September 09, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel watches play on the sidelines during the second half of the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Arrowhead Stadium. The Falcons won 40-24. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
I like Romeo Crennel. It seems weird to say that after a game like this where the KC Chiefs lost 40-24 to the Atlanta Falcons but I listened to Crennel's postgame press conference and he seemed so honest about the team. He was calmer and had more perspective than I did 15 minutes after the game, that's for sure. He acknowledged that the Chiefs did some things well but also made note that there were a lot of mistakes.
The Chiefs had a good first half -- offensively they did a lot of good things, especially the running game, but defensively they had a lot of problems in both the first and second half.
Still, it was a 20-17 game at halftime. This game was closer throughout the first two-and-a-half quarters than the score indicates.
"Then the second half we come out," Crennel continued, "we let some things occur, we started pressing, then we ended up getting too far behind as the game went on because we were trying to make plays rather than what they were trying to give us at that time. Sometimes that's the course of the game; that's the course of this business - the pressure of trying to win - some guys do that [try to make plays]."
"Pressing" is a good way to put it. The Chiefs kept it close in the first half but I never really felt comfortable. I still felt like Atlanta was controlling the game and the Chiefs were just hanging in there. The Chiefs got down 10 points and that's when it all unraveled. Cassel turned the ball over multiple times. The defense couldn't hold and in several instances they didn't have much of a chance with the Falcons starting in Chiefs territory.
"What I told [the team after the game] was that the season is a marathon; it's not a sprint," Crennel said. "Even though we worked to win this one, we weren't able to win this one; we have at least 15 more to play, so we cannot let this one negatively affect the next 15. We have to learn from our mistakes, go back to work and get better."
Crennel didn't make excuses for the injured guys: "The fact that they weren't there today, really no one cares because all they want to know is, 'Did you win or did you lose?'"
He was honest about Cassel's performance: "We saw the game. We saw the first half and the second half. The second half he wasn't nearly as good as he was in the first half. In the first half, I thought he was pretty decent. The second half, he was pressing and trying to make plays and ended up with a couple of turnovers as a result."
I don't like that the Chiefs lost but it makes me feel a little better that Crennel is able to look at this team and their flaws honestly.
Let's hope the Chiefs get it better for next week.
Photo credit: John Reiger / Denny Medley USPressWire