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Count Alex's Losses
11-27-2005, 03:25 AM
Today we learn the truth about the Chiefs

Performance against the Patriots will determine whether KC is contender or pretender

JOE POSNANSKI

Today, we find out. All season, the Chiefs have plodded along, singing a song. They have beaten bad teams, lost to good ones and shown signs of being both a playoff contender and a decaying fossil of a team, often on the same series of downs.

It has been maddening. How good are the Chiefs? Who knows? We’re 12 weeks into the NFL season, and you need Nostradamus, Danny Sheridan and Dionne Warwick to read all the tea leaves the Chiefs have left behind this year.

Today, finally, we find out. It’s show time. The Chiefs play the two-time defending champion New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium, and everything is on the line. Everything. The season. The playoffs. The future. The past. All of it.

Win, the Chiefs are for real. Lose, and they’re not. Simple.

Finally, we can get to the heart of things.

That’s good because the Chiefs mystery train has been running for almost five years now. Under coach Dick Vermeil, the Chiefs have been harder to read than those funhouse mirror security words they make you type in to buy things on the Internet. Every year (with the exception of 2001, when the Chiefs were lousy), the Chiefs have been exciting, lousy, thrilling, awful, good, bad and everything else.

In all, Vermeil’s teams have won 40 and lost 34.

When you look closer, though, you see just how they got there:

Records of the teams the Chiefs have beaten: 263-341.

Records of the teams that have beaten the Chiefs: 292-221.

That’s a pattern. The Chiefs have routinely chomped on NFL chum — they are a glorious 14-1 against teams that won five or fewer games in a season. This year, the Chiefs’ victims have a robust 19-41 record.

But under Vermeil the Chiefs are 3-6 against the good teams, the 11-win-or-more teams. And this does not include the devastating playoff loss to Indianapolis or this year’s crushing defeats at Denver and San Diego. For five years, the Chiefs have pasted the patsies, built up hopes and then crashed in spectacular fashion. Remember the beginning of “Rocky III” — of course you do — when Rocky was knocking out bum after bum while “Eye of the Tiger” played? Rocky started thinking he was pretty good. Then he faced Clubber Lang/Mr. T and got batted around like a beach ball at a Dodgers game.

That is like the Chiefs under Vermeil.

They should play “Eye of the Tiger” for kickoffs.

That’s why today’s game means everything. The Chiefs have placed themselves right back on that “Contender or Pretender” plank. You do the math. If the Chiefs win today, they’re 7-4. They will have beaten the best coach in the business. They have a brutal schedule, but they do play three of the last five games at home. There are reasons to hope.

If the Chiefs lose, though, it’s over. The Chiefs would be 6-5, and with that brutal schedule ahead — all five of the teams remaining have winning records — the Chiefs will almost certainly not make the playoffs. Vermeil probably will retire. The five-year Vermeil experiment, which began with such big hopes, will have to be considered a flop.

So, yeah, today’s game is sort of important.

What will we see? Well, the Patriots are struggling — their defense is ranked 31st in the NFL. The Pats have been vulnerable against the run and the pass. Their offense has been one dimensional, although Tom Brady throwing the ball is a pretty good dimension. The Patriots were blitzed at home by San Diego, and they lost at Denver. They have not had a convincing victory since week one and have struggled to victory the last two weeks against bad teams. So, even though New England is two-time defending Super Bowl champs and leading the abominable AFC East, this seems like a great chance for the Chiefs to win, especially at home.

But there’s one other troubling part of Vermeil’s record that we should mention, one that will be on display today. Vermeil’s Chiefs have consistently lost to imaginative, hard-working, prepared coaches. Oh, they’ve had their way against Mike Riley and Dick Jauron. But the Chiefs and Vermeil are 3-6 against Mike Shanahan. They are 0-3 against Jon Gruden. They are 4-4 against Marty Schottenheimer, which sounds better than it is. The Chiefs have lost the last three to Marty.

And Belichick might just be the best preparation coach in NFL history. Vermeil’s Chiefs are already 0-2 against Belichick.

