Bob Lutz: Chiefs don’t deserve your patience
09/17/2012 6:17 PM
09/17/2012 6:18 PM
Hey Chiefs fans, what are you going to do for the rest of the NFL season?
A cruise? Learn to play the guitar? Better yet, learn to play the harp. The Chiefs seem more like a harp team to me than a guitar team.
I jest because I feel your pain. I bought in to Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs this season. I thought there was a great fit between a team and a head coach and I based it on the final three games of the 2011 season, when the Chiefs were 2-1 and handed Green Bay its only regular-season loss.
Now, two games do not a season make. The Chiefs proved that last season when they actually got off to a worse start (0-2 and outscored 89-10) than they have this season (0-2 and outscored 75-41).
If you’re rating worse starts — and what else is there to rate with the Chiefs at the moment — then this bad start isn’t even in the same league with last season’s bad start. There, feeling better?
I didn’t think so.
The highlight of the Chiefs’ 2012 so far has been . . . well . . . I’m thinking . . . hey, there hasn’t been a highlight yet. At least at this rate it’ll be a short postseason video.
The Chiefs were throttled by the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, then beaten badly by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Kansas City was horrible in the second half against Atlanta and even worse in the first half against the Bills. But the other two halves weren’t half bad. Too bad they really didn’t matter.
Crennel was supposed to fix this defense once and for all. Certainly the Chiefs have spent enough draft-pick money to expect results, but the Chiefs have been torched for 377.5 yards per game, which
surprisingly is only 21st worst in the NFL.
I just noticed I’m using the word “worst” a lot in this column.
Anyway, the Chiefs have the worst (there it is again) scoring defense in the league after two weeks, allowing an average of 37.5 points.
Actually, that’s not the worst. It’s tied for worst. The New Orleans Saints, Kansas City’s opponent Sunday at the Superdome, are also giving up 37.5 points per game. But New Orleans doesn’t have a head coach.
The question is: Does Kansas City?
Crennel didn’t prove himself in Cleveland, where he was 24-40 from 2005-08 but did sprinkle in a 10-6 season in 2007.
But he’s such a likeable guy and a proven defensive coach from his years as a coordinator in Cleveland (2000) and New England (2001-04).
Well, how did that defense look to you on Sunday as Buffalo’s C.J.Spiller was spilling into the end zone with remarkable regularity?
Two games. It is only two games. The Chiefs were 0-3 last season before rallying to go 7-6 the rest of the way. And had they not let a Week 16 game against Oakland slip away, they would have made the AFC playoffs.
It’s a long season, although fans and media are quick to drop proclamations based on a game or a segment of a game. If patience is still a virtue, it’s a virtually ignored virtue.
Chiefs fans are feeling pulled and twisted from years of promise that turns instead to gloom. They are sick of quarterback Matt Cassel, sick
of how the Chiefs almost always go bust with their early picks in the draft, and now they’re growing sick of a defense that was being billed
as the strength of the team.
Come on now.
Through two games, the Chiefs have one sack and have not yet forced a turnover.
By comparison, Green Bay already has 11 sacks and Cleveland, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay have five interceptions.
The Chiefs’ defense doesn’t get pressure on the opposing quarterback, doesn’t stop the run and has been easily picked on in the secondary.
Other than that, things are going just swimmingly. Kansas City’s high priced front three of former first-round draft picks in Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson and Dontari Poe is giving the Chiefs about as much production as Tommy Dorsey, Phil Jackson and Edgar Allen Poe would.
First-round picks should be game changers, and their failure speaks loudly and clearly that the Chiefs’ scouting department is the worst in the NFL.
Dorsey, Jackson and Poe would be better off changing into their street clothes and sitting in the stands.
If this ineptitude continues, it’s difficult to see how general manager Scott Pioli, who hired not only Crennel but his predecessor, Todd Haley, survives. When the Chiefs brought Pioli aboard in 2009,
they thought they were going to experience some of the New England way since Pioli had been in the front office for the perennially-successful Patriots.
The only thing New England-ly about the Chiefs have been the days when clam chowder has been served for lunch.
Is there a quick fix?
Probably not, but a nice first step would be for the Chiefs to start to play the way they’re capable of playing. This isn’t a bad team on paper. But it’s been a bad team so far on the field, which is where it counts.
Crennel, Pioli, Cassel and everyone associated with the Chiefs is under intense scrutiny because of this poor start. I would normally preach patience, but that horse left the barn a long time ago.
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