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The day excuses died for the Kansas City Chiefs

When I’m helping a client in a child protection case who is on a case plan, or criminal defendant who has plead guilty and is on probation, I have a rule. Well, I have many rules, but one rule that I’m going to be writing about today so we’ll just say one rule, because that’s more dramatic. So I have one rule. That rule is “remove all excuses.”

By that, I mean that I don’t want my client, when it’s all said and done, to have ANY excuse for failing in a case plan or on probation. I make lists for them. I reach out and work with social services and probation on their behalf. I check in regularly to prod them along. I want to make things so simple and (relatively) easy on my clients that if they fail, at the end of the day, they have absolutely no one to blame but themselves. I do this because if people have a reason to blame others, they often will. And blaming others generally leads to failure. I want no excuses available.

Why am I talking about this? Because on Sunday, the Chiefs were stripped away of any possible excuses and left with no one to point the finger at but themselves.

The New York Giants are an objectively bad football team. The week prior to playing the Chiefs, they lost to the previously winless 49ers by two scores. The week before, they got absolutely pasted by the Los Angeles Rams 51-17. They are missing virtually their entire WR group. Their running game is poor. Eli Manning is a shadow of what he was at his best. Their offensive line is a joke. Their defense can’t stop anyone. They’re a bad, bad, bad team to the point that their own fans and writers predicted a Chiefs blowout.

On top of all that, the Chiefs were coming off a bye week, with time to get healthy and dive deep into the issues that have plagued them recently. We all know Andy Reid is 3,483,908-2 after bye weeks (give or take). While they still had some injuries to deal with, the offensive line was as healthy as its been all season.

Yet the Chiefs lost.

I lost count of the number of times the Giants (truly a horrible team) tried to hand the game over to the Chiefs. And make no mistake, they played very, very poorly. Eli completed barely 50% of his passes.

Yet the Chiefs lost.

The Giants’ running game averaged a paltry 3.5 yards per carry.

Yet the Chiefs lost.

The Giants turned the ball over on an AWFUL trick play.

Yet the Chiefs lost.

The Giants, at one point in the game, had SEVEN DRIVES IN A ROW that ended in either a punt or on downs.

Yet the Chiefs lost.

During that stretch of SEVEN DRIVES IN A ROW the Giants had to punt or gave the ball over on downs, four of those drives were three-and-outs.

Yet the Chiefs lost.

The Giants scored nine points in regulation.

Yet the Chiefs lost.

In short, the New Giants played a truly abysmal game of football. They were utterly lost out there, looking completely incompetent the majority of the game. The only way the Chiefs could lose that game was by looking completely incompetent for an even GREATER portion of the game. And the Chiefs somehow rose to the challenge.

The Chiefs have no excuses. There is absolutely no reason the Chiefs should lose to the Giants on ANY Sunday, let alone a Sunday in which the Giants played... well, like the Giants. The Chiefs were a legitimately bad football team on Sunday.

And the worst part is, this SEEMS like it’s perhaps the culmination of cracks in the foundation that have been showing for a while. Loss to Pittsburgh? Bah, the Chiefs were due for a bad game and Pittsburgh has their number. Loss to Oakland? Thursday night on the road! Bad calls! Freak plays! Loss to Dallas? Looking ahead to the bye week! Dallas is good when healthy!

But now, the Chiefs are at a point where there’s no other explanation other than “we are currently bad.” While I can look back at the 5-0 start and say, “OK, we know this roster CAN do well,” it feels like a distant dream beating multiple playoff contenders in a row.

I tend to be a positive fan. I want to believe things can turn around (and, in the parity-driven NFL, it’s absolutely not too late). However, on Sunday all the worst fears Chiefs fans have about this team seemed to come to fruition.

The Giants made things as easy on the Chiefs as humanly possible in an NFL game. And the Chiefs still couldn’t walk out of New York with a win.

In front of all of us, over the course of 60 excruciating minutes of football, every excuse we (or at least I) have made for this team over the last month was taken away. The Chiefs have gone from “Super Bowl contender” to “good team” to “good team that’s struggling” to “team that doesn’t look good.” The only reason they’re up in the AFC West is because the Chargers started the year horribly and Oakland/Denver are currently self-destructing. But at this point, today, there’s not a team in the league I’m NOT afraid of beating the Chiefs.

The time for excuses has ended. The Giants were kind enough to take all of them away. Now I guess we just... wait and see what happens next.

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