What separates Belichick from other coaches is that his game plans, like the prizes on the old “Newlywed Game,” are chosen just for you. If Belichick figures, for instance, that the Chiefs are vulnerable to a running quarterback, he will put Tom Brady in the single-wing. If he thinks his best chance is to have 10 players on the field, the Patriots will do that. If he finds that Chiefs quarterback Trent Green is red-pink colorblind, he might send his team out in pink leotards.

Other coaches won’t do that. They say they will do whatever it takes to win the game. They study the film, too. But in the end, they won’t go all the way. They’ll add a few wrinkles. But they wouldn’t, say, throw deep 30 times if they see a weakness in the secondary. They will always settle into their usual game plans.

Belichick will not settle. He and his coaching staff will completely change the look of the team week in and week out. There’s a terrific story in David Halberstam’s book The Education of a Coach. Belichick was defensive coordinator of the New York Giants then, and his team was about to face the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl. Those Giants had a great and proud defense, but Belichick believed his team’s best chance was to let Buffalo run a little bit, which would run time off the clock and keep the Bills from throwing.

He told his players: “If (Buffalo running back) Thurman Thomas runs for 100 yards, we win this game.”

Thomas ran for 135 yards. New York won the game.

So Belichick will undoubtedly have a unique game plan for today’s game. Bill’s father, Steve, a brilliant football scout and coach himself, passed away last Saturday. Bill missed the first couple of days of preparation attending the funeral. But Belichick says that he had time to adjust the plan for the Chiefs. There’s no doubt the Patriots will be ready.

And it will be fascinating to see how the Chiefs respond. Today, we find out how much this defense has improved. Today we find out how much of a difference Willie Roaf can make on the offensive line. Today we find out if Larry Johnson is ready to be one of the elite backs in the NFL.

More than anything, today, finally, we find out if the Chiefs are any good.

Count Alex's Losses
11-27-2005, 04:08 AM
Good article by Jo Po, but he blew Belichick WAY too much.

The Pats are 31st in total D and 26th in scoring D.

SLAG
11-27-2005, 04:11 AM
Hey, Jo Po Is Correct.

If we Win We are For Real

and thats what I hope to see

Chiefs Pantalones
11-27-2005, 04:15 AM
He's right.

The same goes for the next game...and the next game...and the next game...and so on.

Taco John
11-27-2005, 04:22 AM
For my part, I have to say that a win here is meaningless unless you win next week at home. A loss here, however, is devastating. I think you're at the breaking point in your season. If you win the next two weeks, you'll be peaking at the right time and I'd wager give us a strong run for the division (maybe even steal it ala 96).

Chiefs Pantalones
11-27-2005, 04:22 AM
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/images/independenceday.JPG

Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

Chiefs Pantalones
11-27-2005, 04:24 AM
For my part, I have to say that a win here is meaningless unless you win next week at home. A loss here, however, is devastating. I think you're at the breaking point in your season. If you win the next two weeks, you'll be peaking at the right time and I'd wager give us a strong run for the division (maybe even steal it ala 96).

Yep. The win will be great, but we gotta keep on doing it.

Count Alex's Losses
11-27-2005, 04:27 AM
For my part, I have to say that a win here is meaningless unless you win next week at home. A loss here, however, is devastating. I think you're at the breaking point in your season. If you win the next two weeks, you'll be peaking at the right time and I'd wager give us a strong run for the division (maybe even steal it ala 96).

Yup. Also your avatar is completely infuriating! :cuss:

Also, that was 97...

tk13
11-27-2005, 04:30 AM
For my part, I have to say that a win here is meaningless unless you win next week at home. A loss here, however, is devastating. I think you're at the breaking point in your season. If you win the next two weeks, you'll be peaking at the right time and I'd wager give us a strong run for the division (maybe even steal it ala 96).
Nice avatar, but I'd make sure to get your regular bowel movements in this week for when we show you where you can stick that broom.

Count Alex's Losses
11-27-2005, 04:35 AM
Nice avatar, but I'd make sure to get your regular bowel movements in this week for when we show you where you can stick that broom.

We can't let those bastards sweep us. I don't care if we lose the rest of the games...but we have to win that one.

This coming offseason will be unbearable if TJ can hold a sweep over us.

HemiEd
11-27-2005, 06:18 AM
Good article, no BS in it IMO.

Bob Dole
11-27-2005, 06:21 AM
Wow. Someone in the media finally had the balls to just come out and say it: This coaching staff doesn't game plan for shit.

