The new power rankings have been released, and things do not look good for the Kansas City Chiefs. With one of the worst defenses in the National Football League and an offense that only seems to shine when games are already out of reach, Romeo Crennel’s squad (0-2) finds itself with way more questions than answers headed into its week three matchup with the winless New Orleans Saints. What do they have to do to turn it around?
The two biggest concerns are the defense’s play and the health of star running back Jamaal Charles. In two weeks, a defense that was supposed to be much stronger has given up 37.5 points per game, allowed 142.5 yards rushing per game, and has yet to force a turnover. Many fans gave the team a bit of a pass in week one’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons because of the strength of the Falcon offense. Also, the fact that cornerback Brandon Flowers was out with an injury, and Pro Bowl outside linebacker Tamba Hali was serving a one-game suspension didn’t help matters for the Chiefs. However, both of them played in week two, and the defense still managed to give up 35 points to a Buffalo Bills team coming off of a trouncing by the New York Jets. The pass coverage from the secondary must greatly improve against a pass-first Saints team, and Hali needs to put pressure on Drew Brees.
Charles, who tore his ACL early in the 2011 season, was limited to 6 carries for 3 yards in Sunday’s loss, and Crennel said he reinjured his left knee during the game. This news has to have any Chiefs fan worried as Charles was the biggest reason the offense was so successful in 2010. He is expected to play this Sunday, but another injury could be a nail in the coffin for Kansas City’s season. If Charles goes down, the Chiefs may be forced to bring in rookie Cyrus Gray to complement the power running of Peyton Hillis and Shaun Draughn.
With a host of defensive problems, the uncertainty surrounding Jamaal Charles, and the continually mediocre play of quarterback Matt Cassel, righting the ship won’t be an easy task for Romeo Crennel in the coming weeks.