Two words: Bitter Pill. I can not lie. Today's Kansas City Chiefs news is brutal. Of particular note is the piece by the San Diego Union-Tribune that's before the jump. Just remember the following: The Chiefs still lead the division, Haley seems to be taking the right attitude after the loss, and Cassel might(?) be back for St Louis. Enjoy as much as you can.
Maybe Sunday was just a bad day. Every team has those, right? San Diego was just another bump in the road, not unlike Denver — and the Chiefs will be better for having endured that beating.
That’s the optimistic view. And it’s what coach Todd Haley was sticking with after his team’s careless, mistake-filled performance.
"We have to learn from it," he said.
The reality might be more frightening for this team: If one key player’s absence can disrupt Kansas City’s chemistry so much that this is what happens, then how far have the Chiefs really come? Good teams don’t fold when the backup quarterback starts slowly. Good teams don’t struggle to make routine tackles, and they don’t drop passes, and they don’t look as if they flew to San Diego, stepped off the plane, and never thought they could possibly win because their starting quarterback was back in Kansas City.
Uninspired effort leads to an ugly loss for Chiefs in San Diego from KC Star
The Chiefs had five first downs. They were 0-for-11 on third downs. They didn't cross midfield until 4:07 remained in the third quarter, when Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked and fumbled it away.
The Chiefs should be ashamed of themselves. They didn't try to fight. They were Spinks and the Chargers were Tyson. Sure, Cassel wasn't there, and he's having a fine year, but don't spend your Sunday afternoon looking for a soft place to nap when daddy isn't around to make sure you're doing your chores.
Bolts were good, but Chiefs should be ashamed from The San Diego Union-Tribune
KC Star Photo Gallery: Chargers shut out Chiefs 31-0
NFL.com Video: GameDay: Chiefs vs. Chargers highlights
NFL.com Video: Chiefs postgame press conference
Expectations are up, fair or not, and the NFL is a multibillion dollar industry built on wins, which means it’s all fair.
Beat St. Louis in six days, and a loss here becomes something like a bad day at the office.
But let this linger, and getting curbstomped by the Chargers is a harsh reminder that the Chiefs have to pass a few more mileposts before they achieve NFL relevancy.
Chiefs’ fate depends on team’s disaster response from KC Star
Despite throwing only 20 passes, Chiefs quarterbacks were sacked four times. That ties a season high set in last month’s blowout loss to the Broncos in Denver.
Pass protection became such a problem for the Chiefs that toward the end of Sunday’s game, they had a reserve offensive lineman, Ryan O’Callaghan, playing at tight end and staying in to help block San Diego’s coming onslaught.
Chiefs Buzz | Tiebreaker favors Chargers; porous pass protection; Arenas takes a solid hit from KC Star
Haley admitted that his team had plenty of issues Sunday, and one of those was that, each time Kansas City seemed to slow San Diego’s offense, the Chargers would find a way to get a first down. They converted 11 of 15 third downs, and considering the Chiefs converted none of their 11 opportunities, that’s how one team scores 31 points and the other scores zero.
San Diego also had no trouble with their rush offense. Stopping opponents’ runners had been one of the Chiefs’ strengths. Not so much Sunday.
Chiefs’ defense fizzles against Chargers from KC Star
He had signed a five-year contract extension the day before and believed a signature game Sunday against the Chargers was the proper way to thank the Chiefs and general manager Scott Pioli for their faith in him.
Instead, Charles, the NFL’s third-leading rusher heading into the game, had his lowest rushing output of the season. He rushed for just 40 yards as the Chiefs fell to the Chargers 31-0.
Neither of those facts rested well with him afterward.
Jamaal Charles laments ‘an embarrassing day’ from KC Star
For quarterback Philip Rivers, the playoffs started with Sunday’s 31-0 rout of the Chiefs.
"I don’t feel like it. I know it," Rivers replied. "We can’t lose, and we know that. It’s playoff football from here on out."
For running back Mike Tolbert, the playoffs began after last week’s 28-13 loss to Oakland. That defeat imposed a sense of urgency on the Chargers and their hopes of reaching the Super Bowl.
"We went to work on Monday knowing that we had to get the job done," Tolbert said. "If we want to get to Feb. 6, we have to start on Sunday, Dec. 12.
For the Chargers, the playoffs are now from KC Star
There are times when Philip Rivers just can't help himself. The Chargers were facing the AFC West's leader, Kansas City, on Sunday, and the uber-competitive quarterback was jawing at the Chiefs' bench before a down had been played.
"Nothing special," Rivers said with a grin after San Diego routed Kansas City 31-0.
Scene and Heard: Rivers gives Chiefs an earful from The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Chargers' season still has meaning after they pounded the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, 31-0, in a game for which there was no other acceptable option.
