn’t hired until January 13, 2009. Pioli took office and the next ten days to evaluate then-head coach Herman Edwards. Edwards was eventually fired on January 23, but that left the team with a limited set of head coaching options. With several other teams vying for head coaches, this would be a good time for Clark Hunt to get clear about the direction this team is heading in.

There are mixed emotions about West Virginia’s Geno Smith. Draftniks aren’t sure that he’s the consensus #1 pick, but they generally agree that he’s the best quarterback prospect in the 2013 draft class. The NFL Draft is still more than three months away and a lot can change over that time. Smith could remove all doubt about his being worthy of the #1 pick if he decides to throw at the NFL Combine or WVU’s Pro Day. 

Geno Smith is my personal choice to be this team’s top pick. I think the kid checks out in every way the NFL measures collegiate quarterbacks. Smith can make every NFL throw, is poised in the pocket, has well above-average accuracy and ball placement, and is athletic enough to extend plays or scramble when under pressure. Couple that with a career completion percentage of 67.4 and his intense film room habits, and I think he makes a compelling case to join this football team. With the new collective bargaining agreement, drafting your quarterback of the future, is much less risky than it was five years ago.

The Kansas City Chiefs are set to embark on a transition period. How big a transition remains to be seen, but it’s clear that there will be changes with this franchise. Clark Hunt has the opportunity to change this football team’s fortunes (for the better) over the next three months. He could also make the wrong decisions and keep this team mired in mediocrity. It all starts with a house cleaning. Will Hunt be a hoarder or make room for some shiny new furniture? Get your popcorn ready folks, should be an interesting ride.

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Until next time, Addicts!

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