Mar 13, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey (right), quarterback Alex Smith (center), and head coach Andy Reid pose for photos during the press conference at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 Kansas City Chiefs: A Foundation Laid, An Opportunity Lost


ArmchairAddict1

As the final seconds of the Chiefs excruciating playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts ticket away I really wasn’t sure how I was going to write a column this week. What could I possibly write? The fine people at Fansided and Arrowhead Addict probably wouldn’t appreciate a piece that just consisted of a bunch of expletives. That’s what I really felt like writing as the Chiefs squandered a 28 point lead in a fashion that not only ripped the hearts out of every Chiefs fan across the world, but also seemed to pour salt into the wounds of playoff loses past. I saw Lin Elliot miss those kicks again. I saw Peyton Manning marching up and down the field in the infamous “punt-less playoff game”. I know as sure as anything I’ve ever known before that I’ll relive Andrew Luck picking up that fumble and lunging into the endzone for the rest of my days. The Chiefs could win the Super Bowl next season and it still won’t erase those heart breaks. Just like I’m sure long time Boston Red Sox fans will always remember Bill Buckner regardless of how many World Series they win.

This loss hurt.

It hurt bad.

I stayed off of the internet and Twitter Saturday following the game. I had to step away. I played video games with my eight year old son and my wife made us pancakes and bacon for dinner (one of my favorites). I’d like to say that it put things in perspective and I went to bed in a better mood, but that would be a lie. Despite my despair, the sun still rose Sunday morning and life marches on. As I returned to my online Chiefs community on Sunday I noticed that Chiefs fans largely seemed to be falling into one of two main factions in their approach to this loss.

The first group is the more optimistic outlook. The main points stressed by this group are that KC was the worst team in the NFL last season and that they exceeded expectations this season and we should all feel great about the fact that they went 11-5, made the playoffs, and have laid a foundation that they can build upon for years to come. There is more to this argument, but that’s the main idea.

To this group, I would say: “You’re absolutely correct!”

Then there is the more pessimistic group. The main point of this group is that the Chiefs had a great opportunity and wasted it. They were 9-0. They were up by 28 points in the third quarter of a playoff game and they blew it. The playoff losing streak should be over. There are no guarantees that KC will be able to make it back next year. Last year was last year, next year is next year, but they had a real opportunity to do something THIS YEAR and they squandered it. There are no excuses.

To this group, I would say: “You’re absolutely correct!”

While many in the Chiefs Kingdom seem set on fighting with their fellow Chiefs brethren I would argue that there is every reason to be both optimistic about the future and pissed off that they didn’t accomplish more this season. While it’s fine to debate where this team is and what needs to be done, it seems foolish to me to turn on each other following a painful loss like this one.

The only people that I can’t get on board with are those that seem to think that all hope is lost and that the Chiefs will be horrible next season and the sky is falling. While I’m upset and frustrated about the loss, I can’t buy into the “Chicken Little” outlook. While everyone is entitled to their opinion and free to express it, it’s a hard sell for total despair when a team made a 9 game improvement and made the playoffs, regardless of how brutal the playoff loss was.

There is real reason for optimism.

Did the Chiefs beat any elite teams this season? No, they didn’t. It’s valid to say that the Kansas City Chiefs do not belong in the “elite” of the NFL (at least not yet).

However, people saying that the Chiefs could only beat the bad teams like it’s a put down need to gain some perspective. In one offseason the new KC regime changed this team from a team that WAS the worst in the NFL to a team that could beat all the non-elite teams that they played and even gave the playoff teams that they played a run for their money. If they could take that big of step in their first season in power, shouldn’t Chiefs fans at least be willing to give them a second offseason to see if they can take another step next year before claiming that the sky is falling? Even if you are personally pessimistic about their chances next year, don’t you think that this new regime did enough this year that MAYBE you shouldn’t insult your fellow KC fans that ARE willing to see what season #2 brings?

On the other side of the coin, just because there is some hope for the future, that doesn’t mean that someone is a “bad fan” if they are pissed off about that loss. There are absolutely no sure things in the NFL. It is certainly possible that KC could be an improved team next year and have a worse record and miss the playoffs. Next year’s schedule does look a lot harder. Some of KC’s core players are old enough that they could begin to see their play decline. When the Chiefs started the season 9-0 they absolutely raised the expectation bar from where it was coming off a 2-14 season. At 9-0 nobody was saying “If KC falls apart, backs into the playoffs, and has a heartbreaking playoff loss I’ll be 100% fine with that!”. We were all hoping they’d find a way to dethrone the Broncos. We were all hoping that they’d end the playoff winless streak. It didn’t happen and that’s frustrating. KC fans have every right to be upset that they didn’t do more after starting out so well. Regardless of injuries, there is NO excuse for giving up a 28 point third quarter lead. KC fans absolutely have a right to be at their wits end over it. I know I am. So if someone is still pissed, still frustrated, and still in need of venting about it, that’s their right.

