I've been jotting some things down as I sit here and take in the Kansas City Chiefs 20-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
CB Brandon Flowers' injury is to his ankle, not his knee. Check out Kent Babb's story at the KC Star but it's an ankle and the severity is unknown.
Does this loss hurt more than the first two? QB Matt Cassel said this one may hurt more than the two previous blowouts. I asked this question on Twitter: Would you rather see the Chiefs lose in a blowout or a close game? Most are saying the latter.
The Chiefs actually showed signs of life. In the first two games of the season the Chiefs didn't do anything well. Like...nothing. It was impressive, actually. This time around they were put together a solid half out-scoring the Chargers 17-10 in the second half. QB Matt Cassel threw a couple touchdown passes, WR Dwayne Bowe had a touchdown and two big third down conversions in the second half and RB Dexter McCluster racked up 62 yards on 14 touches. The Chiefs showed us that they're alive.
This offense doesn't have an identity without RB Jamaal Charles. Who are the Chiefs? What do they do well on a consistent basis? They pieced together a couple of scoring drives in the second half but they certainly weren't pretty. I'm not sure what the Chiefs do really well on offense. Bowe comes up with big plays but opposing defenses simply have to take him out of the game, like the Chargers did in the first half. Seems like the offense doesn't have much consistency without Charles.
The defense on the other hand....The Chiefs can win this with defense. It's like a different team showed up from Week 1 and Week 2. The Chiefs were consistent, created turnovers and pressured QB Philip Rivers. The defense took a jump back to respectability today.
Matt Cassel won't have many friends in KC this week. It's funny how perception works. Cassel did not have a great game today but the second half points turned it from a terrible day to a below average day. If he takes the Chiefs and puts them in position to tie the game or win the game on that last drive, we'd likely forget about about the rest of his day, focusing on what he did in the clutch. Unfortunately, he didn't do that. Cassel threw the pick and, from what I can tell among the fan base, he's getting a lot of fingers pointed at him. My Chiefs glasses are as rose-colored as anyone but it's hard to write about something Cassel does really well.
Chiefs have to keep winning the turnover battle. Entering the game the Chiefs were last in the NFL in turnover differential, which is the opposite of what they did last year. This game, they were up 2-0 in the turnover battle until QB Matt Cassel's interception with 55 seconds remaining. The Chiefs didn't score any points off those turnovers but it meant stalled drivers for the Chargers.
From 2-1 to 0-3. I think most of us looking at the schedule before the season started thought the Chiefs had be 2-1 at this point if they wanted to be in the playoffs. The Bills and Lions were games we expected the Chiefs to win and I think most realistic Chiefs fans saw this Chargers game as a likely loss. But the Chiefs are now 0-3 and talk of the playoffs is almost laughable at this point.
The Chargers are the Chargers. I did a radio show with our friend John over at Bolts From The Blue and he said he thought the Chiefs had a chance because the Chargers had a way of playing down to their competition. In the end, he was right. The Chiefs had their shot and the Chargers, as it has been for a while, seemed unable to deliver that final knockout punch until less than a minute remained. The Chargers are the best team in the division but they're not an elite team in the NFL.
Todd Haley's seat getting hotter. Earlier this week, a gambling outfit, Bodog, had Haley with the best odds to be the first coach fired this year. Another loss won't help matters. The Chiefs play Minnesota and Indy the next two weeks -- both very winnable -- so those will be a good indication of how far downhill the Chiefs are headed, or if they can turn this into a respectable season.