Another Butt-Kicking For Chiefs In 48-3 Loss

From Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan

It is a nightmare that nobody with the Chiefs ever expected. Coming off a division winning season, everyone in the World of Hunt knew it would be tougher in 2011 than it was last year.

But there isn’t a soul that would have predicted that after two games of the season the Chiefs would be the worst team in the league. There’s no other explanation, no other definition after the 48-3 pounding they took from the Detroit Lions here on Sunday.

Combined with last week’s 41-7 thumping from the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs are 0-2 and down 89-10 on the scoreboard. They’ve played two games and have achieved very little.

“Football is a funny game; that ball bounces different ways,” said veteran RB Thomas Jones. “Things can happen that you don’t expect. I can assure you, nobody around this team thought we would be in this predicament. No way.”

Last Sunday was the worst opening day loss in Chiefs history. This Sunday now provides the worst opening two games in Chiefs history. Plus, it’s the worst beating the franchise has taken in consecutive games. In 1983 they lost to Dallas 41-21 and then Seattle 51-48 in overtime. That was 92 points, but at least the Chiefs scored 69 points in those games, losing by a total of 23 points. The 79-point difference in the last two weeks is the worst back-to-back beatings in club history.

And none of that even includes the possible loss to a serious knee injury of RB Jamaal Charles. He went down in the first quarter and did not return, with no word on his prognosis.

“You can’t do certain things and win in the NFL or even have a chance to win,” said head coach Todd Haley. “Once again, we did a bunch of those things. We have to clearly make a bunch of changes in what we are doing in order to have a chance to be ready to play San Diego this weekend on the road.”

Those “things”, those victory killers start with turnovers and the Chiefs were outrageously bad against the Lions in giving the ball away. They did it six times – three interceptions and three fumbles. The defense forced one turnover. That’s minus-5 on the turnover ratio and recent NFL history (since 1990) indicates teams with that big a deficit in the takeaway-giveaway column have less than a one percent chance of winning that game.

On Sunday against the Lions, they had zero chance thanks to QB Matt Cassel’s three interceptions and fumbles lost by Cassel, RB Dexter McCluster and of all people, SS Jon McGraw. It was McGraw’s first quarter interception that was the only takeaway the Chiefs had in the game, but he turned around and gave it right back when he fumbled it away.

“Turnovers were the theme for us all day,” said Cassel. “We have to re-evaluate where we are, make adjustments to whatever we do because the last two weeks are not satisfactory for any of us.”

There were turnovers and then there were penalties. There were eight in all and they all seemed to be big ones, 15-yard infractions that changed field position and sometimes altered possession of the football.

All these gifts were accepted by the Lions. QB Matt Stafford threw four touchdown passes. WR Calvin Johnson caught two of those. RB Jahvid Best had two touchdowns. The Lions turned all those turnovers into 27 points, more than enough on this day to beat the Chiefs.

The first-half ugliness started on the opening possession of the game, as the Lions took over at their 20-yard line and ended up scoring some 4 minutes, 10 seconds later. It wasn’t as simple as they went down the field in x-number of plays. They gave the ball up for several seconds in the possession, but got it back. Plus, they received big help from the Chiefs in the form of two questionable 15-yard penalties.

Stafford moved the Lions into Chiefs territory on 5 plays, but on a 2nd-and-5 he was hit by DE Wallace Gilberry as he threw and the ball took off out of his hands and McGraw made a diving interception. As McGraw got up to run with the ball, it squirted out of his hands and was recovered by Lions TE Tony Scheffler. All in all, the exchange cost the Lions 10 yards, but they still had the ball.

On the next play, there was activity after the whistle and the yellow hankies were all thrown against the Chiefs. CB Brandon Flowers and WR Titus Young locked up in a push-and-shove where Flowers pried Young’s helmet off. As the two were separated, CB Brandon Carr came over and gave Young a push and the rookie receiver fell like he was shot. That drew another flag. Only one of the 15-yard penalties counted, but Detroit wasn’t complaining.

They got another 15 yards on the next play, when DE Glenn Dorsey took down Stafford after he threw the ball. There was nothing hard or vicious on the play, it’s just that quarterbacks are not allowed to be hit today and that penalty pushed the ball to the Chiefs 15-yard line. Stafford then hooked up with Johnson for the TD pass, beating Flowers who was expected some help over the top from McGraw, who didn’t get there in time. The Jason Hanson PAT gave the Lions a 7-0 lead.

When the Chiefs offense got on the field, they came out running and with great success. McCluster went wide on a wing-around for 24 yards. Jones got 8 yards up the middle. Charles broke loose around the left side of the defense for 24 yards. Jones came back for 5 more yards and Le’Ron McClain got his first touch as a member of the Chiefs for one yard. Then on a 3rd-and-4 play, the entire tenor of the season may have changed with one play.

Charles ran wide right and tried to reach out enough to get the first down. But as he went out of bounds he suffered a left knee injury that had him lying on the field in great pain. When he finally was helped to his feet, he could not put any pressure on the leg and was taken off the field on a cart. He did not get the first down, as Ryan Succop hit a 33-yard FG to get the Chiefs on the board, 7-3.

