It is no secret that the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 were one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL. A preseason favorite to win the AFC West barely won 2 games, and became recording-breakingly bad when they failed to secure a lead in 8 straight games. The defense was bad, but the offense was horrible.
What started out as a string of extremely unfortunate turnovers (bad snaps, tipped balls, errant throws, RB fumbles) quickly turned into a complete inability to do anything on the offensive side of the ball. A lot of fans are very quick to blame the play of QB Matt Cassel, but even after he was replaced by Brady Quinn nothing improved, and if anything they got worse.
The playcalling, in my opinion, was the single biggest reason the Chiefs were horrible in 2012. Brian Daboll lacked creativity and showed zero ability to call plays that got first downs. The Chiefs were almost a guarantee to run the ball on 1st and 2nd downs regardless of yardage, and defenses knew it. They stacked the box knowing we were too afraid to throw. Deep passes were almost out of the question with the way the offensive line played, but that doesn't mean passing is not an option. A defense that is too aggressive can easily be exposed with quick passes to the flats, creative screen plays and HB draws. Watching the New England Patriots in the 1st half against Baltimore was a prime example of how to attack a great defense, but they couldn't sustain it. Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe made a living off of the deep slant in 2010, but for whatever reason we haven't had a playcaller who recognized that strength since. Hopefully Andy Reid and Doug Pederson can breath life back into the passing game, because right now its hard to watch.
Our offensive line play was atrocious. We took a huge hit when C Rodney Hudson went down with a broken leg, and the coaching decision to move G Ryan Lilja to replace him (having never played center before in his life) was a costly mistake, resulting in multiple turnovers and missed opportunities with bad snaps. Jamaal Charles didn't have a great year because of the offensive line, he had a great year in spite of their play. The less-elusive Peyton Hillis suffered the most from the poor line play, and he had a pretty bad year because of it. The line was constantly being pushed back with ease by opposing defensive lines, resulting in a very tight pocket which was nearly impossible to comfortably pass from all year. As bad as the QB's were this year, the playcalling and offensive line were more to blame than they were. Even great QB's wouldn't be able to do much in this situation.
Lastly, I wouldn't be able to finish without talking about the poor play from our wide receivers and tight ends. There were so many dropped passes and tipped passes that resulted in turnovers that it was comical. These guys are paid to catch the ball and run the correct routes, and they did very little of that in 2012. I think it is time to move on from Dwayne Bowe and trade for or pick up someone with more speed and separation ability. Bowe is past his prime and becomes more of an expense than an asset as he ages. Jonathan Baldwin, a guy I was high on last year in training camp, is also showing a lack of fire. He made several key mental mistakes, running the wrong routes that resulted in turnovers. QB's could be visibly seen yelling at Baldwin several times this season. It might be time to move on from him as well.
So what do you think Chiefs fans? What part of the offense do you think was the worst part of the 2012 season?