Chiefs Disconnect With Angry Fan Base Grows Deeper from KC Star
Chiefs officials - Hunt, most notably - have done a rotten job of showing it, but they've been privately concerned about a growing fan resentment for some time now. Hunt continues to meet with angry fans, partly to gather information to help diagnose the problem.
Until now, team brass held a stubborn belief that the loudest dissent came from a vocal minority, but in a season full of milestone losses, here comes one more: Arrowhead evenly split between fans dressed in black, fans dressed in other colors and empty seats.
If this doesn't push Hunt to make major changes in the coming weeks, then it's fair to wonder what could.
The job, as things stand, could be a career killer. Matt Cassel's time as the Chiefs' starting quarterback appears to have permanently ended with the Chiefs' seventh straight loss, another uncompetitive game that went to the Cincinnati Bengals 28-6 Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Responsibility for the mess that is the 1-9 Chiefs would fall to Brady Quinn, who again is in line to inherit the position.
Charles Offers His Support To Crennel from KC Star
"I don't know what the outcome is, what you're going to get if you keep on changing head coaches and changing head coaches,'' said Charles, playing for his third head coach in five years with the Chiefs."If you keep doing that, he can't get the right players here. I feel if you stay with one system and continue to get players, I feel you can be successful. If (Crennel) is here for one year, you just can't kick him out because he's not having a good year. Let him get his stuff together and have a couple of years, then we can have a successful year."
Still, on the heels of the season's seventh straight loss and sixth in a row at home dating back to last season, there was even some sympathy for a beleaguered fan base in the Chiefs' locker room.
"I definitely understand the fan frustration," cornerback Brandon Flowers said. "C'mon, this is their team they love and they love watching, and they're not winning. Who wouldn't be upset? We're not babies. We understand. We're not winning; the fans are going to get mad."
Failures On Fourth-Down Plays Doom The Chiefs from KC Star
The successful gamble by the punt unit seemed to embolden the Bengals on offense, too.
"It was great," said quarterback Andy Dalton. "It gave us the momentum on that drive. Special teams are a little different than offense, but we had some good looks for some big gains and we were able to hit them."
Indeed, three plays after the faked punt, the Bengals faced a fourth and seven at the Chiefs' 36. Rather than try a 54-yard field goal, Cincinnati went for it, and when quarterback Dalton couldn't find an open receiver, he scrambled 11 yards for the first down.
Arrowhead Win For Chiefs Still Elusive from The Mothership
The third quarter signified the nod to have
Brady Quinncome in for relief of Cassel, but the result was more of the same. The Bengals defense held the Chiefs scoreless for the remaining two quarters and subsequently extended their lead on another scoring strike from Dalton.
The Chiefs fall to 1-9 and host the Denver Broncos next Sunday at 12pm.
Chiefs rookie Donald Stephenson made his first NFL start as offensive tackle on the right side. He finished the game as the left tackle. Veteran Eric Winston started at right guard. He finished at his natural position of right tackle.
And Russ Hochstein made his first start for the Chiefs at center, while Brian Mattison made his Chiefs debut at right guard.
Got all that?
If Dwayne Bowe (neck) and Jon Baldwin (head/neck) are unavailable, it could be time to elevate some practice squad players to the active roster. Steve Breaston, who went from inactive to starting on Sunday, caught one pass for 13 yards. Devon Wylie was targeted twice without a catch. Josh Bellamy and Jamar Newsome looked good enough in training camp to keep, and Junior Hemingway was a seventh-round pick, so why not give them a shot?
Postgame Notes: Chiefs vs. Bengals from The Mothership
Johnson Moves Up Charts: LB
Derrick Johnsonrecorded 10 tackles in today's game to give him 837 career tackles, moving into fifth place in franchise history for most career tackles. It marks his fourth game of the season and his second consecutive game with a double-digit tackle total.
Johnson also forced a fumble of TE Jermaine Gresham to record his second forced fumble of the season and the 18th of his career. His 18 career forced fumbles rank fourth in team history.
Bengals Latest To Take Apart Chiefs, Get Back Into Playoff Race from CBS Sports
Cincinnati plays its next four games against teams that began the day with losing records.
None of them are as bad as the Chiefs, though.
Jamaal Charles had 87 yards rushing for Kansas City (1-9), but that was the only highlight for a team that lost its seventh straight amid a gloomy backdrop at Arrowhead Stadium.
Chiefs Fans Wear Black, Keep Feeling Blue from FS Kansas City
"Those fans in black and what have you, when contrasted against those empty seats, (it) really made them stand out even more," said McDonald, a Kansas City native who now lives in greater Phoenix. "I think it reveals that the Chiefs have a problem, and I hope (CEO) Clark Hunt would realize (Sunday) that he's got far bigger issues on his hands than he had before."
It has come to this for pro football in Kansas City: The state of the franchise whose founder, Lamar Hunt, whose name adorns the trophy given to the AFC champion, is to the point where things are far more interesting in the stands and around the football than the actual football itself. What was promised by Pioli to be Foxboro West is instead Berkeley East, a curious sideshow of protests, angst, and barbecue.
Bengal Rout Hapless Chiefs To Get Back To .500 from The Dayton Daily News
Cautioned all week against a letdown, the Cincinnati Bengals responded with a beatdown.
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis recorded his first 100-yard game as a Bengal and quarterback Andy Dalton threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. The defense held an opponent without a TD for the first time in nearly four years as Cincinnati extended Kansas City's misery with a 28-6 victory Sunday afternoon at a sullen, half-empty Arrowhead Stadium.
Cassel went 8-of-16 passing for 93 yards over seven Chiefs possessions before he was pulled in favor of Brady Quinn. Cassel's replacement didn't fare much better in the 28-6 loss, but that might not matter at this point. Crennel already showed his hand last month. Had Quinn not suffered a concussion back in Week 8, Cassel already would've been out of the equation.
Barring another Quinn injury, Cassel is unlikely to sniff the field again.
Chiefs, Fans Go Quietly In Loss To Bengals from FS Kansas City
Obviously, Chiefs fans had virtually nothing to cheer about, just two short Ryan Succup field goals and no real threats to score a touchdown. That wasn't a surprise, as the worst team in the NFL dropped to 1-9.
But for the first time this season, Chiefs fans couldn't even muster enough energy to really rip out a few boos.
KC Star Photo Gallery: Bengals 28, Chiefs 6
KCChiefs.com Photo Gallery: Game Highlights Bengals
KCChiefs.com Video: From The Podium: Romeo Crennel
KCChiefs.com Video: From The Podium: Brady Quinn
KCChiefs.com Video: Inside The Locker Room: Week 11
KCChiefs.com Video: Postgame Wrapup With Mitch Holthus