The Chiefs defense stood up and shut down the Lions on their next possession, forcing a punt and the Chiefs took over at their 33-yard line. Again, they were able to move the ball against the Detroit defense, this time mixing in some passes with the running plays. But eventually the drive stalled and Succop came on to attempt a 44-yard field goal. But his kick was wide left and the Chiefs chances of scoring ended with 2 minutes, 23 seconds to play in the first quarter.

From that point forward, they only reached Detroit territory one more time in their remaining 12 possessions. That came in the second quarter, after a 45-yard completion from Cassel to WR Dwayne Bowe set up the Chiefs at the Detroit 35-yard line. But Cassel threw incomplete, then hit for six yards to McCluster. On third down, his pass for Bowe bounced off the receiver’s hands and was intercepted by Lions CB Chris Houston.

After that, the deepest offensive penetration for the Chiefs was their 43-yard line.

Meanwhile, the defense was overwhelmed by the passing of Stafford and his receivers: Johnson, WR Nate Burleson, WR Titus Young and TE Tony Scheffler. Given opportunity after opportunity with the turnovers and penalties, they turned those extra possessions into points:

  1. McGraw’s fumble set up the Stafford to Johnson 15-yard touchdown pass.
  2. A roughing the punter penalty on LB Demorrio Williams gave Detroit the ball back in the second quarter and led to a 36-yard Stafford to Scheffler score.
  3. Cassel’s first interception turned into a 51-yard FG by Hanson.
  4. His second interception became a 28-yard FG by Hanson.
  5. Cassel’s fumble lost became a 9-yard TD pass from Stafford to Best.
  6. McCluster’s fumble became a 1-yard scoring run by Best.
  7. Cassel’s third interception ended up with the Lions scoring a 1-yard TD run from Keiland Williams.

Six fumbles and a key penalty set up 2 field goals and 5 touchdowns. That’s 41 points.

That’s the ballgame and that’s 0-2 and headed to San Diego.


15 Responses to “Another Butt-Kicking For Chiefs In 48-3 Loss”

  • September 18, 2011  - Tim says:

    I hope McGraw does himself a favor & decides to retire. He’s a great guy & had a solid career BUT now he’s in a position where he’s embarrassing himself by continuing. He’s too slow. He’s not a sure tackler anymore & he can’t hang onto the ball when it comes to him. The longer he’s out there, the more he’s exposed. Our offense is offensive. It looks like Herm’s crew. Clearly Weis was the guy that made it go last year. Either this group game plan effort is for the birds with too many cooks in the kitchen OR we need news “cooks” OR BOTH! Defensively, putting McGraw out there to embarrasss himself is getting brutal. Cassel is regressing – even in the vanilla stuff we’re doing. Its painful to watch. Why did we get Breaston if we’re not going to use him. Urban is SO overrated. I don’t care if Baldwin is a rookie, I hope he’s out there soon. At least he can run.

  • September 18, 2011  - Craig says:

    Something is amiss. We have better talent than this. Something is up. I dont know what, but there is a team issue going on.

  • September 18, 2011  - ED J says:

    More like a QB issue. Put Stafford in a Chiefs uniform and we’re scoring 40 plus pts. He’s just not talented enough to help sustain drives or put touchdowns on the board. This is a QB driven league if you have one you look like a coaching genius and if you don’t you look like a fool. Bottom line Lions had the better QB they won the game. Defense actually played good to start the game but with Qb who can’t convert 3rd downs neither can he take advantage of good field position this is what happens when a good QB goes up against a bad one.

    As for McGraw you right tim he’s a total embarrasment. Don’t know how Pioli went into the season with him as one of the backups.

  • September 18, 2011  - el cid says:

    Seems like this team has issues that have nothing to do with football. Internal squabbling, perhaps. Obviously the team is reaching a new level of low. After 3 years of Piol/Haley, did the entire roster turn to Div III players or is there something else going on??

  • September 18, 2011  - el cid says:

    Really ED J. Just who is this makebelive team with Stafford. No RB but a midget, who the hell would he throw to, No safety of old guys, No pass rush, cannot stop the run. Check out the article the team game up 40 points, add Stafford to the Chiefs and, UNLESS, he plays iron man both ways they still give up 40 points. It is fine to blame it all on Cassel, he is not much but the ENTIRE team is failing at an amazing speed. How about a little objectivity with a post?

  • September 18, 2011  - Chuck says:

    Here’s my 3 cents worth. In the offseason get a new HC. Trade Cassel for a 2nd rounder. Thats what we gave up to get him (3 interceptions and a fumble, I’ve seen enough of him) and go out and either draft a QB in the first round or get one that is worth his salt. Then for ONCE in free agency get some guys for DEPTH that this team always lacks year after year. In other words, HUNT spend some money for a change!!!!!!!!!!! If you want asses in the seats in Arrowhead Hunt will have to make some serious changes and that includes opening his friggin wallet.

