Welcome to the offseason. It arrived later than I expected when this ride began, and there were a lot of good moments. So with that said, here's a brutal Arrowheadlines. Today's Kansas City Chiefs news is about what you'd expect. As you read it, keep in mind that there's about 107 days till the draft. Go Chiefs!
The Chiefs, who won 10 games over the previous three seasons, had a dramatic turnaround this season, winning 10 games and their first AFC West championship in seven years. But some of that unraveled over the final two games.
They were blown out at home in the previous week’s game against Oakland and now take two such games into their offseason preparations.
Even though the Ravens were dominating the game, the Chiefs found a way to take a 7-3 lead in the second quarter on the strength of a Tamba Hali sack-and-strip and a 41-yard Jamaal Charles touchdown run.
They were on the move again, having crossed the 50-yard line and threatening to extend their lead. But Charles fumbled, the Ravens recovered, and the Chiefs were never a factor after that.
Chiefs can’t fly with Ravens in 30-7 playoff loss from KC Star
No one seemed to have an answer. Nearly an hour after the Chiefs were eliminated from the playoffs in a blowout loss to Baltimore, no one could muster a definitive reason why Dwayne Bowe, the team’s best receiver and one of its most effective playmakers, wasn’t part of the team’s offense.
Bowe led the league with 15 touchdown catches during the regular season, and he was chosen to his first Pro Bowl. But for some reason Sunday, he not only had zero catches — he wasn’t even thrown to.
Coach Todd Haley didn’t offer answers for why one of the Chiefs’ best playmakers was mostly invisible. But he appeared to be frustrated by it.
Zero answers for why Bowe had zero catches from KC Star
KC Star Photo Gallery: Chiefs drop home playoff game to Baltimore, 30-7
NFL.com Video: Wild-card Playoffs: Ravens vs. Chiefs highlights
NFL.com Video: Chiefs postgame press conference
So many good things happened with the Chiefs this year. Matt Cassel stepped into promise. Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles stepped into stardom. Romeo Crennel stepped up the defense. And so on. The Chiefs improved as much as any team in the NFL this year, but those happier thoughts are probably for another time.
Today, it’s OK to be sad. It’s OK to notice that Cassel played his worst game of the year, Charles had only nine carries, Bowe didn’t make a catch, and the Chiefs looked limp against one of the few good teams they’ve played this season in a 30-7 blowout loss to the Ravens.
Most of all, it’s OK to notice that this happened at Arrowhead Stadium. Again. How to explain that?
Chiefs’ home playoff woes are mystifying from KC Star
Chiefs defensive end Shaun Smith didn’t need to look at a stat sheet. He knew right away where the Chiefs’ defense came up short in Sunday’s 30-7 loss to Baltimore in an AFC first-round game.
"We (stunk) on third down," Smith said. "We couldn’t get off the field."
The Ravens came into the game having converted just 82 of 210 third-down opportunities this season, or 39 percent. That ranked 18th in the NFL.
On Sunday, they converted nine of 17 third-down situations, or 53 percent. The league leader this year, Indianapolis, converted 44.6 percent.
Defense struggles, particularly on third-down plays from KC Star
By the time the third quarter ended on Sunday, the Chiefs’ season wasn’t far behind.
It happened quickly. At halftime, they seemed to be in prime position to hang with the Baltimore Ravens and maybe even pull off an upset at Arrowhead Stadium. The Ravens had a 10-7 lead when the third quarter began; by the time it was over, the Chiefs were disoriented after a storm of mistakes, and Baltimore had a three-possession lead.
Third quarter mistakes doom the Chiefs from KC Star
It’s 3 o’clock in Kansas City, but at Arrowhead, it’s already next year.
Oliver Coltharp, a 31-year-old from Kansas City, is still here in Section 308, and he isn’t leaving. "I’ve waited all season, at least we got a chance to see the Chiefs in the playoffs," he says.
Coltharp has been a fan since he was 14.
"I’ll be here next year."
Live from Arrowhead on playoff gameday from KC Star
Wallace is a longtime Chiefs fan — who knew? — and he watched Sunday’s playoff game against the Ravens while roaming around the Arrowhead Stadium club level. Although Wallace was born and raised in Philadelphia, he has rooted for the Chiefs since 1992.
Chiefs have a fan in former NBA star Rasheed Wallace from KC Star
Kayla Hathaway paced back and forth, a pizza cutter in her right hand and a Jamaal Charles jersey on her back.
She flipped open her cell phone, confirmed the news that had filtered from the kitchen and began to spin her blade over a piece of hot pie.
This was all she could do. The Chiefs were playing the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium, the first home playoff game in Kansas City in seven years, and Hathaway, an 18-year-old from Merriam, was stuck here, behind the counter of the Original Pizza at Oak Park Mall.
So, how should this season be remembered?
Sunday was disappointing, especially considering how quickly it turned sour, but the 2010 season should be remembered as a turning point for a franchise that hadn’t had much success in a long time. Few outsiders thought the Chiefs were capable of winning double-digit games in the regular season or winning the AFC West. But that’s what happened, and after the Chiefs reached the playoffs, they were playing with house money. This season was a huge success for an organization in flux, and in time, that’ll be the lasting memory.
