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How Pittsburgh's Losing Ways Actually Helps The Chiefs

Well, obviously this Pittsburgh win we were once so excited about becomes a little less shiny with each passing week. In fact, it now just feels like a win - the same way the Raiders one feels or the Redskins to boot. And it shows that in the NFL, the words "Defending Champs" might not mean what you think it does.

Still, it's almost a good thing the Steelers are showing some colors in this direction. It better gives us an idea of just who the current Chiefs roster can beat and who they cannot. If a team seems to be able to defeat only the lowliest of clubs then suddenly defeats the Super Bowl winners, it's a bit self-defeating. In other words, the mantra quickly becomes "well, if we can beat them, we can beat anyone."

Of course, I can't fault someone for holding out hope week after week, so as a fan, it sucks to not root for the Chiefs every time out. But I'm referring to the front office side of things. When your coaches, schemes and talent seem to pull a miracle out randomly and yet fall to others in very winnable situations, that becomes maddening. You never quite know what you have. So you're left wondering things like, 'Is Matt Cassel a game-changing QB or do we need to rethink things?'

Those questions can be unhealthy for the long-term. If you look at Tamba Hali's three sack performance, it's possible someone could be talked into believing he's a top tier NFL pass rusher - the very thing the Chiefs have been missing. And rightfully so, he's having a nice year and definitely the big fish in the small pond. But is he the answer? Because I think we all know that come draft time, pass rusher was something we've all been hoping for (along with 40 other things).

So you see how these situations can muddy the waters. This is what can hold a franchise back at times - often to devastating effects. If your team is no good, you want to know that you just lack the talent. And if you're promising, then you want to see tangible signs of that as well. Rolling over against the Raiders and then defeating the Steelers (remember how we felt about seeing them on the schedule in the first place?) seems schizophrenic to the team's identity and frustrating to the front office.

However, now that the Steelers have fallen from the heavens, it's easier to see the tiers of teams in the NFL, where things shake out and just how good (or bad) the Chiefs have been this year. And while it's a bit unnerving to have our biggest win deflating week after week, it's better in the long-term for evaluation.

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