Despite my frustrations about how the season ended, there are some things (good and bad) that I feel I can take away from this season as a whole.

1. The Chiefs hired the right head coach. Andy Reid did a fantastic job of turning this team around and the players seem to have bought in 100%. You can criticize some individual decisions of Reid’s, but in my opinion, that’s nitpicking. The overall job done by Andy Reid was exceptional and in a league where a good head coach is more important than in any other sport, having a winning head coach in place is huge. He showed that he could utilize the talents of Jamaal Charles and as the season progressed the passing game began to click more and more. I believe with some more offensive pieces brought in this offseason we could see an explosive offense in KC next season.

2. The Chiefs made the absolute right choice in trading for Alex Smith. This is not just “homer fan”, “Kool Aid drinking” hyperbole. I actually was very disappointed when I heard about the Alex Smith trade. I wanted KC to draft and develop their own quarterback. I thought that the Chiefs drastically overpaid for Smith, who I saw as a temporary stop gap that would just hold down the position until KC found a QB that could lead them to post season success. I was wrong. As the season progressed and Alex Smith and Andy Reid became more comfortable with each other Smith began to shine. Since the bye week (and including the playoff game) Smith passed for 253 yards per game with a 62.8% completion percentage, 7.4 yards per attempt, and 18 TDs to only 3 INTs. If you averaged that over a 16 game season it would top 4,000 yards with 41 TDs and 7 INTs.

Plus, Alex Smith showed up in the playoffs. In the biggest game of the year, on the road, and without Jamaal Charles (the most talented offensive player that KC has seen in a generation) Alex Smith lead the KC offense to 44 points as he passed for 378 yards with 4 TDs and no interceptions. He did it with no real threat of a running game and a group of skill players that consisted of Dwayne Bowe and a bunch of guys that most of us are hoping get upgraded in the offseason

In fact, you can make a strong case that Alex Smith deserves to be undefeated in the playoffs. In his three career playoff games he has won a shoot out against Drew Brees and the Saints, lost the NFC Championship Game against the NY Giants because of two fumbled punts, and now lost to the Colts with KC because his defense couldn’t win despite the 44 points he put up. In those three games Smith threw for 9 TDs and ZERO interceptions. Alex Smith has proved his worth and absolutely deserves a new contract and to be the KC quarterback for the foreseeable future. If you give Smith another season with Reid and some more weapons for the passing game, there is every reason to believe that Smith can be a top ten caliber starting quarterback. Is he Peyton Manning or Tom Brady? No, but you could draft a first round QB every year for ten years and not find a QB of that caliber. I think Smith has shown himself to be as good as the Joe Flaccos and Eli Mannings of the NFL that have won Super Bowls recently. I believe that if the Chiefs improve around Smith they can absolutely win a Super Bowl with him.

Those first two points are really the heart and soul of my optimism going forward. Having a head coach and quarterback in place are two of the most important and hardest to find pieces of building a winning team in the NFL. The fact that KC looks set for the next few seasons at those two spots means that KC will be competitive and just needs to find the right pieces to put in place around them.

Some other short observations:

3. Dontari Poe, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, and Eric Berry make up a core group of talented defensive players that should be the foundation of a very good defense. The Chiefs just need to figure out how best to use them and make sure the other defensive spots around them don’t have gaping holes. Which leads me to……..

4. Dunta Robinson and Kendrick Lewis may be good teammates and good human beings, but they are absolutely worthless on the football field and don’t belong on an NFL roster. If they are Chiefs next season I will question John Dorsey’s competency as a general manager. The starting FS spot is at the top of my list of positions in need of an upgrade.

5. The Chiefs need a true starting caliber wide receiver opposite of Dwayne Bowe. There isn’t anyone currently on the roster that is capable of filling that spot.

6. Anthony Fasano is overpaid and not the weapon that Alex Smith needs at TE. If Travis Kelce either isn’t fully healthy or the powers that be don’t think he’s ready to be a #1 TE, they need more help at that position.

7. John Dorsey showed an eye for spotting diamonds in the rough. While his first draft is still a question mark (I don’t think we can say it was good or bad yet), the contributions of the players he signed after roster cut downs proved invaluable for the Chiefs. Guys like Marcus Cooper, Sean McGrath, Ron Parker, and James Michael Johnson not only provided quality depth and special teams contributions, but Cooper and McGrath actually did a great job of filling starting spots when injuries hit their positions.

