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ChiefsandO'sfan
09-12-2011, 07:39 AM
The Chiefs' epic failure could linger
By SAM MELLINGER
Chiefs’ preseason opener was especially meaningless
Fifteen minutes after an embarrassing and historically bad day, we finally heard something productive.

The Chiefs had been shamed, their much-talked-about Plan shown to be a farce, a bad-as-it-looked 41-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium standing as the worst opening-game defeat in franchise history.

And there wasn’t a danged thing positive about it until the postgame news conference.

“I’m taking 100 percent responsibility for our team not being ready to go,” head coach Todd Haley said. “OK? You can point the finger right at Todd Haley. OK? I’m taking 100 percent responsibility.”

This epic failure wasn’t entirely Haley’s fault, of course. Dexter McCluster fumbled the opening kickoff. Matt Cassel averaged about 3 yards per pass. Eric Berry missed most of the game with a knee injury, and the Bills exploited what appeared to be the Chiefs’ secondary from 2009.

Oh, and general manager Scott Pioli sat on millions of dollars in salary cap space with a roster still lacking a right tackle, a second pass-rusher, run-stoppers up front and depth all over the field.

But this one does fall more squarely on Haley than most, and it’s good of him to recognize that, for a lot of reasons.

Especially this one: A loss like Sunday’s is exactly the kind of defeat that can turn into two losses, three losses or even a lost season.

There is tension within this franchise — there was even before Sunday — but getting mollywhopped in the opener at home by a team that went 4-12 last year and is coached by a guy the Chiefs fired two years ago … well, that just makes it worse.

Everybody has someone to blame, if they want.

Pioli can think he’s given Haley a first-rate coaching staff and roster stocked with young talent. Haley can think the best players were here before Pioli. The players can look around the league and wonder why they were the only team that tried what is clearly a failed preseason plan, or whether Pioli did all he could to fill holes in terms of talent.

On and on it can go, if the Chiefs let it.

Sunday’s outcome surprised virtually everyone involved with the organization. They thought this was a good team, a playoff team still getting better. Instead, they heard boos seven minutes after kickoff. The stands emptied out at halftime like it was a Kansas game.

A team that bragged about working on preseason conditioning and preparations for the opener looked, well, out of shape and unprepared.

For a lot of reasons, including a tougher schedule and injuries, this appeared to be the kind of season when the Chiefs could win fewer games than the 10 they won last year but still make legitimate big-picture strides in the right direction.

Except this is the kind of game that dissolves that theory, a blinking and glowing neon sign that reads: WORK IN PROGRESS.

This looked a whole lot like 2-14 three seasons ago, the year that finally got general manager Carl Peterson fired after two decades with the Chiefs.

On paper, this figured to be the Chiefs’ easiest game of the year: a season opener at home against a team that was awful against the run last year. Instead, it became reason to ask when the Chiefs last had a more disappointing day.

Measured against expectations, you’d have to go back to at least Herm Edwards’ first game in 2006, and perhaps the playoff loss after the 2003 season, a game in which the Colts never punted.

When it was all over on Sunday, Haley and his players mostly said the things you’d expect. This was disappointing, but only one loss. They must look at the tape. Learn. Improve.

But what they have to know is that they’re now on alert. Fifty-three highly competitive men will never all get along or believe 100 percent in the greater mission. But for the foundation to be strong, they have to at least safeguard against major cracks. Same with the coaches and front office, especially through times of disagreement.

All last year, after each loss, Haley would say that they needed to keep one bad outcome from becoming two. Including the playoff defeat against Baltimore, the Chiefs lost on consecutive weekends three times.

This one could be more difficult. A letdown from raised expectations, an embarrassing performance at home against a suspect opponent coached by a former Chiefs employee, and a thorough line of failure that touched every part of the organization — it’s like a training video for an extended meltdown.

Virtually everyone has reason to blame someone else.

Whether they do will help determine whether this first game shame is the exception this season, or the rule.

To reach Sam Mellinger, call 816-234-4365, send email to smellinger@kcstar.com or follow twitter.com/mellinger. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com.



Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011...l#ixzz1XkFjeIZR

Bob Dole
09-12-2011, 07:48 AM
"Epic failure" doesn't even do what we saw justice. Bob Dole, angry and intoxicated from the loss, stayed away until he could look back at the game with a cooler head. Upon reflection, there was absolutely NOTHING positive about that "performance" yesterday. Nothing.

On the bright side, it will only take a Texas high school JV performance next week to be an improvement.

Discuss Thrower
09-12-2011, 08:27 AM
"Epic failure" doesn't even do what we saw justice. Bob Dole, angry and intoxicated from the loss, stayed away until he could look back at the game with a cooler head. Upon reflection, there was absolutely NOTHING positive about that "performance" yesterday. Nothing.

On the bright side, it will only take a Texas high school JV performance next week to be an improvement.

