View Full Version : Posnanski: Bad defenses entertaining

12-14-2004, 02:10 AM

Bad defenses entertaining


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Well, in the end, I learned three things in Nashville.

1. The names of each member of the band Alabama. Don't ask.

2. You can't necessarily trust a Nashville policeman's directions.

3. Wow, that Kansas City Chiefs defense is bad.

OK, we all knew No. 3 before Monday night's free-for-all against the Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs did win 49-38. Larry Johnson ran wild as if he was facing Indiana all over again. Trent Green led the team down the field in the final 2 minutes for the comeback victory.

Still, it's worth noting — while watching somebody named Billy Volek carve up the Chiefs defense for a half-million passing yards and four touchdowns in front of America's sports fans — that this season, the Chiefs may very well become the first team in NFL history to score 450 points in a season and finish with a losing record.

This is a mind-boggling statistic. Since 1978, the year the NFL expanded its schedule to 16 games, only 26 teams have scored 450 or more points in a season. Eleven of those teams went to the Super Bowl. Twenty-one of those teams won their division.

Put it this way: It is very, very hard to score that many points in a season and not be a good football team.

Yet, here we are again, second time in three years, the Chiefs are scoring 30 points a game, and they're not going anywhere. It's almost impossible to do. The Chiefs are second in the NFL in scoring, behind only Peyton Manning's Colts, and they are 5-8 and thinking about the draft.

And just when you wonder how this is even possible, you watch the Chiefs defense play again. Monday night was a quintessential performance. Tennessee was forced to start Volek. Their starting running back was hurt. The Titans were averaging less than three touchdowns per game when they had all their starters.

So what happened? In the first half — the first half—– receiver Drew Bennett caught eight passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. It was like watching a video game. Most of the time, Bennett victimized cornerback William Bartee, who looked utterly baffled out there. On one play, Bartee collided with a linebacker, Bennett caught a short pass and ran a nice, easy 42 yards for a touchdown. It was easier than breathing.

Then on the next possession, the Titans forgot to cover Eddie Kennison deep and he caught a 58-yard touchdown pass. That was easier than Bennett.

Yeah, there was bad defense on both sides Monday.

“Right now, we just can't cover anybody deep,” Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said at halftime. “They can't cover us deep. We can't cover them deep.”

Yes, these were the only two groups in Nashville that didn't play covers.

Hey, the Coliseum was the only club in Nashville that didn't charge a cover.

Thank you. I'm here all week.

Then, the Titans' problems are more than defense. They are just not a good football team this year. The Chiefs, on the other hand, led the NFL in scoring the last two years, they are second in the league now, and they have gotten a big fat nothing out of it. You hear offensive guys constantly talking about how they won't blame the defense, they can't blame the defense, this is a team, on and on.

But how could they not blame the defense a little bit?

This Chiefs' offense is good enough to have been a dynasty. They run. They pass. This offense scores like the 49ers did in the '80s, like Denver did at the end of the '90s, like Joe Gibbs' best Washington teams, like Brett Favre's best Green Bay teams.

And what do they have to show for it? One playoff appearance. No playoff victories. Monday night was a circus. Sure, it was an entertaining game, especially if you like scoring. Receivers were open everywhere. Big plays happened every minute. The game went to the finish because the Titans, for reasons unknown, decided to settle for a field goal with almost 2 minutes left — it was clear that was a huge mistake.

Still, it was not a particularly entertaining game if you are a Chiefs fan. You know why? Because this is the kind of game Kansas City has played too often over the last few years. Yes, they won Monday night. But they've lost plenty of games like this too. Before the season began, new/old Chiefs defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said it would be sacrilegious for an offense this great to never get its championship.

Monday, yes, the Chiefs won. But there won't be a championship. There won't even be any playoffs. In Nashville, it was clear why. Also, the band members of Alabama are Teddy Gentry, Randy Owen, Jeff Cook and Mark Herndon.

Taco John
12-14-2004, 02:11 AM
Perfect article Pos... That game was like watching the horse section of a parade...

Spicy McHaggis
12-14-2004, 02:43 AM
Good write up by Jo Po.

12-14-2004, 02:47 AM
Good write up by Jo Po.

Why? I met the members of Alabama many years ago before they 'retired'.