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09-11-2006, 01:15 AM
Dante Hall fumbled a punt in the first quarter, and the Chiefs showed Sunday they aren’t what they used to be.

Today is a good day to pay a final tribute to the Chiefs offenses of the new millennium. Those Chiefs offenses thrilled us, didn’t they? From 2001 to 2005, the Chiefs scored more points than any other team in the NFL. It was something.

No, the Chiefs did not win a playoff game in that era — and they made the playoffs only once — but blaming the offense for that would be like blaming the Beatles for the collapse of rock ’n’ roll. Five straight years the Chiefs finished in the top five in yards. They scored 30 or more points 30 times. They scored 40 or more 15 times. They set record after record, they filled up the Pro Bowl rosters, they made big play after big play, and they were never out of a game.

Today is a good day to raise a glass to those great Chiefs offenses of old.

They are gone forever, folks.

To me, that was the big story of the Chiefs loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. True, there were many stories in that game, and you wouldn’t want to tell any of them to your kids. Wow. It’s hard to imagine how Herm Edwards’ debut could have been worse. I suppose, on the bright side, nobody forgot their shoes in the locker room. It’s something to build on.

Everything else went wrong, including the Chiefs’ uniform choice. They wore white uniforms at home for the first time ever. What? I realize that Edwards wanted to break away from the past, but the Chiefs were 65-23 wearing red in Kansas City the last 11 years. Home whites at Arrowhead? Sheesh. This is like Drew Carey saying, “I’ve had enough of the thick glasses.”

After that fashion faux pas, the Chiefs fumbled the ball on the second play of the season. Dante Hall fumbled a punt. The offensive line allowed seven sacks. Trent Green was knocked unconscious for 11 minutes by a vicious hit that must not have happened because the officials didn’t throw a flag. The Chiefs defended the Bengals’ no-huddle offense more or less the way earthlings in science-fiction movies defend against aliens with ray guns — you know, by running around and yelling, “Aieeee!”

“It’s all correctible,” was Herm Edwards overall synopsis of the 23-10 loss, and he may be right. It really is just one game, Edwards’ first game. And the Chiefs did show signs of being good against the run. They did prevent Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer from throwing the ball downfield. Running back Larry Johnson did show the power and speed combination that got him on the cover of every single American magazine, including Fido Friendly (the travel magazine for you and your dog!).

So no, you don’t want to panic after only one game; there’s plenty of time to panic after Denver next week. But it’s not too early to say this: The great Chiefs offense — the one we have grown accustomed to — is no more.

This isn’t anyone’s fault. Yes, Edwards coaches so conservatively, there are tax cuts written into the playbook. Yes, offensive coordinator Al Saunders is gone, and new offensive coordinator Mike Solari is an offensive-line guy. Yes, offensive lineman Willie Roaf retired, and fullback Tony Richardson now plays for Minnesota. Those are factors, sure.

But the real reason that the Chiefs offense is gone for good is the same reason that the San Francisco 49ers don’t score points like mad and the Minnesota Vikings no longer are the Purple People Eaters. Time moves on. The Chiefs offense had a great five-year run. They had the best offensive line on earth, they had Priest Holmes picking and slicing defenses, they had Trent Green making the smart throws, they had Tony Gonzalez catching balls in traffic, they had Eddie Kennison to catch the deep ball.

Now? The offensive line is much older — three of the five linemen are older than 30, and Brian Waters is almost 30 — and you can’t knock around defenders forever. Holmes is in San Antonio and couldn’t be reached for comment. Green is 35 and in a hospital. Kennison is 33 and on his one deep pass Sunday the defensive back covered him so closely you would have sworn they were wearing the same pants. Even Gonzalez, who had 10 catches on Sunday, is in his 10th season.

It’s not as if all of these players are suddenly feeble and decrepit. Age doesn’t work that way. They will have their moments this year. But old linemen find, more and more, they don’t quite have the quickness to stop the speed rush. Old receivers find it harder to get separation. Old quarterbacks have a tougher time getting up after the big hits. Football is a cruel game. Chiefs fans may remember watching those great Chiefs players of the 1960s play on into the 1970s — it wasn’t a pretty sight.

This is not to say the Chiefs offense will go scoreless the rest of the way or even turn into the Steve Bono offenses of the mid-90s. Things are not hopeless. The Chiefs have too many good offensive players — including the best running back in pro football. If Trent Green can return soon, the offense will still score some points. And the schedule has plenty of winnable games.

But it’s clear now that the Chiefs will have to win in a different way. No more shootouts. No more last-minute heroics. The defense will have to become dominant. Larry Johnson will carry the ball 30 or 35 times per game. Turnovers will be key. Punter Dustin Colquitt will be a huge factor. The Chiefs will go back to the game we lovingly (and not-so-lovingly) called “Martyball”.

We suspected this when Edwards took over, but now we know for sure. Sunday’s game left no doubts. Brian Waters was asked afterward whether the Chiefs could be a great offense again. He started to say, ‘Yes,” — because that’s what a player is supposed to say. But Brian Waters is an honest man.

He said: “It doesn’t matter if we have a great offense. We need to win football games.”

Yes, all that scoring was fun. Take a moment today to remember all those great plays the Chiefs offense made. But it couldn’t last forever. The circus always leaves town.

09-11-2006, 01:17 AM
Didn't he write this exact same article after his buddy Saunders left?

el borracho
09-11-2006, 01:32 AM
Boohoo. What a crybaby. All we need to do is replace one tackle and adjust our playbook a little to suit our strengths.

09-11-2006, 03:04 AM
Boohoo. What a crybaby. All we need to do is replace one tackle and adjust our playbook a little to suit our strengths.

For what to happen? GO 8-8 and say, "maybe next year!!!!".

Because if that's what your saying, I agree with you. If you're saying this team has a snowball chance in hell of being competitve I think you've been smoking crack.

If you want to place a bet on that just send me a PM, I'm on and off all day.