Column: Not Desperate Enough To Win

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 – 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 – 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.

9 Responses to “Column: Not Desperate Enough To Win”

  • November 2, 2012  - bhive01 says:

    I don’t know that you can say that at least some of the guys didn’t go out there and play with heart. Hell, even fumble-prone Cassel had some very good moments where he ran and didn’t dive. Like when he decided to take on an LB for a few extra yards. Bowe showed up for sure (get that guy paid) and I believe Charles did too. But you’re right overall, the rest of the team is almost going through the motions. I really don’t think the coaches are putting them in the best position to win. The more desperate they get the more trick plays and gimmicks we end up with.

    I do wonder what we’re gonna end up with at the end of this year and the start of next. It’s looking like a high draft pick and probably a QB, but like you say Bob… just a QB won’t cure what ails this team.

  • November 2, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Since he won’t fire himself Hunt needs to blow this up and fire Pioli and Crennel and start over, as painful as that will be. He has lost the fan base and needs to give us and the team a fresh start. Hopefully, solid football guys with a proven track record as GM and coach can come in and evaluate the team and with good drafting and some astute free agent personnel changes turn the team around without taking another several years. For that to happen will require a willingness on Hunt’s part to accept the failure of his attempt with this regime and, the insight and ego to seek men he will listen to and a willingness to spend more than he’s shown a propensity for so far to redo the roster and acquire the talent necessary to turn it around. We’ll see what he does the remainder of this season and off season although for all intents and purposes our off season has begun.

  • November 2, 2012  - Tenand6 says:

    I noticed something watching the game the second time that may shed some light on why San Diego won: There wasn’t one candy wrapper on the field to distract them. Not one and this is right after Halloween.

    Don’t tell me Scott Pioli doesn’t have his priorities straight. You show me a home team playing with ZERO candy wrappers on the field and I’ll show you a winner.

    Go get ‘em, Scott! You stay the course. Nothing takes down a football team quicker than a candy wrapper on a back stairwell where the paper pushers work.

  • November 2, 2012  - ChuckXX says:

    Bob; Very good article. There really isn’t much a guy can say at this point, except I will say that Bowe once again had a pretty good game except for his fumble. He really needs to be resigned in the offseason. If they let him slip out of town then I know for sure they don’t care about winning in K.C.

  • November 2, 2012  - R W says:

    All good comments by Bob and I concur. The burning question remains: WHAT will Jr. Hunt do about this debacle of a franchise and WHEN will he do it?

    If he continues to stay the course, the Hunt family members should step in and vote his young butt out of office. What a colossal failure of epic proportions! (Other than that Ms. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?)

  • November 2, 2012  - Dio says:

    I really can’t see how Pioli and the coaching staff can be kept at this point. Todd Haley must be looking forward to seeing his former team coming to town next Monday. Shaping up to be another embarrassment.

    Only real positive I could come out with is that Eric Berry looks to be getting closer to what he was in his rookie season.

    When do we stop rolling out McCluster? Turns the ball over way too much. I’m sure we would be more productive with Breaston taking those snaps if they keep insisting Baldwin has to play ahead of him.

  • November 2, 2012  - TimR says:

    I don’t think the players believe in what they’re doing. I don’t think the team, in general, has a great chance because of the QB play. You put these elements together along with subpar motivational skills & an environment where accountability is almost non-existent & you will get a disasterous situation EVERY time. In order to get out of this & get these guys going, either Pioli or Hunt has to pull the trigger & put somebody else in charge & tweek these schemes.

  • November 2, 2012  - spellchecker says:

    I agree 100% with johnfromfairfax. C-Hunt won’t fire himself so he needs to man up and admit he made a mistake hiring Pioli and turning complete control of the football operations to him. The Patriot Way did not work.

    What we need to worry about is that in some of the media (thankfully not this site) they are setting up Romeo Crennel (he does need to go) as the fall guy so that C-Hunt can hire a consultant to help Pioli; and C-Hunt will not have to admit his mistake.

    Pay Bowe!

  • November 2, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    Please check out saveourchiefs on facebook and Like the Page.
    This is 1988 all over again. We the STH acted together before the internet.
    Wear black to the next home game vs. Bengals.

    Holmgren is available.

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