Fans are ready to jump off of the bridge today and yesterday... I wish I could just not read this site right now, but I'm too addicted not to :)
The fact is that this was a bad loss, but it's not the end of the world. Haley has made mistakes, but he's a first time coach, with some questionable assistants on a team that has been miserably bad for two and a half years now.
What did you expect? I was optimistic about the Chiefs' chances this season, just because of all of the changes....
But it is those very changes that are making it a long season so far.
You can't change offenses, demote your OC at the beginning of the regular season, and expect to be smooth on offense.
You can't take a team that was down as far as KC and expect to "fix it" all in one year.
The players that we fans have come to know as "greats" are either not as good as advertised, or not fits for what the new regime are trying to build here.
Pioli and Haley do have a vision for this team. There have certainly been lapses in execution so far this year, and there will be more bumps along the road... but change is painful, rebuilding is miserable...
This is one of those things that we won't be able to see the direction or the progress until we are looking BACK at it... they WILL get better, but it WILL be ugly along the way.
What did Haley say at the beginning of the year?
"We're going to have to win ugly, we don't have much room for error"
Well, it's as ugly, or uglier than he thought... and they have made errors, even though there wasn't room for them... but all is NOT lost
more after the jump...
I am thinking back to before the season, and what wins I expected...
Well, they SHOULD HAVE won against the Raiders and Dallas... they DID win vs Washington... and they got OWNED vs San Diego.
So, here the Chiefs sit at 1-6, and this site is blowing up with "fire Haley" and "Pioli failed" and "worse than the Raiders" talk. (that last one is just flat out crazy... I'd take the Chiefs situation over the Raiders ANY DAY)
The fact is that the Chiefs got down early to a team that was more desperate for a win than KC. San Diego expects to be a contender, and is coming off of a loss. KC is "rebuilding" and coming off of a win... until they really get things turned around, they expect to lose more than they expect to win at this point.
San Diego went for the kill, they didn't let up on KC for 4 quarters. Whenever momentum briefly swung in KC's direction, a combination of poor execution by the Chiefs and great plays by the Chargers made sure that the game was never close.
What I saw was a KC team that is still struggling to execute in basic plays on offense. It seems like on most downs, SOMETHING went wrong... either the protection wasn't there, or the receiver wasn't open, or Cassel missed the throw, or the receiver dropped it...
On defense, I saw a unit that was very fired up at times... GREAT goal-line stands, several 3-and-outs, and lots of stuffed runs at the line of scrimmage... BUT, alas, they got caught out of position, mostly on blitzes when the safeties came after the QB, and got burned on 3 huge plays.
Those big plays, along with the blocked punt TD, seemed to take the life out of the Chiefs. Add in Cassel's interceptions, and the team was demoralized in the fourth quarter.
I didn't see a "lack of effort" or a "lack of intensity"... I saw a team struggle, get out played, and flat out get beat.
Here are my positives to build upon.... and DON'T say there's "nothing good to build on" or "no progress"...
* Lance Long... showed quickness and good hands... that TD catch would have been amazing. He's a spark plug for this offense. I won't compare him to WW or anyone else... but I will say that I think he's a great addition to the WR corps.
* Goal line RUN defense... Mays, Edwards, Williams... the whole front 7 showed up BIG time when their backs were to the wall. I LOVED seeing Mays meet LT in the air and bring him down. Those goal line stands were AMAZING.
* Jamaal Charles... YES, he missed the block on the punt block... which was bad. But, he did look very good on a draw play, and some other runs. He also COMPLETELY burned the DBs on that long pass right after the Chiefs scored a TD and got the ball back. Cassel's pass was a bit off, and Charles couldn't adjust... but his speed was undeniable, and I hope they keep trying that play.
* Haley's offensive play calling... YES, I'm aware that many fans were upset at Haley over this game... but there were some calles I LOVED. The play I referenced above... a deep pass to the fastest Chief... was exactly what I want to see when the Chiefs have some momentum. Go for the juglar! The next play was a perfect call as well... they faked the end around and threw a deep slant to Wade... again, Great call, was WIDE open... Cassel just missed both throws. I thought that Haley was aggressive and fairly creative... but the execution wasn't always there. I don't mind him going for it on 4th down... what do they have to lose? I'd rather take chances and lose than be afraid to try and lose anyway. Sure, Haley made some other bad calls... but overall, I think he's coming around as a playcaller.
* O'Callaghan AND (surprisingly) Barry Richardson... YES, Cassel got hit and sacked too many times again... but it wasn't because of poor OT play, IMO. These guys held up pretty well. Goff was clearly terrible AGAIN... and I can't believe he hasn't been replaced yet. The situation at Tackle is better than I thought, especially with Albert coming back. The situation at C and RG are the biggest problems on the entire roster, IMO.
Realism: the Negatives from this Sunday's game:
* Execution, execution, execution. San Diego executed their plays. The Chiefs didn't. San Diego got 2 sacks on Safety blitzes. The Chiefs gave up 2 TD on safety blitzes. San Diego picked up blitzes and were able to attack the Chiefs defensive weaknesses. The Chiefs weren't able to do what they planned on doing. Call it a lack of talent, preparation, or whatever.... it doesn't matter. They just didnt' get it done.
* Cassel had a bad day. He's not a bad QB, he doesn't need replaced... but he did have a bad game. Missing those two long passes, then throwing the 2 INTs (the other was clearly Ryan's fault) that hurt. To be fair, Cassel DID make some AMAZING throws, like the TD to Bowe, and the near TD to Long. He also made positive yards on scrambles, and threw well on some roll outs. But, in the 2nd half, after the Bowe TD... it was all down hill in the rain. He'll recover.
* Interior OL... Goff and Niswanger need to be replaced. We may get our wish with Rudy, as his injury looked bad... but Goff HAS to go. period.
* BIG plays on defense... The most frustrating thing about this defense all year... they CAN make plays, stop teams 3 and out, and stop the run... BUT, 2-3 times per game, they completely blow it. I do blame Clancy for some of this... sending the safety on a blitz should no longer be an option. It doesn't work, and it costs us big plays.
* Dropped passes... Bowe had one of his worst drops in recent memory, and Ryan gave the ball away when it hit him in the chest. These are concentration errors that HURT.
* Penalties... Well coached teams don't hurt themselves with penalties. The Chiefs killed themselves on several drives with penalties that negated good running plays and forced 3rd and long situations.