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Going Into San Diego

Tomorrow at 3:05 P.M. the Kansas City Chiefs will see their biggest challenge of the season so far, when they face the San Diego Chargers in the land of the crying Rivers.

After the Chiefs lost their previous two games by a combined score of 89-10, it is hard to see a scenario where they will be able to overcome the Chargers in their own house.  Especially since the biggest victims in those two defeats respectfully, were two of Kansas City's brightest young stars in Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles, who both ended their seasons with torn ACL injuries.

Even the most optimistic of fans are having trouble piecing together the positives in this chaotic 2011 NFL season for the Chiefs.  While I still feel the team has the immense talent to be a great team, they have fumbled every opportunity to prove it so far this season.  It is puzzling, because this team was set up for success.  They seemingly made good moves in the offseason (Gaither, Breaston, McClain, Siler, Gregg, Zorn) and they had great core of young players leading this team that learned how to win last season.  I guess things aren't always what they seem.

I guarantee you that the Chiefs players do not want to lose anymore games, Todd Haley and Scott Pioli do not want to be fired, and no one in the entire organization wants to take on the "Suck For Luck" campaign as an option.  They probably all thought going into the season that they had a legitimate chance to be a serious contender for the Super Bowl this season if everything fell their way.  

Well it didn't, so now what?

This is a question only the Kansas Chiefs Chiefs can answer for themselves.  All of the words in the world aren't going to get them to quit committing penalties and hold onto the football.  They need to look inside of themselves and decide whether or not they want to be winners or losers.

Did they like it when they were the 4-12 Chiefs.  Did that make them happy?  Or maybe it was better when they were 2-14, is that the identity this team wants to get back to?  Because the bottom line is that any team in the NFL can win on Sunday's and the Chiefs have to determine whether or not they want to keep moving forward or fall back into oblivion.

So really, what now?

The Kansas City Chiefs need to go into San Diego and pull out a win. It is the only thing that is going to keep this team from falling off the cliff along with all of the Chiefs fans that already dove off head first in desperate hope for a potential franchise quarterback in the draft.

Tomorrow I want to see the Chiefs get back to football basics.

  1. Tackling - Last season the Chiefs made some huge strides in the tackling department.  This season, the team was terrible in the first game and showed some improvement against the Lions early on.  However they need to start bringing down the ball carriers on first contact.  Too many Chiefs have to hit a guy before he goes down.  It needs to be one and done.  There are no more excuses, they have been tackling people their whole lives.  It is time to use those skills tomorrow.  Square up, don't slow down, take the right angle and wrap up Chiefs.
  2. Catching - This should not be a problem.  Todd Haley is suppose to be one of the better receiving coaches in the NFL. We shouldn't be watching players have improper hand position when moving to catch a ball.  It doesn't matter how bad the pass is.  If the ball hits the receiver in the hands, front shoulder, back shoulder, above their head, it doesn't matter, they should make the reception.  Catch the football.
  3. Throwing - Matt Cassel needs to calm down back there and change his approach.  We have all seen him make some beautiful throws in the past and the line has been playing better than it was in the preseason. We should see him set his feet and deliver a throw that is proper for the situation.  For instance, no lasers when it is suppose to be a touch pass.  Matt Cassel is a pro and there is no reason for him to play as poorly as he has the last couple of weeks. If he can look around a little, find the open receiver and get rid of the ball with a well timed throw the Chiefs will be much better off.
  4. Penalties - The Chiefs need to play clean football.  They all know the rules.  By now Todd Haley should have them so afraid to make an error, that they should play more reserved. Playing square football is fine, if that is what it takes to not jump off the line or grab a hand full of jersey and pull.  This is the NFL and they are not the Raiders, they need to figure this out tomorrow.
  5. Turnovers - Hold onto the football.  Enough said.

Truthfully, I have no idea what team we will see tomorrow in terms of effort, I am hesitant to even try and venture a guess, so I will refrain from doing that. Mostly, I just want to see some more passion out of this team.  From everyone, the Head Coach, the kicker, everyone, we were told that we have a team of football players that love to play football and I would like to see that emotion on the field. Prove it.

The San Diego Chargers are a good football team, they really are, and they have a decent to great young quarterback in Phillip Rivers and it will be a huge challenge for the Kansas City Chiefs to go in there and attempt to have any success. The Chargers certainly have the ability to lay one on the Chiefs just like the Bills and the Lions did. The pessimists view is that it will undoubtedly be ugly again and all of the people that want to "Suck for Luck" will be cheering for a beat down (which is the dumbest thing in the history of fandom in my opinion.)

The through it all we are all Chiefs fans and deep down we realize there are still 14 games left and want to see the Chiefs succeed, not fail.  So here is to a miraculous win tomorrow and a great entertaining game with no more injuries. Can it be done? Go Chiefs!!!

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