The Kansas City Chiefs are 1-5 on the season. They're not going to run the table on their 10 remaining games and finish the season 11-5. We know that the season, from a playoff perspective, is more or less over.
Tamba Hali is not likely to be part of this team next year but he continues to start at outside linebacker for the Chiefs. Dee Ford, who is more likely than Tamba to be on the roster next year, is not playing very much right now. The Chiefs continue to use mostly Tamba with a little Dee spiced in.
So at 1-5 should the Chiefs start playing Dee Ford over Tamba Hali?
It's a legitimate question and one folks are wondering. Tamba has clearly lost a step but does appear to be the better overall player than Ford right now, especially against the run. (Last week against Adrian Peterson, Tamba played every snap while Ford played just five snaps.) If you're trying to win games, you're picking Tamba over Ford for the bulk of the snaps, and that's what the Chiefs have been doing so fart his season (and last year).
The argument is whether you should set aside the question of who is the better player right now and look at who is going to help you in the future. That would more likely be Ford than Tamba given their age and contract situations. So the argument says you should be playing Ford right now to get him some meaningful reps for next year, and at least get something out of this season.
Without considering anything else, playing Ford over Tamba is the answer. But there's obviously more to it than that. How are you as a coaching staff going to look at Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston and the rest of the players busting their ass that they're going to be playing a lesser player at a position, that you're essentially giving up on the season six weeks in? That sets a horrible precedent for the rest of the players on the roster who will be with this same coaching staff next year. I just can't see how the Chiefs could throw the white flag this early in the season, even if it is effectively over with little shot of the playoffs.
There should be more Ford but