Your Kansas City Chiefs News. Got to warn you guys, it ain't pretty. Today's Arrowheadlines will be tweet free. I have to freeze my tail off on a train platform in a few minutes. At least I'll get to swing by and see the tree at 30 Rock. Happy Monday.
In the last two Sundays, the Chiefs have played the two best teams in the AFC West. They lost both games. They didn’t just lose them, they got smacked by the Chargers last Sunday and then by the Denver Broncos on this Sunday.
The Chiefs 44-13 loss was complete; all three phases of the game contributed to the 31-point beatdown. It’s the worst home loss for the Chiefs since the Chargers blasted them by 30 points (37-7) back in late October. The trip through franchise history for a worse home loss goes all the way back to 1976, when the Pittsburgh Steelers won at Arrowhead by 45 points (45-0).
The frustration meter in the Chiefs locker room was pegged after this game.
Top Of AFC West Falls On Chiefs Again; Broncos Win 44-13 from Bob Gretz
KC Star Photo Gallery: Broncos 44, Chiefs 13 | Sunday, Dec. 6
The Chiefs’ 44-13 loss to Denver at Arrowhead Stadium — the first time in 26 years the team allowed 40 points in consecutive games — hid any progress that Kansas City seemed to have made as of last month, when the Chiefs upset Pittsburgh for their second win in a row.
The locker room is a bleak place after days like this. Players shower, pack and depart without saying much. Another loss. Not many fresh ways to describe it. But there was a question that needed to be asked Sunday: Do players see progress?
On a day when they honored the great Derrick Thomas, the Chiefs did not live up to his memory in any fashion. If D.T. was watching, he certainly at some point had to say WTF!
Every week, Todd Haley likes to talk about the progress his team is making. He should check his eyes, because any sign of progress on Sunday against Denver was but a mirage.
"We took a big step back the last two weeks," said QB Matt Cassel, who got benched in the fourth quarter because he was having such a miserable day. "Last week against San Diego got out of hand and this week got out of hand."
The Chiefs never had any hand on this cold, cloudy day. They have played some awful football in the last three seasons, but nothing matched what they did in the second half of this 44-13 loss to the Broncos. It was an embarrassment of the highest football order as the Broncos scored 20 points in the third quarter and blew open a game that were likely to win anyway.
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"He had a perfect game," Dorsey said. "He applied pressure and was in their backfield all day. I told Tamba I have to take him out to eat or something. Every time he was getting back there, I was getting a fumble (recovery)."
Thomas’ No. 58 was retired Sunday in conjunction with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year. At halftime, the Arrowhead crowd was treated to highlights of Thomas’ career, only moments after Hali replicated the way Thomas terrorized quarterbacks.
On the second play after the 2-minute warning in the second quarter, Hali roared in from behind and sacked Orton for a 7-yard loss. On the next play, Hali reached Orton again, and not satisfied with merely getting the sack, he stripped Orton of the ball — much as Thomas did in his heyday.
It’s not hard to understand why Todd Haley would say yes to the fake punt play that his special teams coach Steve Hoffman drew up. The Chiefs record was 3-8 at the time and they were down 14-6 to the Broncos and had just come off a very unproductive first half.
That lack of efficiency and production continued on the first possession of the second half. RB Tim Castille ran for two yards. QB Matt Cassel threw away the second down pass because of pressure. A third-down pass to TE Leonard Pope fell incomplete.
As far as the head coach was concerned, it was time to take a chance, roll the dice, nothing to lose but another game.
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Will Matt Cassel be the Chiefs starting quarterback next Sunday when they host the Buffalo Bills?
"Yes," said head coach Todd Haley.
How long that might continue is now something that will be debated from tap rooms, to discussion boards and talk shows.
Cassel was simply awful on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. His numbers reflected that, as he completed 10 of 29 passes for 84 yards, with two interceptions and no touchdown passes. His passer rating of 14.6 is the worst of his 26 NFL starts. His completion percentage of 34.5 percent is the worst of his 26 NFL starts. His 2.9 yards per attempt was the worst … you get the picture.