  • September 18, 2011  - Tim says:

    Agree el cid…in addition to the obvious, there is more here than meets the eye… I began to suspect wwhen the TJ/Baldwin incident. I like Haley’s “Parcellian” approach. It has made us better BUT it can get to the point of diminishing returns. All I know is we’ve passed, or not been able to attract, an awful lot of talented players this season. The “right 53″ may be a utopian goal… He says he wants competition at all positions yet we didn’t go after either Heath Miller or Boss (both TEs). Isn’t it obvious that either of those guys would increase the competition ath the TE position. What I’m afraid we have here is “pet” players of this staff which has hurt the decisions to acquire talent. If that is the case, it can change…but not in time to improve this season. If Haley is going to act in that manner & impede legitimate talent acquisition, coupled with a rep that other good offensive coaches don’t want to work for him, a change may be justified – as much as I hate to say it because I believe Haley is a bright YOUNG coach.

  • September 18, 2011  - ED J says:

    El cid did you watch the game HECK NO. You’re looking at numbers and stats. I watch the last 2 games. Cassel inability to sustain drives or put points on the board is why this team is struggling we actually ran the ball well but wasn’t able to get anything out of the passing game. Throw to. I’ve seen Grossman throw to worse receivers this yr in Redskins. I’m watching a rookie Cam Newton put up 400 yards passing.

    Bottom line if you had watched the game you would’ve seen our defense actually played well and forced Lions to 5 st8 punts but offense couldn’t capitalize on all those possesion because of inabilty of QB position. I have plenty of objectivity but I’m no fool either. The sooner fans wrap their head around the fact we’re trying to win with 2nd string QB alah Falcons year before they drafted Matt Ryan the sooner we realize its going be long yr and coaching changes not going to change situation. We need Qb change. Teams have figured out get a two score lead or shutdown this team run game and they don’t have QB good enough to bring them back.

  • September 18, 2011  - Carl says:

    Poor coaching: The team is just not prepared to play from conditioning to discipline to game planning to flexible, creative play calling as the game progresses.

    Bad luck: Three key players out for the year. Others hurt and playing below their ability.

    Lack of depth: Some very good talent. A lot of average to below average talent.

    Lack of a franchise quarterback: Cassel is a likable person but a journeyman quarterback better suited to a backup role. Plus, no quality backups with the potential to become one.

  • September 18, 2011  - Jonathan Fortune says:

    Hunt, Haley, and Pioli need to sit down and draft out a game plan for the rest of the year. If the Chiefs don’t turn it around and look competative then Haley may have to go. Unfortunately, the lockout hurt the Chiefs more than other teams because they had to adjust to a new offensive coordinator and QB coach. Also, the way Haley ran camp did not properly get them ready mentally or physically for the upcoming year.

    Unfortunately, there is not a lot of street free agents to help the Chiefs. I would let Lewis and hope there is a veteran free agent to pair with him. McGraw is a special teams player and nothing more. Since the Chiefs look more like a 4-3 team and not a 3-4 team they should play it more as thier base defense. Give Powe some playing time and let’s see what he can do. Benching Cassell is not the thing to do right now. Hopefully Baldwin can get healthy and provide some help but that won’t occur until the next month. Haley or Zorn need to take over the play calling duties from Muir as now something different needs to be done with no Charles or Moeaki.

  • September 18, 2011  - An Ugly Replay In Detroit For Chiefs : says:

    [...] GAME STORY: An unexpected nightmare. [...]

  • September 18, 2011  - tuan says:

    ok. so if you keep going three and out and give the ball back to the other team so it doesn’t matter how good the D play they will give up 40 point ! how many time did the lions had the ball, something like 35 time.good QB make offense goes and if the Qb bad then it doesn’t matter whos they have at WR. matt cassel is a one read QB he just locked in on D bowe and hes not open then they screw. most of the time QB make WR look good

  • September 18, 2011  - Kenny Low says:

    Seems like the Bills and Lions are good teams. When you play bad against good teams, these type of results can happen.

    I hope haley and company can turn it around. Next week will be a tough game against san diego.

  • September 19, 2011  - ED J says:

    Tuan thats all i’m saying. Am i ignoring deficiancies on defense no. Lewis looks lost McGraw is one of the worst safeties in the league. But hey they manage to shut the Lions down to 7pts in the 1st quarter. Offensively we couldn’t manufacture 1st downs. Thats on QB. Like you say good QB make receivers look good Alah Cam Newton for Panthers. How about Flacco of Ravens. Or Brady with the Pats. Bottom line his play #7 is killing this team.

    This ain’t 2010 people where our running game are sneaking up on people. Teams know if they get 2 score lead Cassel isn’t good enough bring the team back. Or if they shutdown our run game we don’t have what it takes to muster anything from passing game to come back. Then we got Rivers Sunday he’s going to get every opportunity throw for 4 or 5 td’s Sunday with all the extra possessions he’s going to get from our offense.

  • September 19, 2011  - Kiowa says:

    Done like dinner, see ya next year, with the 1st overall drafting of a certain QB.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News