From Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
It was thought going into Thursday night soiree between the Chiefs and Chargers that the game was a meeting of two desperate football teams, one with a four-game losing streak, another with three straight defeats.
Turned out there was only one team desperate enough to lay everything on the line in hopes of calming the pain in their gut. That was the San Diego Chargers. They won the game 31-13.
The Chiefs didn’t play like a desperate team. First of all they barely qualify as a team these days. They are not the “right 53″ joined with the “perfect” coaching staff that works together in unison, laying their heart and soul on the line and going to football war every week. That’s a team.
They are a bunch of guys that just work at the same address. They share an office and they spend a lot of time together, but they seem to have forgotten the elements that are necessary to win. They have forgotten that they play 60 minutes of football; they put in a good 45 minutes worth of work, on this night but there was a little problem with those final 15 minutes.
They have to play in coordination where offense, defense and the kicking game meld into a singular movement against an opponent. That’s what a team does. The Chiefs do not do that. The generous offensive side gives the ball to the other team and leaves its defense in horrible situations. The defense gives up big plays on a regular basis and that tilts the field position battle and leads to points and that just more scores the offense must get. But the offense isn’t good enough to pull that off. The special teams fumbled a punt away for the second straight game and they continue to produce nothing in the return game.
No, these 2012 Chiefs are not a team. They don’t qualify for that title, they don’t deserve that designation. Numerous times Thursday night the Chiefs were in a position where the game’s momentum would have turned if they’d just been able to make a play. That’s what players are supposed to do β make plays. If a team does not have playmakers, then they are not going to be successful.
Those opportunities were butchered by the Chiefs against the Chargers. Give SS Eric Berry credit for making a play; his end zone interception came at the perfect time, keeping Chargers points off the board. There simply weren’t enough of the other guys in Chiefs uniforms making those plays.
Those of us that watch have watched the 2012 Chiefs stumble through the first half of the season have called for changes. Some want GM Scott Pioli fired and there’s good enough reasons for that, take a 22-35 record on his watch for one. Other want Romeo Crennel sent packing and they have a lot of evidence, topped by his 3-8 record as head coach of the team. Just about everybody wants the quarterback fired, as Matt Cassel now has a record as the Chiefs starting quarterback of 19-28.
Let me assure you that the problem goes beyond those three men. The entire team appears to be infected with the worst possible malady any group trying to work together can have β they’ve made losing a habit.
Coaches always say that winning is a habit; the opposite is true as well. Winning teams seem to find ways to win games. Losing teams just keep finding ways to lose, over, and over and over again. They don’t ever appear to learn anything from their travails. Next week will be another week of Chiefs players and coaches all talking about how they have to stop beating themselves, how somebody has to make a play, how they aren’t this bad, that they need to stop shooting themselves in the foot, ya da, ya da, ya da.
It’s all just blather. This group of the “right 53″ has no idea how to win. Even with those three Super Bowl rings in his desk drawer, Pioli doesn’t know how to win. He’s proven that over four years when he hasn’t been smart enough to figure out that just because his football passport was stamped in New England, that doesn’t carry any weight when you are working in Kansas City and you don’t have Tom Brady at quarterback or Bill Belichick as head coach.
To turn this thing around it’s going to take a fumigation of monumental proportions. Either that, or it gets blown up and they start over. No matter what Young Mr. Hunt decides to do, somebody needs to take over who knows how to win and understands how to take a group of men and turn them into a team that wins.
The Chiefs Nation knows the questions. They await the answers.