KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 13: Defenders Jovan Belcher #59 and Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs tackle running back Spencer Larsen #46 of the Denver Broncos during the first half on November 13, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Denver defeated Kansas City 17-10. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Good morning everyone. Here's today's Kansas City Chiefs news.
The worst loss of what is again a miserable Chiefs season has an organization on tilt.
Players are angrier. Openly questioning themselves. The questions they’re asked, and presumably asking themselves, are sharper, more real and based less on speculation and frustration of the moment than another limp showing in front of a fan base that deserves better.
Those questions start with whether the head coach can stay through this.
Cassel’s availability for New England may be in doubt for much if not all of the week. He was sacked on his last play by Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the game and did not return.
"I couldn’t go back into the game," Cassel said. "I wanted to go in but was told not to. That’s what kept me out. The medical staff will evaluate as the week goes on.
Elway, the Broncos executive vice president of football operations, was showing off that trademark grin, the same one Broncos fans know so well. "Play good defense," Elway told his defensive stars, "and anything's possible."
"One of the things is, I don't know that every time they knew exactly what was coming," Tebow said. "There was mixing it up, as far as how we're blocking, where we're going, if we're reading it or not. It could look that way just watching, but that was something we did a good job of, keeping them off balance as far as what we were doing."
"He was beat up there at the end; he was unable to go physically," head coach Todd Haley said of Cassel's removal. "We'll have to see (the extent of the injury) as the week goes on, but it was physical in nature."
Both Haley and Cassel declined to discuss specifics of the injury, but Cassel said he lobbied with Haley to continue playing.
"There's not a lot to say," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. "We did not play very good in any aspect of the game. We were unable to stop the run."
Denver's offensive attack was nothing the Chiefs hadn't prepared for. A few wrinkles were added to the option game, but most every play the Broncos ran was basic in nature and they were successful despite losing their top two running backs within the first 13 minutes of play.
Yes, Johnson said, this 17-10 loss might sting for a while.
"We let one slip away," Johnson said. "And that’s hard. In the NFL, you can’t let any slip away, because winning is hard every week. I don’t care who you play; you’ve got to win whenever you get a chance to. Losing two home games, this game hurts more than the last, I think."
One thing I wanted to comment about. I'd bet that 99% of the public watching that game would say Denver had a better yard-per-carry average than Kansas City. They might remember the relatively long run by Battle, but would still stick with the Broncos. As it turns out, KC averaged a very good 5.6 ypc while DEN was at 4.4.
It was the type of football only a caveman could love.
At a time in the league where the throwing quarterbacks are superstars and their receivers are divas, the Chiefs and Broncos went back to old-time football Sunday.
With Kansas City sitting in a zone defense, was that a basic go route that Decker used to blow by the secondary up the right sideline? "No, sir," Tebow told me, as he fidgeted with a tube of toothpaste before sliding it into his travel bag. "It was an out and up. The Chiefs jumped the route, and I was just glad I got the football to him."
How in the world did Denver win for the third time in four starts with Tebow as the quarterback? How many times in franchise history has the team looked more awkward in victory? Where did the Broncos find this rare, primitive game plan that featured 55 runs and eight passes? Did they steal it from Curly Lambeau's vault?
Is this as bad as it gets?
It sure seemed like it, but that could be premature considering the teams the Chiefs will face over the next five weeks. It won’t get any easier, and they could end that stretch at 4-10 — a gigantic disappointment after four consecutive wins brought the Chiefs over .500 and tied them for first in the AFC West.
"You can’t explain it," wide receiver Steve Breaston said. "… I mean, we didn’t expect this, what happened today."
The Chiefs’ offensive line has become a liability, and without blocking, quarterbacks and running backs have little chance of being productive. Left tackle Branden Albert said Cassel had no chance Sunday, considering how often he was hit and how quickly defenders such as Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller were in the backfield.