Chiefs gutless in listless loss to Bengals


There is nothing left to say. What once appeared to be a potential Super Bowl season has devolved into nothingness.

The Kansas City Chiefs were blown out by the Cincinnati Bengals, 36-21, at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The score was not indicative of how the game felt, with the Bengals jumping to a 14-3 lead and never trailing.

Only a year after having the second-ranked secondary and not allowing a single 300-yard passer, the Chiefs have fallen apart. Kansas City watched as Andy Dalton torched it for 321 yards and a touchdown, constantly finding wide open receivers. It was a pathetic display, from Sean Smith to Marcus Peters. Even worse, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton never adjusted, and the Chiefs failed to amass any pressure on Dalton.

The loss was so much worse than simply putting the Chiefs at 1-3. It is a referendum on this team’s character. Despite having a truckload of talent and veterans all over the roster, Kansas City seemingly can’t overcome the loss against the Denver Broncos. Everything was going so well, and then it came crashing down.

A good, mentally tough team would fight back. Instead, both against the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati, the Chiefs have laid down. The defense has been absolutely obliterated, allowing 74 points over the past two weeks along with a bevy of missed tackles. They look incapable of improvement, and it appears Sutton has no answers.

For once, Chiefs fans can’t blame Alex Smith for the defeat. Smith was brilliant despite being sacked five times, throwing for a career-high 386 yards. This was not like the Monday night game where Smith totaled nice numbers but played horribly.

Smith was terrific, and along with Jamaal Charles and Jeremy Maclin the only reason Kansas City didn’t lose by 50 points. Charles had 145 total yards and Maclin caught 11 passes for 148 yards, and the Chiefs still could not score a touchdown, settling for seven field goals.

At this juncture, the Chiefs appear dead on arrival. Kansas City can’t block at all. Head coach Andy Reid put Zach Fulton in at right guard to replace Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, and he was routinely beaten straight up and on stunts. Mitch Morse was also overpowered several times, leaving Smith with no chance.

Reid has to look in the mirror and wonder what is going on. This is not a team without talent, but apparently one without heart. Most coaches would kill for this roster, and its perhaps the most underachieving team in the National Football League. If the season completely comes off the rails, does owner Clark Hunt tell Reid to get walking?

Nothing is off the table at this point. Last week, Smith was the one with the dunce cap, sharing it in some circles with Reid. This week it was a complete meltdown, with the defense looking like a JV unit. Kansas City has 12 games remaining and time to right the ship, perhaps make a playoff run.

Unfortunately, it seems like an impossible dream.