Quarterback Matt Cassel had one of his worst games of the season last week against Oakland. He followed that with, well, one of his worst games of the season Sunday. He threw for just 70 yards, was intercepted three times and sacked three times.
"Obviously, I’m upset about it," he said. "I would have loved to come in here and throw for 300 yards and walked out of here with a victory. But it doesn’t take away from the fact we did have a great season. I was happy with my performance throughout most of the season and it just makes you want to work that much harder when you go into the offseason."
Maybe it was the offensive scheme. Maybe it was the defensive coverage. Or maybe he was just plain better than whoever he lined up across from on Sunday.
It was hard not to come away from the Chiefs’ 30-7 loss to the Ravens with the following conclusion: Ravens tight end Todd Heap is — in a term often used by young people — an absolute beast.
Heap, 30, tortured the Chiefs to the tune of 10 catches for 108 yards.
Ravens’ Heap has career day against Chiefs from KC Star
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dressed like Joe Fan on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Wearing a casual blue sweater and open-collar shirt, Goodell presided at a town-hall meeting for about 60 randomly selected Chiefs season-ticket holders before Sunday’s playoff game against Baltimore.
NFL commissioner Goodell talks with Chiefs fans from KC Star
Even though he only ran nine plays with his semi-usual 9.1 yards per carry, I don't see the need to criticize Haley. It was just circumstances. Initially, the Chiefs hardly had the ball and then it was a matter of catch up. So, although the teams' best weapon was once again underutilized, it's water under the bridge now. The fact that Jones only rushed five times makes Charles' nine all the more palatable.
Chiefs: Just another season? from Upon Further Review
I wasn't going to go off on the duo this way. And I have said nice things about them in the past. But in the third quarter after throwing an interception in his own territory, Cassel walked off the field looking like a scared college kid.
The folks in the CBS truck clearly knew what was going on, because they went to a couple of shots of him on the sideline with his helmet off looking alternately bewildered or about to cry. But I heard Simms and Nantz say nothing about the way the Ravens defense took Cassel psychologically out of the game.
Ravens TV: CBS fails to raise its game to playoffs level from The Baltimore Sun
Joe Flacco 's postseason coming-out party turned into an old-fashioned barbecue of the Kansas City Chiefs.
With a strong arm, surprising elusiveness and unshaken confidence, Flacco delivered his most impressive performance in the playoffs, throwing two touchdowns in their 30-7 rout of the outclassed Kansas City Chiefs in a wild-card game at frigid Arrowhead Stadium.
Joe Flacco pilots Ravens to 30-7 playoff win vs. Chiefs from The Baltimore Sun
Receivers: The Kansas City secondary is still looking for tight end Todd Heap, who had 10 catches for 108 yards. Heap's timing with Flacco was exceptional. The Ravens also rediscovered receiver Anquan Boldin who had five receptions for 64 yards including one for a touchdown. Kansas City, for some reason, left the middle of the field open and the Ravens took advantage. Grade: A.
Mike Preston's Ravens-Chiefs report card from The Baltimore Sun
As well as the Baltimore defense played overall, it had no answer for K.C. speed demon Jamaal Charles. His 41-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was breath-taking -- wow, does that kid have some wheels -- and he finished the game with 82 yards on nine carries. The game got away from the Chiefs in the third quarter, though, and Charles was a non-factor as they tried to catch up. Thankfully, few backs are as fast as Charles, and none remain in the Ravens' playoff path.
Seven Points: Ravens 30, Chiefs 7 from The Baltimore Sun
On a day when the team's most talented offensive player, running back Ray Rice, couldn't find running room early, Flacco ripped up Kansas City's defense in the wild-card game.
Flacco completed 25 of 34 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns. He made the easy throws over the middle to Heap, and the hard ones back across the field to receiver Anquan Boldin and Heap with Chiefs defenders draped all over him.
For first time, Joe Flacco takes over in postseason from The Baltimore Sun
Some of what happened Sunday occurred because the Chiefs are a pretty average football team, but the majority of it occurred because the Ravens played their most aggressive football of the year, especially on defense.
I always love listening to Ray Lewis talk, even when I think he's going a little overboard, because it's a bit like being a parishioner in the Church of Football. You can't help but smile a little, even if you don't totally buy into what The Preacher is saying, because clearly HE believes in what he's saying.
Five Things We Learned in the Ravens 30-7 win from The Baltimore Sun
"Kansas City is not New England,'' said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. "They're two entirely different teams. Kansas City is building along those lines, but New England is built along those lines. They're a finished product.''
Yesterday, the Ravens demonstrated just how far the Chiefs were from being "a finished product'' - at least when it came to the playoffs - by silencing a crowd of 72,190 at Arrowhead Stadium, regarded as one of the loudest venues in the NFL, with a 30-7 beatdown of the Chiefs in an AFC wild-card matchup.
