Column: Chiefs Continue To Test Fans Patience

From Arrowhead Stadium

It’s damn hard work being Chiefs Fan. Of that there is no question.

There’s the now 42-season wait for a Super Bowl to match the trophy from game number IV. There’s the 18-season drought of victories in the post-season that stretches back to January 1994. There are all those times in the previous 20 years where the Chiefs of Carl Peterson and Marty Schottenheimer, even Dick Vermeil’s teams teased the fans with outstanding seasons and big victories that would fizzle away in the hot breath of the NFL playoffs.

And there are now the 2011 Chiefs, just another cross for those wearing the red and gold to bear.

Winners of the AFC West last year and the spot in the playoffs that goes with that, the 2011 Chiefs started the season 0-3, including the worst back-to-back drubbings (89-10) in franchise history. But then they came alive and won four straight and found themselves on top of the division again. From disaster sprang hope.

Yet, in their two most recent outings, both games played on their home field, the Chiefs lost twice and did it thanks to an offense that can’t score points and a defense that can’t stop the other team. That’s a pretty brutal combination for any team.

And that should be the biggest concern for anyone that cares about the Chiefs – they are getting destroyed on the line of scrimmage. In the last two games, the Dolphins and Broncos have been more physical, they have executed at a level far higher than the Chiefs and they have beaten up the guys wearing red:

  • QB Matt Cassel was sacked four times, in 32 passing plays by Denver. That’s one every eight plays, and that’s the type of ratio that ranks among the league’s worst in pass protection. Count last week’s battering by the Dolphins (5 sacks in 44 passing plays) that’s nine sacks in 76 passing plays, or one every 8.4 plays.
  • The defense allowed only 4.4 yards per carry, but they were hammered 55 times by six different Denver runners, giving up 244 yards. That’s just another example of the problems the Chiefs have had stopping the run in their own division.
  • Although they didn’t get much of a chance, the defense didn’t have a sack, after going without one the week before against the Dolphins. That’s nine sacks in nine games, the worst total in the league.

All of those problems happen at the line of scrimmage. After playing good football earlier in the season, the Chiefs offensive line has fallen apart. The defensive front seven is not far behind. They are getting pushed and pulled around. They don’t scare any opposing quarterback looking to throw, or run. They are not creating space for the running game, or a pocket for their quarterback to throw in.

And now Cassel is hurt. He wouldn’t say what got dinged, but Cassel wasn’t allowed to go back in the game. It could be minor or it could be one of those items that hangs on and is debilitating. Only the coming week will provide enough information on that.

What we do know is the Chiefs are now 4-5 and ahead will be the toughest five-game stretch on their schedule, possibly the toughest five-game segment that any team will face this year – New England on the road, Pittsburgh at home, the New York Jets on the road, the Chicago Bears on the road and then the Green Bay Packers at home.

Even before they lost three key players to injury, the talent level on the Chiefs roster was not very deep. Take out Charles-Moeaki-Berry and it’s downright shallow. Play as poorly as they have in the last two games and it appears even worse than we realized.

The Chiefs said there were 72,908 seats sold for Sunday’s game against Denver. Quite a few of those tickets went unused, but it was still a nice crowd in the stands, probably somewhere between 60,000 and 65,000. Of course, it was a glorious November Sunday, the type of day that’s growing more rare as winter waits to unleash her cold brutality on us.

It was another frustrating afternoon for Chiefs Fan. Sadly, there may be seven more of those in the Sundays and Monday nights ahead. What has ailed the Chiefs in the last two weeks can’t be cured in the next few days of preparation for the Patriots.

But then, Chiefs Fan has been here before.

16 Responses to “Column: Chiefs Continue To Test Fans Patience”

  • November 13, 2011  - Chuck says:

    I think at this low point in the season if you look “seriously” at our remaining schedule and “how it lays out” we could realistically finish at 4-12. I wonder if there would be any “remote possibility” of trading up for Andrew Luck??? Or would tight ass Clark just say to Pioli NO WAY.

  • November 13, 2011  - Josh says:

    My 5-11 prediction from preseason looks like a lock. Too bad we’ll draft more specialty players and game-day no-shows. Rough day to cheer in person. Was glad to be there for the Armed Forces tribute, though.

  • November 13, 2011  - Kenny says:

    Don’t think there is one person in the draft that turns everything around. We can win with Cassel. I just watched Alex Smith lead the niners to become 8-1. You can’t expect the complete many passes when you are running for your life. Can’t run unless there are places to run.

  • November 13, 2011  - DanO says:

    Just think if we had used the DMC and Arenas picks on a right tackle and a Center. I’m thinking we are a much better team. We are getting killed on the Oline!

  • November 13, 2011  - Craig says:

    I still think the O-line goes back to Hunt letting waters go to make a point “im the Boss”. Some of the key players let go in the off season were real locker room leaders. We are what we are. Not real good. I think if we do not win another game this year haley’s head will be on the block, but maybe not. We are so far under the cap, and did not sign any impact players, maybe the owner could care less as long as the fans show up. Go CHiefs!!