8. Dave Toub is the best Special Teams coach in the NFL. I don’t think this is even up for debate. The turnaround in KC’s special teams from last year to this year was staggering.

9. Brandon Flowers had a down year. I don’t know if it was just a bump in the road and he’ll be back on his game next season or if this is the beginning of a downward trajectory for his career, but for what KC is paying him the Chiefs better hope it’s the first option.

10. Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton is the biggest question mark going into next season. After an amazing start, the second half of the season after the bye week the KC defense was horrible. Counting the playoff game the Chiefs gave up almost 30 points per game during that span. What’s worse, Sutton showed very little ability (if any at all) to make in game adjustments. If his strategy to start the game worked, the defense looked good. If it didn’t, or if teams adjusted to his game plan as the game progressed he had no answer. This is a big concern of mine looking ahead to next season.

I could keep going, but these are some of the main things that come to mind as I think back on this season. I’m curious to know if any of you disagree with these points (I’m sure the Smith take will have some opposition). However, regardless if you agree with me or not, my hope is that we as Chiefs fans can have a logical debate on this team moving forward instead of insulting one another because someone is either too “puppy dogs and rainbows” or “doom and gloom” for your liking. Blogs like this thrive off of good discussions. The comments sections are a great place to voice your opinion. If you disagree with everything I wrote in this column, feel free to tell me. Just save the insults for when you’re watching the Denver vs. San Diego playoff game this weekend (it hurt just to type that). There’s room for both optimism and frustration in Chiefs Kingdom after the 2013 season. I know I feel a healthy dose of both as I sit here writing this. Hopefully, as the offseason progresses, the memory of the Colts game will fade a little and the moves that John Dorsey makes will add to the optimism towards next season.

If not, you can still feel free to come to AA and vent your frustrations. All opinions are welcome, just save the insults for the Faiders, Dolts, and Donkeys. In times like these, us Chiefs fans have to stick together.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Follow me on Twitter: @LyleGraversen

Tags: Alex Smith Andy Reid Kansas City Chiefs

  • berttheclock

    Dang it all, Mr Graversen, you did not give me one chance to rant and rave against your points. Damn straight, Alex Smith is a playoff QB of merit. Damn straight he should be remain the QB. Your point about the need for a new safety of both hitting power and speed is another damn straight. But, your biggest point concerned Bob Sutton. I was in his camp early on as I saw a revived defense. But, his inability to adjust in games and his decision to have the DBs back off wideouts and try to engage them in wind sprints placed him into a box named “No Confidence”. He proved against Indy that he, either, can not or will not adjust. Ironic that at the moment I am reading the excellent work by the KC writer, Rick Atkinson, of his third book in his World War II liberation trilogy, “Guns at Last Light” about the war in Europe from D-Day to Berlin. In that book, as well as his equally excellent “An Army at Dawn” and “Day of Battle”, there are countless cases of commanders being replaced when they have proven not equal to their task. Some of them simply lost their nerve and had to go. I feel Bob Sutton is in that place. Yes, he was once a HC, but, before coming here, he was the LB coach for the Jets. I have come to the conclusion that he has morphed into a Peter Principle and a position of defensive coordinator is simply over his true pay grade and ability. The first drive by Indy proved to me he has no understanding of how to stop a quality passer.

    However, this was a season few really expected from the regime change and building blocks were brought in by John Dorsey for the future. So, huzzahs to what was accomplished and we, now, look forward to even better days with Dorsey finding even more talent. Please, Mr Reid and Mr Dorsey, please, talk Bob Sutton into retiring and find an energetic and shrewd new defensive co-ord.

    • freshmeat62

      I pretty much have to agree w/ everything you said here. Also Deadmeat brought up a point of how much of the problem was the secondary blowing their assignments.

      It’s already been reported that Reid said all coaches will be back, which is disappointing. I thought (actually hoped) Sutton might be replaced w/ someone younger. He was fine the first 8 games of the year, but once OC’s got onto him, he didn’t have an answer either in the games, or from one game to the next.

      It’s funny how the first half of the season most of us were ranting about how great the D was, and the O stunk to high heavens, and the 2nd half everything flip-floped and many are screaming for Sutton’s head, and we now see that the O progressed, especially the o-line..

      • Calchiefsfan

        The thing with the flip flop was the O kept improving as they learned Reid’s system, the O line got in better sync and Smith was getting more comfortable with his receivers. The D went backwards with no changes to accommodate when opposing offenses figured out ways to beat us.

