The Kansas City Chiefs are history.
Please feel free to insert any adjective of your own that resembles finished.
The woebegone Chiefs fell to 1-4 on Sunday, at home no less, to a Chicago team that was missing its two top receivers and many of its other key personnel. Yet, the Bears scored twice in the final 4 minutes to hand the Chiefs a playoff-hopes-ending 18-17 loss, dropping KC to 0-2 at home this year.
This was supposed to be about the most automatic gimme on the schedule. Looking ahead, they go to Minnesota, host a Pittsburgh team that owns them, then host the Lions on a nationally televised Sunday night game that will fill the air with stench. The Lions may be the only team in the NFL worse than the Chiefs right now. Finally there’s a bye week, but after that, the Chiefs come back with three of four on the road before playing three of their final four at home. They have two home games in December and another in January. Can you imagine how many people are going to sit in the cold or snow to watch this team play? Arrowhead is going to resemble a ghost town with tumbleweeds blowing through it.
Did anyone else notice that Arrowhead Stadium sounded more like Chicago’s Solider Field? When the Bears toasted the Chiefs’ secondary for the game-winning touchdown, I would have swore the game was being played in Chicago. Arrowhead’s renowned decibel level already has been reduced to a muffle, as it’s clear Chiefs fans already have thrown in the towel after watching this team slog through five games.
Worst of all, the Chiefs lost their one true star, Jamaal Charles, for the season with a knee injury. This is the second ACL injury of his career and who knows, he might decide it’s just not worth it anymore and call it a career. He’s played a lot longer than the average NFL running back and he might think that being able to walk when he’s done playing is more important than trying to gain yards behind an inept offensive line.
With Charles out, Alex Smith needed to put this team on his shoulders. Instead, his feet were so happy he missed the easiest of passes. Smith had taken so many hits through the first four weeks that he unloaded several passes way too early in fear of being taken apart.
Charles was so much of the Chiefs’ offense. Now the burden falls on Charcandrick West (that’s a mouthful) and the MIA Knile Davis to handle the running game, which means Smith is going to chuck and duck a bunch. Newcomer Jeremy Maclin is likely to put up some big numbers, but they’re going to come in garbage time because the Chiefs figure to be out of games early. Who are the other Chiefs receivers anyway, not counting Travis Kelce?
What has happened to the defense? There’s no push from the front three, while aging linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson are eroding. Dee Ford is another missed No. 1 draft pick as he’s mediocre at best, while every team that plays the Chiefs doubles up on Justin Houston, whose name has seldom been called since Week 2. He’s being paid way too much money to be reduced to role of a spectator.
The secondary is a mess as even the much-maligned Jay Cutler picked it apart for 252 yards. The return of Sean Smith has helped, but with no pass rush it’s being exposed.
Finally, what is happening ultimately comes down to coach Andy Reid. I’ve been a big Reid supporter, even though he has never had a handle on clock management. He should have called a couple of timeouts in the last minute when it became apparent Chicago was going to score since the Chiefs were like a sieve. At least he’d had a few more seconds at the end to work with. Reid should be safe, though, as the Chiefs had bottomed out before his arrival and he’s turned things around in a hurry.
About all the Chiefs have left to play for is the No. 1 overall draft pick. Let’s hope if they get it they don’t bungle it up like last time when they picked Eric Fisher.