Is there any way that the Kansas City Chiefs can salvage their season? With a record of 1-6 going into Thursday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers what can Kansas City do to end 2012 on a positive note?
The Chiefs are not only tied for the worst record in the NFL they have accomplished something that has not been done since 1940. Kansas City has not been ahead during regulation in any game this season. Their only lead came after a field goal gave them a 27-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints in overtime.
The Chiefs biggest problem has been moving the ball and scoring points. Kansas City has run the ball well, but their passing game has not been good. Quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn have bee inconsistent from day one when the Chiefs were beaten 40-24 by the Atlanta Falcons.
The defense has not played well either. Kansas City has given up 35 or more points four times. The Chiefs are giving up an average of 30 points a game which ranks them 29th in the league. This is somewhat of a surprise as head coach Romeo Crennel earned his stripes as a defensive coordinator.
With nine games left Kansas City has not been eliminated from AFC West contention. They are only three games behind the first place Denver Broncos. However, any talk of a playoff run by the Chiefs right now would be foolish. Kansas City needs to focus on just winning one game and then another.
The second half of the Chiefs schedule is not that daunting. They have no games against teams with more than four wins. Almost all of their opponents are right around .500. Kansas City has the potential to beat everyone left on their slate.
The only way that the Chiefs will do this is if their passing game improves. Kansas City has talented receivers in Dexter McCluster and Dwayne Bowe. Tight end Tony Moeaki works the middle of the field well. Running back Jamaal Charles is good at catching the ball out of the backfield. Each one of these players is a potential game breaker with the ball in their hands.
The problem is who is going to get it to them? Cassel has fallen off considerably after coming back from a hand injury in 2011. The Chiefs counted heavily on him to return to the form which led them to a division title in 2010. So far, this has not happened.
Quinn has started two games. On Sunday he suffered a concussion and had to leave the game. Before being injured Quinn looked no better than Cassel.
Right now, Kansas City is playing for pride. Their main goal is very simple. It is to win a game. The Chiefs need a couple of confidence building victories. It does not matter how they get them as long as they do. If Kansas City can do this it will be a positive step in the right direction. This step has to be followed by handily beating one or two opponents.
At 1-6 the Chiefs playoff hopes are gone. The only way that Kansas City can salvage the wreckage of 2012 is by somehow winning more games in the second half of the season than they did in the first.