Well, that was demoralizing. I know it’s hard for Kansas City Chiefs fans to be positive about what they witnessed against the Seattle Seahawks. When you see the Chiefs play like that, it’s tempting to throw up your hands and walk out of the stadium or change the channel. And really, I couldn’t blame you for thinking and feeling that way. That first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals was the best game I had seen out of Kansas City, in my opinion, since they played the Tennessee Titans back in December 2010. It was alive, upbeat, and the Chiefs looked very New England Patriots-like.
This game was nothing close to that. The offensive line looked atrocious, quarterback Matt Cassel kept overthrowing his targets, the running game was only semi-effective, and cornerback Jalil Brown was getting picked on and beaten more than a high-schooler who likes to wear Pokemon shirts to class. Quarterback Russell Wilson was declared the most effective rookie of the week. Why? Because this game confirmed what I feared (and talked about in my article leading up to the game): the secondary is too weak without cornerback Brandon Flowers and free safety Kendrick Lewis. It’s infinitely frustrating to have guys like Brown and Travis Daniels on the field, because you know you’re starting out at an immediate disadvantage. What’s going to happen should Lewis and Flowers not be ready to go come the home opener when Tamba Hali is sidelined?
I don’t care that Seattle was able to put up 44 on the Chiefs. What I do care about, though, is this team’s readiness. This Chiefs team, fairly or unfairly because of injury, does not look even close to ready to battle the Atlanta Falcons when these games start counting (which, by the way, is less than 2 weeks away). The offensive fire I felt out of this team during the Arizona game is gone and this is looking very much like the Todd Haleyian- approach to preseason games that we saw last year.
And that brings up another discussion. Is head coach Romeo Crennel being stretched too thin, duty-wise? I know some coaches can handle it and that the preseason is considered too early to ask these questions. But these last two performances (with special emphasis on the Seahawk game) make me wonder if Crennel can handle being the head coach and defensive coordinator. Now, I’m just a blogger and a Chiefs fan, I have no idea how valid or invalid that assertion might be. But over the years, I’ve heard some coaches say that the load of being the head coach and a coordinator has been too much to handle. That happens. But if that is what’s going on, then that has to be addressed either by hire or by divvying up the workload differently. No matter what is done, the defense cannot continue to get burned like this.
After this meaningless game against the Green Bay Packers, the first three games are brutal stuff. Judging off of the little we have to go on, the Chiefs don’t look like they can win any of those. Then again, if the right defensive needs are addressed (maybe you consider signing defensive tackle Shaun Smith, who was huge for you in 2010?), maybe there’s more reason to be optimistic. But man, I just am not ready to write off the Chiefs yet. I have a friend who is already down enough on the team that he’s questioning whether or not he’s even going to watch them play this season.
I understand his pessimism. I am absolutely sick of being the butt of the national media’s jokes and one of the laughing stocks of the entire league. To me, though, writing off the team now is ludicrous for a couple of reasons. First of all, the NFL offseason, for me, is almost depressing, because you miss that feeling of getting up every Sunday (or whenever you play) knowing your team has a shot to win and make the highlight reel at the end of the day. So, why not try to enjoy the season while you can? And also, for the land’s sake, we haven’t broken into the regular season yet! I know these last 2 preseason games have been less-than-inspiring, but you have to take the good with the bad (maybe not to the level that the local Chiefs homer-commentators do every time they call a preseason game on TV, acting almost oblivious to what goes on, on the field).
Now, there is still reason to be optimistic. As tough as it is to remember, it is still preseason and this is a league that allows teams to turn themselves around in almost-no time flat. Will we be heading for the playoffs in January or selecting a quarterback in the NFL Draft in April 2013? Time will tell. Stay strong, Chiefs fans.
Question for the readers: (even if you don’t comment, think about it): Has your confidence in the Chiefs’ ability to go out and win football games declined at all?
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