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CASHMAN
11-23-2004, 11:35 AM
GRETZ: Gruesome Replay
Nov 23, 2004, 11:12:34 AM by Bob Gretz


In front of a national television audience the Chiefs showed America’s football fans why they are 3-7 and the NFL’s biggest disappointment in the 2004 season.

While the rest of the country may not have been up-to-date on what the Chiefs problems have been, the Monday night script was as familiar to Chiefs fans as that of a Seinfeld episode that’s been seen dozens of times: red zone and fourth quarter problems on offense; allowing big plays on defense, thanks to secondary problems and poor tackling.

Do that against bad teams like Tampa Bay and New Orleans, and it’s pretty darn hard to win a game. Pull the same stunt against the NFL’s best team, and there’s no chance.

How impressive the New England Patriots were in their visit to Arrowhead. The details of this game will be forgotten quickly by Bill Belichick and his team; it was just another step in their drive to a third Super Bowl in four years. They’ve now won 24 of their last 25 games. That happens when you are talented and mentally tough, i.e. able to win on the road, in a hostile environment, without your starting cornerbacks.

The Patriots came in with a patchwork secondary to face one of the best passing offenses in the NFL. Yes, they did give up 353 yards in the air, but they harassed Trent Green all night with the pass rush, sacking him four times, including the final offensive play of the game for the Chiefs. Richard Seymour gets all the attention on the Patriots defensive line, but the other end, Ty Warren had the game of his life, as he spent most of the evening several steps into the Chiefs backfield.

Without Priest Holmes, the Chiefs running game ground to a halt, as Derrick Blaylock ran for just 58 yards on 19 carries. Blaylock broke just one long run, a 14-yarder. The Chiefs are now 1-3 in games where Holmes has not played over the last three seasons.

Offensively, Tom Brady sliced and diced the dicey Chiefs secondary for 315 yards. The Chiefs gave up a 48-yard completion to tight end Daniel Graham, where rather than throw his arms around the receiver and bring him down, LB Kawika Mitchell pushed him down the field another 15 yards trying to swat at the football. There was a 46-yarder to David Patten, who beat young corner Julian Battle not because of his speed, but because Battle never learns from his mistakes. Just two plays earlier, Battle had looked too early for the ball, running 10 to 15 yards with his eye on the ball and not his man. Only because Brady under threw the pass to Patten did it fall incomplete. But, two plays later, Brady went back to the same pass and Battle made the same mistake.

That fourth and last sack of Green was the third week in a row the offense has ended their hopes of a fourth-quarter comeback with Green on the ground. Here’s the final possession, after the Chiefs took over at their own 32-yard line with 99 seconds to play and no timeouts:

1st Down-Incomplete to Kennison
2nd Down-Incomplete to Blaylock
3rd Down-Complete to Dante Hall for four yards
4th Down-Sacked by Willie McGinest for minus 10 yards.
That’s four plays, minus-six yards and another “L”. After the game, Green talked about the Patriots in glowing terms:

“I understand better now why they are 9-1 and why they’ve had such a long streak … they play such a great team game. Their offense is solid, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Their defense is solid; they don’t make a lot of mistakes. Special teams are solid. Just across the board they are a solid team and they do a lot of things very well. They play very well together as a team. Each phase helping out the other phase. They play smart. Give them credit … they really do work well together.”

Left unsaid in Green’s commentary was this: the Chiefs are very definitely not the New England Patriots.

The opinions offered in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Kansas City Chiefs.


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A former beat reporter who covered the Pittsburgh Steelers during their glory years, Gretz covered the Chiefs for the Kansas City Star for nine years before heading up KCFX-FM's sports department. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors. His column appears three times a week during the season.

ROYC75
11-23-2004, 11:47 AM
It is what it is !

Ari Chi3fs
11-23-2004, 11:53 AM
yeah, a pile of shit is a pile of shit.... you can call it fertilizer, but it is still shit.

Sure-Oz
11-23-2004, 11:56 AM
Kawikas lame ass attempt to tackle Daniel Graham should be the mascot of this defense.

MichaelH
11-23-2004, 11:59 AM
Yep. An old buddy of mine emailed me earlier to offer his condolences. He said that he didn't realize the Chiefs were so awful, mostly on defense. He's a Giants fan and doesn't pay much attention to the Chiefs, but was impressed when they beat the Ravens and the Colts. I guess the national exposure made the problems aware to those beyond this BB. :(