In the third installment of Bye Week Breakdown, we switch our attention over to the wide receivers and tight ends. While some positions have been a disaster and others have shown plenty of highlights and promise, the wideouts have proved to be a mixed bag. Let's take a look.
The expectations for the entire Chiefs offense were much higher than any point in Scott Pioli's tenure coming into the season. Dwayne Bowe held out through the preseason, but as the best WR in team history, he's a proven commodity. While Tony Moeaki was returning from season-ending injury and rehab, the Chiefs brought in Kevin Boss for a two-TE tandem.
Steve Breaston provided the solid veteran wideout alongside Bowe. Devon Wylie was added as a slot receiver in the draft. Dexter McCluster was expected to find his niche as a diverse option for Brian Daboll.
Perhaps the biggest name to watch coming into the season was Jon Baldwin, the team's first round choice in 2011. Baldwin enjoyed a stellar offseason with highlight-reel catches in team drills, and he was expected to make the leap and provide Matt Cassel with another vertical target to stretch the field. In fact, Baldwin's ascent had some believing the Chiefs could lose Bowe and be just fine in the passing game.
Dwayne Bowe came in immediately and showed that any concerns of rust or distraction were overplayed. Dexter McCluster found new life in the Chiefs offense despite some thoughts that he might not even make the final roster out of preseason. And that's it. Well, maybe you could say something quick about Steve Maneri. I just did.
The list here is long. It's also ridiculous just how much things have fallen apart. Jon Baldwin has not turned into the receiving option the team was hoping for and has less receptions than Shaun Draughn. Steve Breaston is not even being targeted. Kevin Boss caught 3 passes before enduring a season ending injury. Tony Moeaki averages 15 yard per game for the Chiefs. Devon Wylie hasn't even caught a single pass. That's depressing.
The Chiefs offense is a total mess. Bowe could be traded or walk at the end of the season, and fans would be left to wonder what a new quarterback would be walking into. Of course, all of the components are here to turn things around, but that's what many thought in 2011 and even this year. Another year of 'offensive promise' is likely a premise many will find more disgusting than hopeful.
If anything, the team needs to make the commitment to move past reclamation projects, question marks and injury returns to pay for proven playmakers. The first place they'll find an option to do that is in their own backyard with Dwayne Bowe.