"We really wanted to come out and impose our will," running back Mike Tolbert said. "It was a (must)-win game. We had to play hard every play and dominate."
And so they did.
Defense dominant as Chargers crush Chiefs, stay alive from The San Diego Union-Tribune
That is bouncing back.
The Chargers defense did what it had to - and more -- a week after being embarrassed.
"When you get your tails kicked like we did and the defense played as bad as it did it makes it easy to come back and play the way you know how to play," free safety Eric Weddle said. "... Hopefully it's a blessing in disguise what happened when Oakland beat us. It made us realize we have to do it together, we have to bring it every week -- the passion."
Chargers defense finds itself from The San Diego Union-Tribune
But then, being a defensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs, Glenn Dorsey looked up at the Qualcomm Stadium scoreboard Sunday and saw his team losing 31-0. Afterward, he was asked if there was anything different about the team that had just run (and passed) Kansas City into the ground.
"No," said Dorsey. "Typical Chargers football."
Typical, yes, in that they can look like just about the worst team in the NFL one week and the best just seven days later on the same field.
Chargers' offensive turnaround striking from The San Diego Union -Tribune
I have to walk a fine line with some readers because if I criticize the Chiefs, I'm some evil pessimist. If write an entire post about how they will lose and why... and then the loss is worse than even I imagined, it's tricky to then write a post about just how bad it was. But, following the same path I have walked for over two years on UFR... I'm going to tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may.
Even so, I hope to leave you with the positives - and, believe it or not, I can actually conjure up a few from this debacle.
Chiefs Wrap: Take Two Aspirin... from Upon Further Review
The Chiefs were shut out for the first time since a 34-0 loss at Carolina on Oct. 5, 2008. They had only 16 yards and one first down in the second half. Croyle dropped to 0-10 as an NFL starter.
After getting pounded by the Raiders last Sunday, the Chargers were handed two gifts. The first was hearing that Cassel had undergone an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday and that they'd likely be facing Croyle.
The second was Oakland's loss at Jacksonville earlier Sunday, which dropped the Raiders to 6-7.
The Chiefs didn't put up a fight.
Rivers, Chargers beat Cassel-less Chiefs 31-0 from The Associated Press
It really is the most wonderful time of the year. For Rams fans, too. The next two weeks will likely determine the Rams' 2010 season. I can't wait for Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Rams at The Edward Jones Dome. The atmosphere should be lively, fueled by playoff hopes, Christmas Week spirit, the KC-STL rivalry, and perhaps by the consumption of cold adult beverages in the urban tailgate settings around The Ed. And then the San Francisco 49ers come to town on Christmas weekend, with the 49ers and Rams clashing on Dec. 26.
Bernie Bytes: Monday Morning Backup QB from The St Louis Post-Dispatch
Big plays cost the Oakland Raiders a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they may not have cost them a playoff berth... yet.
Despite falling a game behind the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West, the Raiders remain two games behind division leading Kansas City Chiefs with three games left to play.
Raiders Playoff Hopes Still Alive As Chiefs Fall Hard from Football News Now
The San Diego Chargers had a predictable 31-0 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, who were minus quarterback Matt Cassel (appendectomy). Backup Brodie Croyle, 0-10 as a starter, completed only seven passes. With the Chiefs lacking a passing threat, the Chargers were able to jump out to an early lead and then force the Chiefs away from running the ball. The Chiefs had only 48 rushing yards on 17 carries Sunday. The Chargers are now 7-6, one game behind the Chiefs (8-5). Although the Chargers have a great chance of winning their three remaining games and getting to 10-6, they need Kansas City to lose to either the Rams, Titans or Raiders to give them a chance to win the AFC West.
Always have a backup plan. The Kansas City Chiefs didn't and it cost them a chance to all but lock up their first trip to the playoffs since 2006.
Starting quarterback Matt Cassel underwent an emergency appendectomy Wednesday.
That left the Chiefs' fortunes in a key AFC West game in the hands of backup Brodie Croyle.
The ideal backup quarterback doesn't do anything to get you beat.
Croyle doesn't do anything but get you beat.
He completed 7 of 17 passes for 40 yards in the 31-0 loss to San Diego. Croyle is 0-10 as a starter in five NFL seasons.
Only Tom Brady gets pass from wintry mayhem from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Best backs-against-the-wall performance: Facing elimination in the AFC West race, the Chargers routed the Chiefs 31-0.
Worst relief performance: Kansas City QB Brodie Croyle completed just seven passes in relief of an injured Matt Cassel (appendectomy) in the Chiefs' 31-0 loss to the Chargers.
Week 14 best, worst: Tom Brady proves Patriots are in command from USA Today