Cosmetically, the 38-28 final score doesn’t look all at that bad.
But anyone who watched the Kansas City Chiefs’ loss to Green Bay on Monday knows just how deceiving the 10-point margin was. You have to wonder with back-to-back losses under the national microscope if the Chiefs will have their future prime-time privileges revoked.
About the only good to come out of the game was for those who had Jamaal Charles in their Fantasy Football League as he scored three touchdowns, though he gained only 49 yards as the Chiefs totaled just 75 on the ground.
The Chiefs were basically terrible in all phases of the game. They couldn’t run, they couldn't pass protect, they couldn't stop the run, they couldn’t stop the pass and future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers made Chiefs cornerback Marcus Cooper famous for all the wrong reasons, spotlighting him repeatedly on his way to a 5-touchdown, 333-yard passing performance.
In successive weeks, the replacements for the suspended Sean Smith have been incessantly picked on as last week it was Jamell Fleming who felt the heat from Peyton Manning's torch. Smith is back this week and it won't be a moment too soon.
The Chiefs finished with a respectable 326 yards of offense, but a good chunk of that came after the Packers had sprinted to a 31-7 lead and played prevent defense the rest of the way.
Alex Smith could have sued for non-support. His leaky offensive line had him running for his life all night, though he did finally complete a touchdown pass to a receiver when his second-half toss to Jeremy Maclin ended the drought. Maclin was virtually invisible in the first half and the one time he shook free, a spot-on pass clanked off his hands, conjuring up memories of the departed Dewayne Bowe.
I was expecting a more competitive effort from the Chiefs, especially with 11 days off. They should have been fresh and chomping at the bit to unleash the fury of the disappointment of the Denver game.
But they came out like they were in quicksand and their secondary was overmatched. Twice, defensive lineman Jaye Howard lumbered off the field and the result was a 12-man-on-the-field penalty.
Granted, the schedule has been brutal. Denver and Green Bay back-to-back would be difficult for any team, which is why it was so important to secure a victory over Houston in the first week. The Chiefs will play their third unbeaten opponent on Sunday — again on the road — in Cincinnati, which plays like lions at home and lambs on the road, though maybe they're disproving that mythology after stunning Baltimore in the Ravens' nest this past Sunday.
Right now, the Chiefs in no way resemble a playoff team. The offensive line is among the worst in football and at some point they're going to have to cut bait and jettison former overall No. 1 draft pick Eric Fisher, who was overwhelmed like his other four compadres in the line. The secondary also is a mess as Rodgers was constantly smirking after completing throws, no doubt elated how easy the Chiefs were making it.
The Chiefs also were undisciplined at inopportune times. These are all traits not normally associated with an Andy Reid-coached team, but right now the Chiefs are out of sorts.
A win over Cincinnati is now virtually imperative. Given the start of the Broncos and the emergence of the Raiders as they could be shedding their joker's image, the season could be over at the quarterpole.