  • November 13, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    So EddieJ goes back to his old stand by…blame the QB for no O-line and several WR drops.
    I know you “geniuses” can’t see this on the boob tube, but… there is very little O-line coaching going on this year with Muir in the press box. I can see that from my seats at the actual game. No adjustments being discussed. Albert and Lilja have digressed this year. Richardson and Weigmann have turned in the worst O-line performances I have EVER seen in 34 years of being a Season ticket holder. They both make Jared Black look like a HOF OT.
    If you don’t know who that is, it figures.
    I never thought I would miss Herkenhoff-Brad Budde- Rudnay- Condon- Getty but this group is actually worse.
    Cassel is a good/not great NFL QB with a suck-a$$ O-line and ineffective coaching. Montana would be dead by now in the Muir/Zorn/Haley offense.
    This is Pioli’s mess along with Clark pocketing $30 Mil.

  • November 13, 2011  - ED J says:

    Craig please shut up about Waters he didn’t help against RAvens and Raiders last yr. Bottom line Pioli has two very important things to fix in offseason. 1 get a talented QB that can overcome imperfections of this team. Its clear everything has to be perfect for Cassel to be succesful and that’s the problem. This isn’t a perfect world and so hoping we will build this perfect roster is foolish. Bottom line get a real QB that can make plays through the air and not lose to QB that completes 2 passes.

    Next fix the o-line. Get left tackle, move Albert to right tackle, and a guard. WE need also add depth at at tackle behind the starters.

  • November 13, 2011  - Karl says:

    I will be rooting for them next week. Will not return to Arrowhead until they develop some pride and respect for their fans. Last four times were blowouts – if the team and coaches don’t care, get real – it costs alot.

  • November 13, 2011  - Johnfromwichita says:

    I was there. After the Miami game I said I only had one word: horrible. Now after the Denver game I have two words: horrible, horrible.

  • November 13, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    You left out pathetic JFW. This was ugly and I think that wishing for Luck isn’t the answer either. It will take time to develop a young quarterback and ANY quarterback would suck with this line… The deficiencies on the lines on both sides of the ball are obvious. Turning over the coach and/or the GM is starting all over again. The remainder of the year will in all probability be a painful reminder of what we are lacking to be an elite team in the league. You have to pay for the talent on the lines and make good choices when you have the opportunity. The worst nightmare for Haley of being a yo yo team is playing out this year. I’ve followed the Chiefs for the entire time Bob talks about in this post and I have to tell you that it doesn’t get any easier to see us perform as poorly as we are right now.

  • November 13, 2011  - Tebow Leads Broncos In Victory Over Chiefs : says:

    [...] COLUMN: Testing fans patience. [...]

  • November 14, 2011  - ED J says:

    I take it back guys I heard game on radio just got threw actually watching it. Matt missed couple throws but he’s not to blame for the lost. Seriously again the o-line played like hot garbage. Richardson needs to be benched how he survived this long on our teams speaks volumes to Pioli oversight of not addressing that position. But Haley needs to send a message to team that play want be acceptable. He needs start Gaither I’ve seen enough of Richardson getting his a## whippped or either holding or getting false start penalties.

    Then their is Wiegman who just is getting blown off the ball on run or pass plays. Haley stick by your word you said older players still need to show you they can play and this guy can’t anymore. Its time to put Hudson in the game. Seriously season is getting away and its time to shake that o-line up. Their holding the offense back in both passing and running and each week I watch us play its the same culprits.

    Last but not least after season its time the Albert at left tackle experiment ends. He maybe solid right tackle but he’s not consistent enough to be protecting QB blindside. No question O-line must even go ahead of QB this yr in the draft

  • November 14, 2011  - ED J says:

    Cychief you’re right receivers deserve some blame too. Baldwin drop routine pass late. Bowe drop key pass and so did Breaston on 3rd dwns. How does also Breaston line up wrong and he’s a vet. I mean inexcusable. Overall o-line is most to blame. Defensively Dorsey may need to be traded. Problem is we can’t pull trigger until someone steps up to claim his spot.I like Dorsey but he’s just not worth the money he’s making. He’s not consistent enough run stuffer and alot of times I’m watching 1 guy just dominate him. Jackson started off slow but once he had someone in Houston who could make plays on his side him and Houston did good job stuffing run on his side. Whereas Studebaker allow runner to break outside glad he was replaced. Jackson actually starting to come one but now Dorsey seems to be regressing. And Romeo you ever heard of blitzing when you’re in your base. Seriously just gone allow Tebow to fling pass around without sending any pressure.

  • November 14, 2011  - Milkman says:

    Nice article Bob. I am glad someone can see how us long time Chief fans are feeling frustrated. Every single year we get our hopes up and every single year we get dissappointed. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I am getting tired of following a franchise that can’t get it together for whatever reason. You would think the law of averages would be on our side, but there are too many franchises who DO get it that will not allow one like ours to climb to respectability. I will always root for the Chiefs, I am just getting tired of it feeling like a job.

  • November 14, 2011  - RW says:

    Not to overstate the obvious but there needs to be a seachange in the franchise but unfortunately, no one can fire the owner.

  • November 14, 2011  - Roger says:

    I think back to Charlie’s statement last year “I’m here to fix the quarterback problem.” One of the talking heads on TV on a half time show said in effect, “that every time you think Cassell is going to turn the corner in the NFL, he takes a step backward.” On the other hand, he needs an O-line to give him chance to show us if he has it or not.

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