Ravens’ defense smothers Chiefs from The Boston Globe
The youthful Kansas City Chiefs showed their age as the Baltimore Ravens erupted for the final 27 points and pounded them 30-7 in Sunday's wild-card playoff game.
A Chiefs team that accomplished the greatest turnaround in franchise history by jumping from 4-12 to 10-7 committed five fatal turnovers after closing the regular season plus-9 in turnover ratio.
Now that the Kansas City Chiefs' season is over, the team is strongly considering Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy as the replacement for Charlie Weis, according to sources.
Weis is leaving the Chiefs after one year as offensive coordinator to accept an identical assignment with the Florida Gators.
Sources: Chiefs looking at Mike McCoy from ESPN
Ravens cornerback Chris Carr said while wary of Bowe, the secondary had also done its fair share of studying him.
"I just think coming into the game, we were pretty confident," Carr said. "We knew he's a really good player and he catches the ball very well, but I felt very confident that those bigger types of receivers, it's kind of easier for me to read their routes. And so it's good when you meet up to your expectations."
Ravens blank Bowe from The Baltimore Sun
Former Marshall tight end Cody Slate is expected to sign a two-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs today, according to a source close to the player.
Terms of the deal are not yet known.
Marshall football: Slate to sign multi-year deal with Chiefs from The Charleston Daily Mail
At some point, it occurred to him that was his first visit to Kansas City, and it had been a good one. It gave him hope that his second visit, which is only a few months away, will be just as good.
That's because Oher will return in March for the annual Greater Kansas City Area Mayors' Prayer Breakfast. As the guest speaker, Oher will get an opportunity to talk about his rise from poverty to professional football, which was chronicled in the 2009 movie "The Blind Side," starring Sandra Bullock.
Thousands of rowdy fans yelling and screaming, energy and emotion oozing out of every pore. Some of the world's biggest and best football players on the field, playing their hearts out. A brisk wind blows as temperatures have dropped below freezing, with snow lingering.
It's just another day at the office for Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader Belinda Post, of Topeka.
Around Town: Topekan enjoys being KC cheerleader from The Topeka Capital-Journal
The Kansas City offense fell apart in the two games since it broke that offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was leaving for the same position at the University of Florida. Kansas City scored a total of 17 points in losses to Oakland last week and Sunday against the Ravens, both of which were home games. Did Weis' pending departure play a role in the Chiefs' offensive falter? Perhaps not, but Kansas City fans will long wonder.
Rapid Reaction: Ravens 30, Chiefs 7 from ESPN
Of all teams that qualified for the postseason, the Kansas City Chiefs will be the first to pick. Their loss to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday locked up the No. 21 pick.
Four More Draft Positions Solidified from About Football
THE SITUATION: Kansas City had the ball first-and 10 from its 46 with 19 seconds left in the third quarter. The Chiefs trailed 23-7.
THE PLAY: Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel went back to pass and was hit by Baltimore's Lardarius Webb while he was attempting to pull the ball back. The ruling on the field was that Cassel fumbled and the ball was recovered by the Ravens. Kansas City challenged and the call was reversed to an incomplete pass.
MY TAKE: This was the classic tuck play.
Wild-card games' top officiating calls from FOX Sports
Coaches like to use the expression "pressure busts pipes," which means the bigger the moment, the more likely pressure will make a team break down. Most teams can't wait until halftime to fix a problem, but occasionally it takes halftime to get things right. This weekend's playoff games really drove home the notion that teams that can adjust will win and move on.
The Ravens really struggled against the Kansas City's run game in the first half, giving up 96 yards in 12 carries. The Chiefs gained just 12 more rushing yards. The Ravens stuffed the Chiefs without giving up anything in the passing game. The Ravens had no sacks or interceptions in the first half, either, but finished with three of each.
Wild-card weekend? Oh, it was wild, all right from NFL.com
The Chiefs had just 22 players on their roster with postseason experience, compared to 42 for the Ravens. That imbalance was visible in the second half when the Chiefs self-destructed with turnovers, penalties and sacks of quarterback Matt Cassel.
"I don't feel like they are such a superior team to us that we didn't have an opportunity in this game," said Cassel, who struggled throughout the game and finished with a 20.4 passer rating. "We went into half at 10-7 (behind) and the game was in reach. In the second half, it was a lot of bad football on our part."
Ravens gear up for Steelers after win from FOX Sports
It was indeed a long weekend, watching four NFL games on Wildcard Weekend, thinking, if the Chargers had gotten there, they would have had a home game, and probably would have played better than Kansas City did in that blowout loss to Baltimore.Philip Rivers would have put up a much better fight than the Chiefs quarterback. It's doubtful the Bolts defense would have been on the field for 41-minutes, as KC's defense was.And maybe there would not have been as many Ravens takeaways, because the Bolts would have scored more than one paltry touchdown, as those guys from Arrowhead Stadium did.
1-MAN'S OPINION: What If San Diego Had Made The Playoffs? from SanDiego.com