        On a brighter note Reid did say that there would be no changes at this point, leaving, imho, the door open at a later point.

        • KCMikeG

          Also while the offense was getting up to speed they weren’t costing us games with turnovers and they were able to maintain drives that helped eat up big chunks of the clock. The defensive collapse was brutal and cost us our long awaited playoff victory.

          • Calchiefsfan

            I’m with you Mike. I would love to see a detailed analysis of what the heck happened, both during the season and in the playoff game. There are several on the AA staff that can make sense of it all. I’m looking at the obvious and to me that points to Sutton not getting it done. We need to dig deeper.

    • toperspective

      You are right – a good leader admits his mistakes and moves on. Either Sutton should be fired or the problems with the defensive personnel are much larger than most fans believe.

  • berttheclock

    One last point about Sutton. Was it not ironic that when Mike Mayock gave Sutton his moment of credit, Mr Luck started his three play long drive for a TD. I still had the picture of the white haired Sutton looking intently on the side line juxtaposed with the Colts receiver holding the ball in the end zone. Mr Mayock, you might want that one called back.

    • Deadmeat

      I keep wondering if it’s really Sutton or the players blowing their assignments. How do you left people behind you when your up by 28 points? Lewis is just a huge disappointment. Refs actually let em play, I can’t complain about them this game. But, AS11 got us 44 points, if you can’t win with that many points, you don’t deserve to win.
      I loved watching the game. Was disappointed, it hurt. But when I woke up the next day, I was thinking of the future. But, that is the way I am programmed.

      • KCMikeG

        I’m with you. I’m leaning more towards the talent level and execution. You can adjust all you want but when your pass rush isn’t effective and blitzing exposes Lewis, Robinson and Cooper then what adjustments can be made? I’m not saying if there is another DC out there that has a history of winning that we should look the other way but ignoring what Sutton was able to do the first half of the season seems like throwing the baby out with the bath water. I would like to see an analysis of what actually happened that lead to our decline and a strategy to prevent it from happening again.

        • toperspective

          I dunno. If it was me I’d as least try to stop Hilton and would have made someone else beat us.

          • jimfromkcj

            Toper,I believe we threw everything but the kitchen sink at Hilton trying to stop him. The guy was simply on fire and nobody was hardly slowing him down let alone stop him. When you have a guy with a hot hand and a QB who is not afraid to put the ball in tight spaces, you have the perfect storm, and that is what hit the Chiefs. Why is it so hard to admit we were beat by a better team. How many times do they have to beat us before we have to admit it? I have read several posts where they said the Chief’s laid down. I saw no sign of that, they were just getting beat up on by some really good players. If I had to choose a pass rusher for one game, I would trade Houston and Hali for Robert Mathis. The same for our wideouts, I would trade our whole batch for Hilton. I don’t have to say what QB I would choose.

          • KCMikeG

            Great points. Yes the Chiefs fought down to the very last play. Yes I saw a number of our DB’s struggling with Hilton so that means Sutton tried different options. Why isn’t anyone calling for the firing of the Colts DC as we were able to score 31 points in a half and 44 total points? This was a tail of two teams, each dominating a half of a game that was decided by a single point. IF we had a kicker who we had ANY trust in over 50 yards we could have kicked FG’s at the end of the first half and the end of the game if needed. Then the story of the day would have been the breaking of the 20 year drought, how amazing our winning drive was, how our high powered offense is to be feared and what was wrong with the Colts stumbling out of the gate like they did.

            I wouldn’t go as far as trading H&H for Mathis except for maybe Saturday since neither of them were 100%. I know Hali may be at a plateau and will soon start declining but Houston has all the upside to be as good as Mathis.

            We need serious changes in our receiving corps. As far as QB look at the 44 points he put up without Charles. Alex Smith with better weapons will be incredible to watch.

          • jimfromkcj

            I agree with you, and as far as Mathis for Houston and Hali, I made that trade for one game now. Mathis is older and it would be foolish to trade a player as young as Houston for Mathis for the long term. But you have to admit Mathis was a one man wreaking crew all by himself while Houston couldn’t do as much rushing from both sides. My post below gives my misgivings about the Chiefs in the future. The cap worries me a lot and it is going to give Dorsey fits trying to find a workable solution. As they say, that is why he is getting the big bucks.

          • Deadmeat

            I’m not scared of the cap. Let Albert go, theirs a chunk. Sign Alex Smith to a 5 year deal. Let Lewis and Robinson go. Restructure a few of the big ones. Some others I can’t think of right now. Should be plenty of working room, we could go after a proven WR in FA. Maybe I am wrong, but I think there is going to be room.

