Column: Forget This One Quickly

From Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

If in three weeks the Chiefs are celebrating as the 2010 AFC West champion then what happened on this sunny southern California afternoon will be forgotten.

Should they stumble and fall over the next three weeks and end up on the outside and looking in at the AFC playoffs, then they will be able to point to what happened against the Chargers as the moment where everything went to pot.

NFL teams have bad days. Even good teams sometimes struggle on any given Sunday.

But good teams do not go out and get run over with so much on the line. The media horde has pestered Todd Haley for months to say the Chiefs are a good football team. He’s refused. Turns out he knows best.

A good team can lose a game to San Diego in a similar situation. But a good team does not get punked the way the Chiefs were destroyed by the Chargers. This was familiar territory for San Diego; they’ve won four straight division titles, five in the last six years and December has always been their month.

The Chiefs wandered around on the grass surface at Qualcomm like they were lost at the mall while Christmas shopping with Mom. When you can list a team’s game highlights on a single hand and have fingers left over, it tells you it was a bad afternoon.

Oh, so bad.

“We need to evaluate what happened,” said head coach Todd Haley. “I knew coming in we were playing a good team and we had to play our best football and we clearly did not. If you don’t play your best football against a team like that, that’s the result you are going to get.”

The Chiefs were so far out of this game that in the fourth quarter, Haley and his coaches were already dissecting the game the their team’s problems on the headsets. There was certainly plenty of time to do that because there wasn’t a chance in the world that the Chiefs were going to get back in the game.

But it remains just a single snapshot in the scrapbook of the 2010 season. There will be a lot of talk on the plane ride home and then tomorrow at Chiefs HQ about what happened. Then, it must be put aside, or so say two of the most veteran players on the team.

“It doesn’t matter as of tomorrow afternoon when we get done going through the tape,” said LG Brian Waters. “We have to forget this. It’s one game. If we carry this one forward, then we don’t have a chance in the last three games. There’s a lot left that we can accomplish, but it has no chance if we wallow around in this game.

Said RB Thomas Jones: “You watch the film; you make the corrections and then go forward. You have to have a short memory. We have a big game next week and we have to win that one. We have a lot of guys in here that are resilient and hate to lose. I know most of the guys can’t wait to get back to practice.”

In practice, the guys on the other side of the line of scrimmage don’t beat you to a pulp the way the Chargers banished the Chiefs. San Diego controlled the line of scrimmage so well Homeland Security should consider moving them about 20 miles down the freeway to the border with Mexico.

That’s a pride buster that’s hard to forget. They must, because even with the beating, everything they wanted to do remains ahead of them. If they win three, they are division champs.

“It’s a team loss that we have to learn from and bounce back from, but bounce back with a greater sense of urgency and intensity about how we are doing things, so we can become a good team,” said Haley.

“We’ve shown the ability to bounce back. But this will be the most devastating loss to date. Those others were all forgotten because we found a way to come back. What we need to do is take this devastating loss and take it as a catalyst to make ourselves better for these last three games. If we do that, we’ll have the chance to be a good team.”

On this Sunday, they were not a good team. But the sun comes up tomorrow and the train continues on. For them to stay on board, they must forget.

14 Responses to “Column: Forget This One Quickly”

  • December 12, 2010  - dan says:

    San Diego got punked last week….Chiefs Will rebound…..

  • December 12, 2010  - johnfromfairfax says:

    I think the game showed how far we still have to go to be truly competitive as a championship team. It was an old fashioned butt whupping. They were the physical, dominant team that we hoped to show we were coming in. The defense did nothing to help but neither did anybody on offense. Hopefully we can rebound and win out to finish on a bright note but the organization’s braintrust will have their work cut out for them to address our needs between the end of the season and next year. I also hope it showed the haters how much Cassell means to the success of our team this year. He probably couldn’t have salvaged this stinker but I’m guessing it would have been more competitive had he been in the lineup. They had an elite quarterback and he showed his value throughout the game. Brodie didn’t have a chance and presented no challenge to them.

  • December 12, 2010  - Kiowa says:

    Pitiful performance!

  • December 12, 2010  - el cid says:

    Thank goodness for guys like dan and john. The rest of us are disappointed in the Chiefs not even showing up for the game but you two cannot wait for next week.