Yes, we must win today.

No, Bob Dole isn't holding his breath.

Count Alex's Losses
11-27-2005, 06:26 AM
Wow. Someone in the media finally had the balls to just come out and say it: This coaching staff doesn't game plan for shit.


Again, Jo Po is blowing Belichick too much.

I guarantee you Dick's "gameplan" will put clown shoes on New England's defense today.

Whether or not that's the "gameplan" or the shitty NE defense remains to be seen.

Count Alex's Losses
11-27-2005, 06:29 AM
Also, Belichick's "defensive genious" seems to have disappeared now that all his good players are being injured.

Funny how that works.

Players win games, not coaches.

HemiEd
11-27-2005, 06:32 AM
Also, Belichick's "defensive genious" seems to have disappeared now that all his good players are being injured.

Funny how that works.

Players win games, not coaches.


agreed, I think he was very fortunate how Brady has worked out also. It is very similar to DV and Warner.

milkman
11-27-2005, 09:14 AM
Also, Belichick's "defensive genious" seems to have disappeared now that all his good players are being injured.

Funny how that works.

Players win games, not coaches.

I think that Belichick's defensive genius has suffered more as the result of losing both Romeo Crenel and Charlie Weiss than as the result of injuries.

He has become more involved in the offensive side of things, and is doing the play calling without Weiss.

If Weiss were still there, he would have more focus on the defense.

If Crenel were still there, he could leave it in Crenel's hands, who has learned from him.

The Pats lost a number of players to injury last season, but still manged to field a solid D.

Belichick is just stretched too thin, right now.

Skip Towne
11-27-2005, 09:20 AM
Also, Belichick's "defensive genious" seems to have disappeared now that all his good players are being injured.

Funny how that works.

Players win games, not coaches.
It always has amazed me at how stupid Chuck Knoll got after that great team retired.

bringbackmarty
11-27-2005, 09:49 AM
Hey, Jo Po Is Correct.

If we Win We are For Real

and thats what I hope to see
If we win we Might be for real.

ck_IN
11-27-2005, 09:50 AM
<i>In all, Vermeil’s teams have won 40 and lost 34.

Records of the teams the Chiefs have beaten: 263-341.

Records of the teams that have beaten the Chiefs: 292-221.</i>

Wow, I knew the Chiefs and DV had made their mark against chumps and became chumps themselves for champs but I didn't realize it was this exagerated. That's a .541 winning percentage. Pretty mediocre really.

I'd also dispute that this is a defining game for the Chiefs. As much as Chief fans whine about our injuries the Pats have had <u>real</u> injury problems. As banged up as NE is this should be a fairly easy win.

Personally I'd say the Cowboys is the real contender/pretender game for the Chiefs. They're good but not super bowl good. And Parcells is more then the equal of DV.

KC Jones
11-27-2005, 09:58 AM
Also, Belichick's "defensive genious" seems to have disappeared now that all his good players are being injured.

Funny how that works.

Players win games, not coaches.

No coach can totally make up for a dearth of talent. However, a good coach can get the most out of the players he has and does a good job evaluating talent. Belichek has been plugging unheard ofs into his teams for years now with great success. I can't believe anyone is questioning the guy. Losing his top coordinators hurt quite a bit, but despite their drop off this year from the best team in football to only slightly above average they're still leading their division. Compare that to Vermeil while the Chiefs had one of the best Offenses in the league. Lots of years right around .500 (or below) and a totally unbalanced team.

So the Pats are having a down year. IMO that doesn't tarnish all of their recent SB wins. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they win today too.

Coogs
11-27-2005, 10:05 AM
IMO, not only do we have to win today, we have to win with the defense pitching a shut-out. This team needs to make a statement that we are really improved on that side of the ball against a "good" team.

A 20-10 type of score is an indicator to me that we could be a contender. A 38-35 type of score to me signals troubles in the remaining 5 games.

DaWolf
11-27-2005, 10:15 AM
After watching the Philly game I'm just afraid the Chiefs are going to come out fired up and get off to a good start but then slowly disappear as a veteran, experienced squad patiently works their way back into it and eventually wins. This team needs to show a killer instinct today and destroy the Pats, otherwise who cares if we make the playoffs, we won't be going anywhere. They need to step up and fulfill their promise, and not just today, but for the next 6 weeks and beyond...

