Depending on who's count you use, the Kansas City Chiefs dropped around nine balls on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Coming into the game, they were hovering just below 40 for the season, well above the NFL average. If you take Todd Haley's count, who is admittedly a tougher judge on the receivers, the Chiefs were over 50 for the season.
Simply put, the drops on Sunday were inexcusable. The frustration was clearly manifested in Haley's demeanor after the game. Livid. Frustrated. Pissed. All words that could be used to describe Haley in his post-game press conference.
"Nine dropped balls, I believe it is - five for first downs and five or six in the third quarter which were critical plays for us," an obviously upset Haley said after the game.
On several occasions, he held back and declined comment for fear of saying something he might regret.
"You convert half of those drops or a reasonable amount and that makes a difference," Haley said.
"It's contagious," Dwayne Bowe said of the problem. "Once one guy does it, the next guy's going to do it."
"It's contagious," Mark Bradley said echoing Bowe. "When you have a group of guys out there fighting everyday and one guy drops a ball, it's very contagious. Very streaky."
Haley said he's known this was a problem all season and that the coaching staff has been working with them before practice, after practice, on the jug machine - everything. Yet, the problem appears to be getting worse as the season goes on and the lack of tangible results appeared to be confusing for Haley.
Like he has in other games marred with drops, Haley defended his quarterback. Cassel completed over 50% of his passes but, according to Chris Chambers, put the receivers in a position to make plays.
"Matt, to me, played an excellent game," he said. "He gave us opportunities to make plays."
"As a quarterback," Cassel told reporters after the game, "you just keep pushing forward. I’m going to have throws that I want back and that I’m going to miss. That’s just part of football.
"The receivers know when they don’t catch the ball when they’re supposed to and it’s part of football and you just keep moving on."