Random Thoughts and Observations on the Chiefs-Panthers game
They are only opinions, but at least they are mine...
I realize that as I typed the word "game", I seemed to feel a little unrealistic. To me debacle or slaughter seems more appropriate.
Frankly, the Chiefs could have lost so much worse. Where it not for two give-aways inside the 20-yardline and the fact that John Fox had the class to not run up the score (i.e. running a dive, while in field goal range, on 4th down in the 4th quarter) the score could have easily been 51-0.
What is most disappointing about Sunday is that the Chiefs clearly gave up. The passion that was present in the Denver game was completely non-existent. I can say that I have been among those who have been most patient, and have encouraged others to avoid a rush to judgment on Herm Edwards. However, when a coach can get a young team to play motivated that is really an indictment on his message. It appears that Edward's message is not getting through and that he has lost this team.
Perhaps everything you needed to know about the game was reflected in Damon Huard's mini-meltdown following his second interception. On the drive Huard put forth quite an effort, evading the rush on multiple occasions and doing uncharacteristically athletic things such as flipping the ball to Jamal Charles for five yards and making another tough play to Kolby Smith. Then, following an obvious miscommunication, Dwayne Bowe simply watched as the man covering him dropped back and picked off a pass while he made no effort to defend or break up the play. Huard is usually one of those guys who you don't see any emotion from and never complains, so when he is getting ticked about the team's effort, you really know something is wrong.
It may be hard for one offensive lineman to ruin an entire offense, but Damion McIntosh sure is trying. Not only did he surrender two sacks, but he also allowed four different Larry Johnson runs two be blown-up for losses. Inexplicably, two of them took place where he missed blocks from the backside, but so completely whiffed that the defender was able to come across the formation and make the tackle.
I never thought I would ever say this but McIntosh's play makes me wish we had kept Jordan Black. At least you never questioned his effort. McIntosh is either so hurt that he shouldn't be playing or simply doesn't care.
It occurs to me that following their Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde performance perhaps the Chiefs can spawn a remake of an old TV series. Picture this: Tonight, enter runningback Larry Johnson, a talented player for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. Mr. Johnson leads the American Football Conference in rushing, with all the accolades and admiration this brings. But tonight, Mr. Johnson will find out that a runningback is only as good as his offensive line. No matter what he tries, no matter where he runs, he will find every hole blocked...blocked by a darkness known to us as, "the Twilight Zone".
One thing is for sure. If this Chiefs season were a TV series it certainly would be the Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt or Alfred Hitchcock Presents, because the season has certainly been a nightmare for Chiefs fans.
A final thought on Edwards and the coaching staff. Outside of the lack of effort, is the fact that certain players who should be blossoming are not. For example, in the 2nd quarter, a missed pass on a long post pattern saved a touchdown because Bernard Pollard once again sucked up on a crossing route and missed the post going over the top. Pollard isn't a rookie, this is his 3rd season and such mistakes should not be happening. Also, certain players, such as Tamba Hali, Rudy Niswanger, McIntosh, Derrick Johnson and others seem to have actually regressed following promising first seasons.
While I certainly never agree with the idea of firing a coach before the end of the season, one thing is clear, if the Chiefs don't manage to turn this around, Clark Hunt had better fire Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson or he is going to have a mini-revolution on his hands in Kansas City.
Certainly, I think that Clark is starting to build his case for doing just that. In a recent article, "No Answers Explain This One", the Chiefs' organizations mouthpiece, Bob Gretz, was uncharacteristically negative about the Chiefs coaching staff and seemed to really point the finger at them, admitting that the Chiefs performance in Carolina was more than just the expected bumps and bruises anticipated in a rebuilding process.
So, with Brodie Croyle expected to come back in two weeks, Herm Edwards must be hoping and praying that Croyle has suddenly found the magic, which has eluded him in seven previous career starts. If Croyle hasn't then Edwards will most certainly need some sort of VooDoo to keep him out of the unemployment line come January.