Cassel’s Season Goes From Bad To Worse from Bob Gretz
Your Whitlock Alert (though you should read it)
Cassel’s 14.6 QB rating for the afternoon wasn’t all his fault. His receivers, particularly Bobby Wade, dropped numerous passes, failed to complete routes and generally conducted themselves as if they had little interest in risking a Brian Dawkins mouth shot.
So much for the myth that this Haley-coached team never quits. His players don’t care that he yells and screams anymore, if they ever did. He’s getting tuned out. In the first quarter, Wade shouted back at his coach and had to be restrained by his teammates.
The scare-and-intimidation tactics by Haley and Pioli aren’t a viable long-term plan. This "process" is immature. You can see it in the players’ uneven performance and demeanor. Even a proud, distinguished veteran like Mike Vrabel is beginning to crack.
When the Broncos converted a fourth-and-inches into a fourth-quarter touchdown, Vrabel flipped his middle finger to the Denver bench as he walked off the field.
"I was frustrated," said Vrabel, the former Patriots star. "I’ve been on the other end of one of those (blowout victory) and it’s a lot of fun. Well, now I’ve been on the other side, and it’s not good."
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Tamba Hali wasn’t talking to the media after Sunday’s game. It’s something he’s done all year. He wants his play to speak for him.
Well, on Sunday against the Broncos, Hali’s play was shouting. In a lost season, Hali continues to play at a level far above the 3-9 record that he’s part of with the ‘09 Chiefs.
His teammates spoke up for him on Sunday after Hali had 10 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles.
"Frustrated by the game," OLB Mike Vrabel said in the Chiefs locker room. "You don’t envision it going the way that it goes. We’ve got good players. It’s sad that we couldn’t win for a guy like Tamba who played his ass off.
"We just need to try and play up to what Tamba and guys like him are doing. If we win, it’s a great story. Instead, we’re all just frustrated and upset."
Tamba, Broncos & Notes, Oh MY from Bob Gretz
"It was such a special time for all of us in the organization," said Schottenheimer, 101-58-1 in 10 seasons as Chiefs head coach. "We had some terrific people, not only just players, but people throughout the organization, and it was a terrific time."
Derrion Thomas, one of Thomas’ children, attended the ceremony even though his team, Fort Scott Community College — where he is redshirting — was playing in the junior college national championship game on Sunday.
"It was a nice experience … a little cold," Derrion said of the halftime ceremony. "But it was a pretty good turnout (despite) the weather."
Chiefs blitz | Derrick Thomas honored at halftime from KC Star
As for the Chiefs, Schottenheimer said he’s confident Todd Haley can revive a club that has lost 32 of its last 37 games.
"There are things to be done, and they’re working on them," Schottenheimer said. "I’ve known Todd Haley for years through his father, Dick, and I think they’re going to get it headed in the right direction.
"These things don’t turn around … it’s not like taking a little 26-foot deck boat and turning it around. It’s like taking an ocean liner and turning it around."
When this dismal season comes to a merciful end, the Chiefs will have plenty of misery to look back on.
None will stand out more than a 12-minute stretch to begin the third quarter of Sunday’s 44-13 loss to the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Nothing the Chiefs did worked as they allowed the Broncos to outscore them 20-0 and increase their halftime lead of 14-6.
"It was a pretty rough stretch," said Chiefs backup quarterback Brodie Croyle, a prominent figure in the play that sent the quarter spiraling downward. "Once it starts, we can’t let it snowball."
It started with coach Todd Haley’s decision to order a fake punt on fourth and 8 from the Chiefs’ 28 early in the period. Croyle was sent into the game in punt formation.
Third quarter turns into nightmare for Chiefs from KC Star
Bumped and bruised after a day under intense scrutiny from the Denver Broncos, Jamaal Charles finally got the full feeling of what it’s like to be the featured back for a woeful team.
It’s no wonder that after the Chiefs were routed 44-13 on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, Charles sounded a lot like Larry Johnson might have.
"Somebody besides me," Charles said, "has got to step up and make plays."
Charles scored the Chiefs’ only touchdown on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter. But he had little help from his teammates and was obviously frustrated by another day of his team’s offensive futility.
"This is happening a lot around here," Charles said. "It’s embarrassing."
Loss leaves Charles feeling sore from KC Star