SCTrojan
11-27-2005, 10:17 AM
Jo Po gets it partially right. If we don't win this game against a somewhat down year Pats team, at home, then we've shown that we're not serious contenders for the playoffs.

On the other hand, like others have said, if we don't beat the Broncos next week, then a win today will be almost pointless.

Bowser
11-27-2005, 10:17 AM
For my part, I have to say that a win here is meaningless unless you win next week at home. A loss here, however, is devastating. I think you're at the breaking point in your season. If you win the next two weeks, you'll be peaking at the right time and I'd wager give us a strong run for the division (maybe even steal it ala 96).

Hate to say it, but this is spot on. We can afford ONE more loss this year, and it had best come against either Dallas or New York. I am still standing by my statement that if we go 10-6 we will not make the playoffs. The AFC is too deep at the top.

wolfpack0735
11-27-2005, 10:24 AM
a true contender wouldn`t have let philly back into the game,or lost to the bills.as long as we have a whinning retirement home coach who wins against easy teams and loses against playoff teams we wont be contenders. with that being said,i`ll still support them till my last breath,and hope for a super bowl again.

Mr. Krab
11-27-2005, 10:28 AM
Posnanski - Today, we learn the truth about the Chiefs.
If the Chiefs lose today we'll see an article next week by Posnanski declaring that isn't over yet and not to judge the Chiefs so harshly.

milkman
11-27-2005, 10:31 AM
a true contender wouldn`t have let philly back into the game,or lost to the bills.as long as we have a whinning retirement home coach who wins against easy teams and loses against playoff teams we wont be contenders. with that being said,i`ll still support them till my last breath,and hope for a super bowl again.

I disagree.

Sometimes even contenders have bad games.

See the Pats against the Bills a couple of seasons ago, when they lost, what was it, 34-0.

True contenders sometimes don't find their identity as a team until later in the season, and I have some hope that is the case with the Chiefs right now.

Coogs
11-27-2005, 11:24 AM
True contenders sometimes don't find their identity as a team until later in the season, and I have some hope that is the case with the Chiefs right now.

:thumb:

Let's hope we don't stray too far off of what worked last week. And I am talking about the offense here.

Coogs
11-27-2005, 03:42 PM
All-in-all, not a bad performance. I'd say a 26-3 lead puts us in the contender catagory. Maybe not a real solid contender yet, but contender none the less.

1 down, 5 to go. Next up.... Denver.

the Talking Can
11-27-2005, 03:44 PM
next week is the real test...

TRR
11-27-2005, 03:45 PM
I would disagree with this article. The Pats are still a good team, but nowhere close to the team they were a year ago. They had no running game, and their defense has more holes in it than swiss cheese.

The real test will be next Sunday. Denver is a solid team, but KC has to win a MUST WIN game at home against the #1 team in the AFC West.

Rausch
11-27-2005, 03:53 PM
I would disagree with this article. The Pats are still a good team, but nowhere close to the team they were a year ago. They had no running game, and their defense has more holes in it than swiss cheese.

The real test will be next Sunday. Denver is a solid team, but KC has to win a MUST WIN game at home against the #1 team in the AFC West.

A loss to the Donks and we have no chance to win the division.

Then we're playing for a wild card and praying everyone else stumbles...

Count Alex's Losses
11-27-2005, 03:54 PM
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/images/independenceday.JPG

Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

I AIN'T HEARD NO FAT LADY!

DIDN'T I PROMISE YOU FIREWORKS?

Coogs
11-27-2005, 04:19 PM
I would disagree with this article. The Pats are still a good team, but nowhere close to the team they were a year ago. They had no running game, and their defense has more holes in it than swiss cheese.

The real test will be next Sunday. Denver is a solid team, but KC has to win a MUST WIN game at home against the #1 team in the AFC West.

Based off of your first paragraph, I would have to say Jo Po was correct. If we would have lost to the hapless Pats, we would have definately been a pretender.

I also agree with your last paragraph. Next week will tell just how much of a contender we are.

Hydrae
11-27-2005, 04:36 PM
I am very encouraged with how the defense is coming together and playing better each week. I still believe we can win this division and continue on to win some playoff games.