          • KCMikeG

            I understand your concern but have confidence that Dorsey will manage the cap to our benefit. Letting Albert, Jackson, Robinson, Lewis, Avery go will free up around $23M. Restructuring Hali, Smith & Berry will add a considerable amount to that.

  • PGA GM

    Great work Lyle. The foundation is in place. Someone who promotes assistants to higher positions I just hope Sutton can learn from this year and grow into a top notch Def Coord.

    • Calchiefsfan

      Sutton is 62, I’m not holding my breath.

  • DenverNugget

    That was brutal.

  • GDL40

    Agree with you ….I’m still not sure how I feel right now. I am so freakin’ angry still, can NOT understand how that happened, but I also know there’s a lot to feel good about as a Chiefs fan going forward. We all loved Sutton and the defense the first 9 games, WHY did they not just keep doing the same thing? Why have the players play different? And WHY was Robinson playing one on one against their best receiver????…..I think Sutton has talent as a DC, wouldn’t mind seeing him stay, as long as he has the D play aggressive like the first 9 games. We HAVE to pick up a good WR and a starting FS, along with a CB. There’s free agency, and the draft. Schedule is tough next year, but we should be better too, so I’m not sure we get to 11 wins, but i can still see us in the playoffs, and from there, as we well know ANYTHING can happen..
    GOOO CHIEFSS !!!!

  • Chris Tarrants

    You know after two days of being pissed and telling everyone who will listen about how pissed Ivan geuss what? I’m still pissed! Great article like always and I agree with every point but just reading it all restoked my fire. I do like what Dorsey was able to do in one year and I also like what Reid was able to do but Sutton had got to go! Hell I would take Romeo back before I would like to see Sutton back on the sidelines again. Wasn’t Sanders Commings drafted to be a safety? He could add some relief in the secondary along with Parker and Cooper both being potential good CB’s. this offseason will be intriguing to say the least but don’t get me wrong I’m still pissed and by god I am sticking to my guns about not buying any chiefs merchandise until we win a stinking playoff game

  • PunjabiPete

    This loss hurt. It’s like that girlfriend that you try to stand by, and last season she had 14 dudes run a train on her, and you almost left. Then, she started working out, got a makeover, learned to breakdance, and had you buying into the idea that things were looking up this year. Sure, a couple times you caught her making out with the cashier at Orange Julius, but she told you it was for free Orange Julius and then she gave you one, so you just kind of ignored it.

    The playoff game was you finally thinking she’d turned a corner and taking her to a nice dinner party at your parents. She spends the entire meal completely wowing them, then in the 3rd quarter excuses herself to powder her nose, and when you wonder what’s taking so long go in there and catch her in the middle of a full on bukkake video with all of your neighbors, high fiving as they plaster her face and torso and Eiffel Tower her while you stand there, completely shocked, the wind completely drawn out of your sails.

    Honestly, I feel like we let Alex Smith down. Someone should have told him that, at least these first 1-3 years, he is going to have to fight complete and utter futility inasmuch as that’s just what the Chiefs are and what they do. We choke when we get to the playoffs. I’m unsure why any of us expected any different. This happens EVERY time. We were up by 21 and I turned to my brother and said “all we need are 3 more scores and then I will feel good enough to relax”, to which he replied that maybe I should put pants on and stop crapping in a bucket in my living room, but dammit they were winning!

    I think what hurts the most is they allowed just a tiny sliver of hope to permeate the majority of us as fans. If they had gone out there and laid down the entire game, I would have been annoyed but that’s what we are. Thats WHO we are. That may not be who we BECOME, but that is who we currently ARE. We get up a couple scores, and the team decides to throw in the towel and snort: “Beat that!”

    Congrats to Andrew Luck and the Colts, way to play your way back into that game, that’s what great teams do. I’m kind of tired of drinking the Kool-Aid, and I’m sure I’ll look back on this post and hope no one googles bukkake and be able to laugh at how pathetic I sound right now, but right now I’m standing in that garage, watching my girlfriend joyously work her way into internet infamy. Fuck.

    • T.Hagen

      That was some funny shit. I be laughing for a while.

    • berttheclock

      “Eiffel Tower her”, well, at least she didn’t Ferris Wheel your father. You do know the Ferris Wheel was the 1893 American answer to the 1889 Eiffel Tower, built for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. But, I notice there have been a few Ferris Wheel weddings, recently, to counter the Eiffel Tower one.

