Sep 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Week 4 brought a Monday Night Football game to Arrowhead against the eventual Superbowl champion New England Patriots. It was a game the Chiefs dominated from start to finish as they cruised to a 41-14 victory.
The rest of the season contained a five-game winning streak that saw the Chiefs in plausible position to take the top spot in not only the AFC West, but the AFC itself. It also saw the Chiefs beat the Seattle Seahawks, making them the only team in the NFL to have beaten both teams that played in the Super Bowl.
And then came Week 12. That was the beginning of a slide that saw the Chiefs go from a five-game winning streak, to losing four of their final six games. A slide that turned a team that looked like a contender into a team that missed the playoffs entirely.
As if that was not inconsistent enough, Kansas City’s winning streak was snapped by a visit to the lowly Oakland Raiders. Oakland was winless at that point in the season, and would go on to win only two more games.
No matter how you slice it, that just does not make much sense.
You can blame some of that on game planning, which also failed to make sense sometimes. On multiple occasions last year Andy Reid seemed to forget that he had an all-start running to anchor his offense. So much so that Reid publicly apologized for underusing Charles. But the result was not always the same. The Chiefs were embarrassed against the Tennessee Titans when Charles only had seven rushing attempts. Yet against the San Francisco 49ers, where Charleswas barely used in the second half, the Chiefs held the lead until midway through the fourth quarter and lost by only five points.
When sports writers prognosticate, they want to be bold or have a sure thing. So while failing to win a playoff game in recent history certainly does not help earn the Chiefs any respect, I think pundits have stayed away from picking them simply because K.C. has been too inconsistent for the media to figure out.