They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That's the one principle the Chiefs have to rely on after the total beatdown handed to them by the San Diego Chargers. They limp back to Kansas City for another week of prep before facing the Rams still in first place, and they know that their destiny is still in their inexperienced hands.
The Chiefs loss to the Chargers on Sunday was an ugly one -- ugly enough to have lasting ramifications no matter how the rest of the season plays out in some personnel moves. We'll see the Chiefs making moves this off-season addressing the weaknesses exposed in this game. However, the effects will also be felt over the next three weeks, since it should directly affect the current mentality of the coaching staff and roster:
Perhaps the two-win cushion coming into the Chargers game worked against them in the same way the Jets' super-swagger has come crashing down. It's difficult to tell, and should be unlikely given the professional, stable tone coming from the top down in this organization, but remember the last crash? The Chiefs were the lone undefeated team in the NFL before going on a quick losing streak after the bye. Once again, the Chiefs were on top and turned in an embarrassing performance. The tension might be essential for this roster.
2. A New Quarterback - I still believe Croyle has value, but you can't sell the fan base on bringing in the former University of Alabama player back in 2011 as the primary back-up. Of course, GM Scott Pioli could care less about fan perceptions if he believes he's doing the right thing, but even he can't deny that 0-10 for a back-up in today's NFL is bad news.
Packers fans are feeling the same thing this morning after Aaron Rodgers went down with a concussion early in the Lions game. Matt Flynn is still a promising young QB, but tell that to the fans mourning the loss to Detroit. A loaded team with talent can win without their top QB (i.e. the Steelers during Ben Roethlisberger's suspension), but the Chiefs should spend a bit and bring in a solid veteran back-up who can step in better than Croyle looked on Sunday.
3. Offensive Line Help - The line has been a lot better this season, yes, and Jon Asamoah, this season's third round draft pick, provides youth and future help along the line. But the Chiefs next season will play a much tougher schedule against defenses that mirror San Diego's ranking. If the Chiefs were playing the Steelers and Packers and Ravens instead of the Bills and Cardinals and Seahawks with this line, the results could be disastrous.
Like I said, I know the line play is better, but when they get decimated, especially on the road like this, you have to believe the front office is pointing to this game and telling their scouts to look for help. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see one or two choices next draft involving the offensive line.