      • PunjabiPete

        That sounds like it’d be a lot of work, but would probably be worth it. Checking porn sites to see if it’s been do- yep, Japan has done it. JAPAAANNNN!!!!! *shakes fist*

    • Tony Parker

      LMAO….great analogy pete…

  • Tristian Shelley

    Lyle love the title and im glad somebody said something about Alex Smiths performance because that was the only thing in the game you could point to along with Bowe’s performance with optimism for next year. It was his first year in the system and I expect big time things next year even though ww will face some elite defenses. For everyone wanting to criticize Reid for 2nd half play calling if you had a hot qb and a third string running back who had 5 carries for 12 yards plus a defense giving up TD’s every possession tell me what you’d do. And Lyle this one tore my heart in half and im a niners fan first. Every one of Alex Smiths best performances this year he has lost and that’s not good. As a new chiefs fan I dont wanna be denver or new england or Indianapolis or New Orleans whos offense has to put up 30 virtually every week just to have a shot at winning. That dosent spell championship team. Ask all those teams how many rings they have trying to just build around a qb. U better at the very least have a turnover forcing defense that is opportunistic at times. Chuck Pagano as arrogent as he is made a valid point after the game. He said “We knew what they would do every first and second down on defense. ” If that dosent spell predictability or not making adjustments I don’t know what does. Scary to think on defense what do u do? Too many long stretches of no pass rush bad angles at the Safety position and inadequate play vat Corner. Does the defense have a strength? I dunno but id say if it does build around that. If its linebackers keep building the front seven. I dont worry about the offense at all cause reid can flat out coach both lineman and receivers. I think Smith has his best season next year and will be an MVP candidate. The question is will the defense support him enough to get 11 or 12 wins? Remember denver plays the same schedule we do so dont think they will go 13-3 again cause I could see them losing to all the NFC west teams save the Rams. They with that awful defense will take a step back for sure next year. Do we have enough to contend in the division? I say yes. Ask dallas. Still had a shot cause they were 5-1 in the division. Andy Reid has some tough calls to make especially defensively. Thats why he’s the head football coach . Thats why they pay him. The draft will be huge.

  • Jarad

    The thing i hate the most is when im told , “Hey, we were 2-14 last year. It’s foolish to expect them to go on a playoff run.” This isnt last year’s team. Why stay content or satisfied with just being better than 2-14!? When i expected big things from this team, i saw a real QB behind center that didnt throw or fumbe the game away, a Defense making big play after big play, sometimes winning us games, an outstanding special teams unit, position depth in many areas, and a COACH!!! 2-14 was an afterthought. At 5,6,7,8 and 9-0, how is it possible not to raise expectations!?!? This is a good football team. And good football teams will have high expectations. It was such a blast watching this team come together behind a great coach like Andy Reid, but im also just sick from how it ended. Its hard to even watch ESPN. So, in about 10 months, im hoping we’re right back in the contender talk. GO CHIEFS

  • tm1946

    The stars were aligned and for 9 games the Chiefs took advantage of what was in front of them. My only concern is if you waste opportunities they sometimes go away, for a long time.

    I will ride with Reid but he may have a bigger challenge this next year. Tougher schedule, two drafts need to contribute, 2 free agency season, and age/injury to current roster. I can see where next year could be a little bitter compared to this year’s.

    I want to say 2013 was wasted but we need to face it 5 defensive probowlers and the defense was a sieve, that is a problem. How do we fix that? Reid better. How many great coaches move on and are never as good again. Will not happen here but it plays in the back of my mind.

  • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

    Well said Lyle. I am glad you agree that TE is a large need on this team. I do think the foundation is there, but the Chiefs need to get better in the offseason.

    • berttheclock

      Was it the earlier injuries suffered by Fasano, but, I recall two separate comments by Mayock of Fasano not being able to block which cost the Chiefs in each case?

  • DTVTechGuy

    Good read Lyle. Spot on about Sutton, Fasano, Robinson, and Lewis. Here’s my question, McGrath looked good, he played hard, made good catches, why not play him more when it became obvious Fasano has lost a step and couldn’t get any separation. I would call Tony Gonzalez and offer him stupid money to come teach KC’s Tight Ends how to play football.

  • berttheclock

    As the Chiefs will be drafting somewhat earlier than expected in the 1st round, it might be a reach, but, the top Strong Safety is considered to be a top 2nd round pick. Would Dorsey reach for Deone Buchannon, out of Wazoo? Six one, 215, a thumper with 4.57 speed. BTW, he is from the same HS which produced James-Michael Johnson. Yes, ye olde Jelly Bean town and last call to many to Nam, Travis AFB.

    • freshmeat62

      I went thru Travis May, 68, and came back thru 12 months later. All I remember is getting in late, sleeping on some benches in the terminal for a few hours, and boarding at 0700.