The beauty of being rock bottom: you have nowhere to go but up... Unless someone breaks out the dynamite...

58-4ever
09-12-2011, 08:32 AM
A lot of teams got blown out yesterday. There was not a whole lot of competitive balance anywhere.

Looking to next week, If we can't guard Stevie and some white tight end, how are we going to deal with Megatron and Pettigrew?

Otter
09-12-2011, 08:36 AM
The beauty of being rock bottom: you have nowhere to go but up... Unless someone breaks out the dynamite...

Won the AFC West last year and lost 1 out of 16 games so far. Rock bottom? That's silly. There's still a chance it was just a bad (very bad) game from the disruption in the off season drills.

WV
09-12-2011, 09:03 AM
I'd feel better if there were a single good thing to be taken from that game. That poor excuse for a team shouldn't even be paid for that abortion of a game. You simply don't get beat that completely and totally ever. No excuse.

Pestilence
09-12-2011, 09:08 AM
This falls squarely on 4 people.

Pioli - $30+ million in cap room and we have zero depth and complete shit at certain positions. Fuck you.

Haley - Worst Preseason Plan ever. Fuck you.

Muir - This guy should never call plays......ever. Fuck you.

Cassel - Die in a fire you talentless prick. Not only do you cost us wins....but you collect checks that you don't deserve. Fuck you especially.

BigChiefFan
09-12-2011, 09:09 AM
There is no silver lining. The Chiefs played like shit and I won't spend another dime on the team, until they actually start performing like a team that wants to win. Ownership is a bunch cheap asses that don't deserve the support they have received for 40 years of futility. They can take their $5 hot dogs and $8.50 beers and shove 'em up their asses. I can't believe I spent hard-earned money on that trash.

Pestilence
09-12-2011, 09:11 AM
Just once....I'd love to see the fans not show up to the game. Just one time I'd love to see there be NO fans in the stadium for a game.

Fish
09-12-2011, 09:14 AM
This falls squarely on 4 people.

Pioli - $30+ million in cap room and we have zero depth and complete shit at certain positions. Fuck you.

Haley - Worst Preseason Plan ever. Fuck you.

Muir - This guy should never call plays......ever. Fuck you.

Cassel - Die in a fire you talentless prick. Not only do you cost us wins....but you collect checks that you don't deserve. Fuck you especially.

Great read by Pestilence.

JASONSAUTO
09-12-2011, 09:15 AM
WE R FUCKED.

Pestilence
09-12-2011, 09:26 AM
I've already got my Saturdays wide open thanks to Notre Dame. If the Chiefs come out next week and shit down their legs against the Lions....I might just have my Sundays open as well.

OnTheWarpath58
09-12-2011, 09:31 AM
I've already got my Saturdays wide open thanks to Notre Dame. If the Chiefs come out next week and shit down their legs against the Lions....I might just have my Sundays open as well.

My Sundays will always be reserved for the NFL.

I just won't be watching the Chiefs.

mikey23545
09-12-2011, 09:33 AM
Won the AFC West last year and lost 1 out of 16 games so far. Rock bottom? That's silly. There's still a chance it was just a bad (very bad) game from the disruption in the off season drills.

Holy shit, dude...

Pestilence
09-12-2011, 09:37 AM
My Sundays will always be reserved for the NFL.

I just won't be watching the Chiefs.

Even my FF teams were pissing me off.

Floyd with more receptions and yards than Jackson? :facepalm:

|Zach|
09-12-2011, 09:37 AM
My Sundays will always be reserved for the NFL.

I just won't be watching the Chiefs.

I am sort of weird in that I feel a lot more beholden to the Chiefs than the NFL as a whole. Hard to talk shit on this first week of football there have been a lot of exciting games but I find the NFL product as a whole to be sort of bland and boring over the years. This makes slipping away from the Chiefs even worse.

chop
09-12-2011, 10:15 AM
I think the fact that Haley was no longer able to run two-a-days this year really screwed him up. I hope he can recover quickly and figure this thing out.

Jack
09-12-2011, 10:27 AM
I tend to agree with the precept that this all falls to ownership. I've been a Chiefs faithful from the beginning and over the years, it is becoming more painfully evident to me.

When the opportunity came with Sunday Ticket on PS3, my first thought was that this would insure a losing season. My second thought was that I've sat through a lot of losing seasons and have yet to give up on them.

Then again, I love rope burns, root canals, sharp sticks in the eye and such. . .

Okie_Apparition
09-12-2011, 10:38 AM
I remember when the #1 rushing Atlanta Vicks came to Arrowhead to embarrass us tears. Didn't work out as planned

DaKCMan AP
09-12-2011, 11:31 AM
The stands emptied out at halftime like it was a Kansas game.

LMAO

Pasta Giant Meatball
09-12-2011, 11:38 AM
I watched every game of the Herm era, I think I can survive this season.