    Brodie will not need to worry about a contract with the Chiefs next year.

    When Weis and Crennel do not have the team ready, there will be nothing to do but lose.

    The Chiefs have had a great year and made major improvements but this team is a pretender, a regular holloween team, trick or treat.

    We will hopefully have heard the last of “just give Brodie a chance, he is better than Cassel”.

    There will be more than a few of you who will remind us the Chiefs will rebound. It is not like they can forfeit the rest of this season, although they certainly did not bother to attend the game today.

  • December 12, 2010  - Edward says:

    Agreed Johnfromfairfax. Chiefs need put this one on the burner and move forward. Its over we beat them they beat us we need to move on. Its does show the value of having Cassel in there. Hopefully he can get healthy soon and have a speedy recovery. Going forward we just need to forget about this game and go on road find away to win this coming Sunday.

  • December 12, 2010  - Edward says:

    I’m with Bob though if we win out this lost will be forgotton. So Chiefs not out of it yet. Are they Super Bowl contenders? No. But this team is good enough to win the divison.

  • December 12, 2010  - el cid says:

    No the Chiefs will not win the division. Oakland has the tie breaker and play us the last game. Also, in case you did not notice, the team that kicked our ass today is peaking.

    There may be a “formerly” hidden truth about the Chiefs. Come out and hit them in the gut and they fold, see Denver and SD games. This team is missing something. They do not quit but they cannot stand up and fight if hit in the mouth. I do not have the words for it, it is not guts but something very close and it is not there.

  • December 12, 2010  - matt says:

    el cid…. chiefs have to lose 2 of the next 3 for oakland to have a chance. not happening

  • December 13, 2010  - Chiefs Go Goose Egg In San Diego | Chiefs Football at says:

    [...] COLUMN: Forget this one quick. [...]

  • December 13, 2010  - Craig says:

    This was not a fair comparison for Croyle. Remember Cassel only had 97 yards against the Chargers and a similar passer rating. And he had a lead and a better running game. Croyle had to come out and play the best defense in the NFL with 4 days of practice with the first team. He was behind from the get go.The idea that this proves, Cassel is a better QB than croyle is nonsense.

  • December 13, 2010  - Milkman says:

    Before we right them off, lets let the season play out. I don’t think anyone is saying this is a team that will compete for a super bowl, but we do still have a chance to win a weak division. It would be nice to get some of our younger players some play-off experience- however brief it may be. Then try to get some more depth in the off season and see what happens from there.

  • December 13, 2010  - Tim says:

    We’ll see how the season plays out. Its clear however, we have a long way to go to where we’d like to be. Bob, and many of the rest of us, said this from the beginning: we lack enough quality players. This can only be rectified with time. We have to get more quality on the O line. Casey W. is a warrior, but he’s pretty much done against these really big NTs. Waters is at the end. On a couple of plays the guy actually got under Wiegman’s pads & tossed him! On D, Vrabel just looked slow & old…tackling around the shoulder pads. ILBs didn’t hold their gaps & there was so much cushion on the receivers that a you couldn’t see the defense in the picture! I believe that was a poorly conceived schematic plan. I believe our gameplan on O was not good either. Sometimes you have to do something they don’t expect. Yesterday was one of those times. They treated Croyle like a rookie: stack the box, bring the heat & make them (us) beat them. I’m ready to let Croyle go to greener pastures. He’s a great kid, but KC just isn’t going to work out for him after this year. All this being said doesn’t mean our schedule won’t allow us a fantastic opportunity to grow & make the playoffs. They can do this!

  • December 13, 2010  - RW says:

    Still can’t lose sight of the big picture and that unexpected 8-5 record which, on the eve of the season opener, thought was about as possible as Dawson coming out of retirement to QB the team. Then I get caught up with playoff fever and quickly forget the past few inept seasons until yesterday’s sobering wake-up call.

    The reality is clear to see: This team is at least a year, more likely two years away from being good enough to roll into anyone’s home field, stand their ground and be considered a legitimate threat. If they lose out from here and finish 8-8, it’s still far better than I thought back in August.

  • December 13, 2010  - Dennis says:

    Game? What game? Did we play a game yesterday? I already poked out my mind’s eye for thinking about it earlier today.

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