      I thought Lewis was the FS and Berry the SS because he supposedly had cover skills, although I remember him trailing the guy he was covering on one play by about 5-6′. It’s possible Ha-Ha Dix of Alabama could be available at 24.

      • berttheclock

        Yeah, good point about the difference between free and strong. Ha Ha might be the way to go. Only negative I’ve read about him is he needs to build up strength to hit, as he tries to grab and pull down. But, he is known for reading the QB very quickly and reacting.

    • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

      Looks like the Chiefs will be drafting in the 23rd slot.

  • Bigchief

    I agree 110% good read

  • T.Hagen

    Really hit the head on the nail with that story. I am worried about Sutton, those old coaches like that don’t like to change their ways. I hope they evaluate his performance and let him go. To me it seems like they won’t cause maybe they don’t want to own up to the mistake of hiring him. This is a win now league and I say let’s try another defensive coordinator. Everything else you said is what I think or thought.

  • kcpauly

    Good read Lyle, I agree with all your points, hopefully Kelce is what we are hoping he is, because I think McGrath actually outplayed the over priced Fasano, also I have no idea why the Def. just completely shit the bed the whole second half of the season, but I have the same feeling, that the game has passed Sutton by and he cannot adjust in game or in season, I really don’t see an answer there other than shit canning him and finding a new DC, and I agree Lewis and Robinson have no spot on a starting roster. Lewis has been just absolutely horrid this season, from being scared to contact/hit to bad angles to “hey jackass you are the last line of def.” why the hell are you always behind people? you are not suppose to let anybody in front of you but constantly you are 5-6′ behind, the long TY Hilton TD both our dbs were 5′ or more behind him when he caught the ball, not to mention Sutton letting TY burn us on the same frickin play over and over again, I truly think sutton needs to go ASAP so our new DC can start evaluations and have input on the draft and FA, what a terrible heart breaking loss, but I still bleed red, and for the rest of the boys thank you for putting it out pon the line for my enjoyment, most enjoyable season in at least a decade, keep it up boys
    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bosco Cletus

    I agree on all your points. I realize Sutton is due some of the blame down the stretch but I don’t seen him leaving. Reid had been waiting to work with him for years, and isn’t gonna send his old friend down the line after one season, because Andy is a great coach and an even better person from what I can tell as a woeful fan. Hopefully like you said, Sutton can learn to make better halftime adjustments, OR in game hell I don’t care when he does it. Nightmares about Decker and Hilton should help him realize that.

    • Calchiefsfan

      The problem is Sutton is 62 years old. If he hasn’t learned by now can we really expect him too at this late stage? I personally don’t think so.Though I do agree it will be hard for Reid to let him go. Maybe Dorsey can have some influence. I know Reid feels loyalty to Sutton but he has to give a higher priority to the Chiefs organization, the fans and the Hunt family to take this team to the next level.

      • Bosco Cletus

        Good post, I sorta forgot how old he was. Kept having flash backs of Greg Robinson. lol You may be right on the JD end of it, maybe he can get Andy to mix it up, or maybe Andy is al little more than pissed his offense put up 44 WITHOUT their best player and lost. :( I ‘m still pissed over it.

  • freshmeat62

    The more I think about Sutton being retained, I don’t like it. He has 6 players that are pro-bowl players this year or last year. Poe, Hali, Houston, D. Johnson, Flowers, and Berry. Half of his starters, and they couldn’t do any better that they showed the 2nd half of the season? There is something wrong there, that shouldn’t happen. I hope Reid has a change of mind.

  • Calchiefsfan

    Great read Lyle. I have to agree with literally everything you said. Alex Smith is awesome and clearly our franchise QB. With the addition of one more quality WR this offense will be lethal. The O line came on in the last quarter of the season and I believe that Fisher will have a Poe like learning curve and be the second season sensation next year that Poe was this year. Adding depth to our CBs and upgrading the free safety are crucial as well as TE. All should be attainable with Dorsey’s skill.

    The only point you made which I am not 100% on board with is Sutton being a question mark. I think the evidence is clear he has to go. I’m not saying Reid is going to get rid of him but I am saying he should or at the very least demote him to assistant DC, which I’m sure he would do a great job in that position. You know how you have people that are good, hard, smart workers but get promoted to a position that is just above their abilities. We see it all the time when a DC or OC is promoted to head coach and are in over their head, (Crennel, Haley). I think that’s what we have in Sutton. The last time he was a DC he didn’t do that well and offenses have gotten more complex since then. We need an innovative DC that can make adjustments on the fly and play a chess match with the opposing OC and HC. Sutton is not that guy. Plus, Reid needs someone he can just turn the D over to like he did with Johnson in Philly. Reid is at his best when he doesn’t have to worry about much more than making the offense hum. If we can get that innovative DC then we will be a perennial Super Bowl contender, imho.

  • Michael Anthony Dine

    That was painful…very painful I was at a dinner pay for my wife’s work so I was following the game on my phone and dropped my phone when I seen that the colts went up by one point. It was b.s. and I felt betrayed I was so ecstatic to see them hit almost 40 points then a pain in my stomach started as I seen that the colts were creeping their way back up. And then to reload my phone and see the final score I almost shit myself and about cried. I haven’t seen the chiefs win a playoff game beings I was only a little over 2 years old the last time they did. There was no excuse for what happened there absolutely nothing. I do have faith in the chiefs but knowing their schedule is going to be harder next year unless I see drastic changes at the starter positions I’m not gunna bother with it. I mean yeah the depth right now is phenomenal but that ain’t gunna help when the starters suck and the defense can’t close the games. It felt like I was watching the ’03 season again.

  • Michael Anthony Dine

    And why the hell wasn’t anyone blocking t.y. Hilton?

  • Calchiefsfan

    On a positive note, if there is a silver lining to this horrendous defeat, i honestly believe that the Chiefs will take this loss to heart and be much tougher next year because of it. Let’s hope that the killer instinct just grew like 7 times over in the Chiefs because of this.They have the personnel! They should be extremely mad!

    • tm1946

      Could be correct but do they have the personnel? After the 9 game winning streak, where was the killer instinct you suggest is there? I would suggest it questionable.

      • Calchiefsfan

        Ha! it was certainly missing Sunday. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but I would think they will be a lot more determined next year.

        Yes I do think they have the personnel, just not the right DC. Though I am calling for the obvious upgrade at free safety. More depth at CB and another WR would be nice. We did put up big numbers on offense the last quarter of the season and the playoff game with the existing personnel, even with Jamaal injured.

        • tm1946

          Sorry for me I am concerned they will be just – a year older, not more determined. That is why this flop is so bad. The window is closing with this edition of the Chiefs, to darned old for another 3-4 year rebuild. Win now or I won’t be here to argue.

  • KCMikeG

    Great post Lyle! Especially your call for civility in our angry moments. We can fume and vent without insults and name calling. All that does is make things worse. I’m still sick from watching us waste a 28 point lead but can still recognize the strengthening of the foundation and the depth that was added this year. We had success beyond what even the biggest Homers had predicted during the first year of a huge transition across the organization and the team. Critical pieces will be added, changes will be made and there is reason for optimism again in KC.
    I think Sammy Watkins is without a doubt THE #1 pick for us next year. I think there is talent that can be developed in Cooper, Parker and Abdullah but FS needs to be our pick in round #4. I would really like to see a bruising FS that blows up WR’s and strikes fear in their hearts. I’m worried about the decline, like you mentioned in Flowers, also showing in Hali and DJ. So we will need to start developing their replacements.
    I’m struggling with what to do about Sutton. The guy inspired our players and had us all believing that the days of DT and our feared defense were returning and then the bottom just fell out. Who will be the top candidates for DC next year? I see the Texans are hiring RAC – the misery continues for them. I’m confident that Dorsey & Reid are already hard at work building the plan for the new year.

  • okikcfan

    Man you took every word right out of my mouth, very well said. I Loved it!

  • Ricardo Machado

    Concordo integralmente com o texto, parabéns.

  • jimfromkcj

    Lyle, I know most of the posters are tired of hearing me rant about the cap so much. But everything that has to be done to improve this team is governed by cap restraints. Everyone is wanting to do so much on the defensive side of the ball. But according to Over the Cap we are already spending 13 mill more for the defence than the offence. Just for the top 51 players we are spending 114 and a half mill. As for Sutton, he is caught between a rock and a hard place trying to cover up for players who are inadequate in some phase or another of their game. Why do you think he has Berry playing more of a linebacking position than at safety where he belongs? To cover up linebackers who can’t cover TE’s and backs slipping through the lines? This is sad because Berry is no great shakes at covering guys running routes either. I guess the only answer is to draft more well rounded players instead drafting them as one trick ponies. But if the Chiefs are to succeed, they are going to have to get rid of some high priced players who are not contributers. On defence we have Jackson, Hali, Flowers and Berry who are way overpaid for their positions and tell me when any of them have made a real difference in pulling a game out of the fire.

  • Pessimisticchiefsfan

    We most likely won’t even make the playoffs next season and will continue to be the same old chiefs.