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Old 11-15-2004, 01:08 AM  
tk13 tk13 is offline
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Posnanski: Season's collapse complete

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...s/10183301.htm

Season's collapse complete

JOE POSNANSKI


NEW ORLEANS — In the moments after the loss, Dick Vermeil walked around the Kansas City Chiefs locker room and hugged every player he could find. Yes, this was it. The big hug. The season was over. And everybody in the place knew it.

The Chiefs' season ended in the Superdome in their ninth game.

“I feel,” Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez said, “like I'm in a bad dream.”

Oh, it's no dream. Dreams don't have this many penalties. The Chiefs came to New Orleans with the season on the line. They faced the first in a long line of must-win games. They decided to beat the Christmas rush and lose immediately.

They did not just lose, either. No, they collapsed in front of a “sellout” crowd that, by my count, numbered about 1,293. The Chiefs committed 12 penalties, they turned over the ball four times, and they seemed to forget that Joe Horn no longer plays for the Chiefs.

They lost to a Saints team that really, really tried to lose the game first.

On the bright side, the gumbo was excellent.

“It's almost like we're finding ways to lose,” Chiefs quarterback Trent Green said.

Almost? No. It is exactly that. These Chiefs find ways to lose. Then, everybody knew the facts. The big question was: Why? Why did this Chiefs season, which began with bold Super Bowl dreams, expire in the Big Easy before Thanksgiving? Nobody had any answers to that riddle in the locker room on Sunday.

No, there were only hugs, a little pent-up frustration, some very fast dressing and an occasional dreamer talking about winning the last seven games to sneak into the playoffs.

Even Vermeil wasn't dreaming that big.

“The playoffs are over,” he said. He tried to qualify it later. But he got it right the first time. The Chiefs are 3-6, and they're not even a good 3-6. They have lost to Carolina, Houston, Tampa Bay and now New Orleans. Playoffs? Not exactly.

So, why did it happen? Well, the way it goes with losing football teams, the reason changes week to week. They lost to Carolina because they couldn't stop a backup running back, and they lost to Houston because of a ridiculous interception at the goal line, and they lost to Jacksonville because they could not pick up a key first down, and they lost to Tampa Bay because of a missed block and bad throw and a defense that made Brian Griese look like his dad.

Yes, it's hard to keep up.

Sunday, everyone expected the key to be how the Chiefs responded without their best player, Priest Holmes. At first glance, it looks as if they responded very well. Holmes' replacement, Derrick Blaylock, ran for 186 yards — a number Holmes has topped only once in his Chiefs career. Blaylock sliced through the Saints defense. The Chiefs racked up 497 yards of offense. That's good. The obvious problems were turnovers, penalties (including three personal fouls) a terrible timeout and poor defense.

“Even Priest, as great a player as he is, couldn't have changed that,” Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson said.

Well, actually, I disagree. I think Holmes' absence was the big factor, and I'll tell you why: The Chiefs scored only 20 points against the worst defense in the NFL. That simply would not have happened with Holmes in the game.

I'll give you an example: In the first quarter, the Chiefs had six chances from inside the Saints 10 — count 'em, six chances — to score a touchdown that would have given Kansas City a 14-0 lead. Score a touchdown there, and the game just might be over. The Chiefs did not score there. They settled for the field goal. The whole game changed.

The Chiefs would have scored the touchdown had Holmes been in the game.

How do I know? Because Priest Holmes is the greatest touchdown scorer in NFL history. For some reason, people take this for granted. To me, his record-setting 27 touchdowns last season should have been covered like the Mark McGwire/Barry Bonds home run chase (or at least Ichiro's hit chase). But, for some reason, nobody cares about touchdown records, and Holmes' incredible achievement was pretty much ignored.

Sunday, you could see why Holmes' ability to score touchdowns (he has 66 of them in the last two and a half seasons) should be cherished. It's hard to score touchdowns, even against bad defenses. The Chiefs only managed two touchdowns Sunday.

Yes, Blaylock was terrific. But it was just a different offense without Holmes. It was an offense that could move up and down the field. But it was not an offense that scored.

Of course, that's just my opinion. If you want a different reason why the Chiefs lost, well, you certainly do not have to go with the Priest Holmes theory. There are dozens of reasons to choose from. You could argue that they lost because every time a quarterback pump-fakes, the Chiefs safeties bite harder than a Greg Norman pitching wedge. You could argue that Johnnie Morton's fumble and pratfall were the big plays. There was that timeout the Chiefs wasted in the fourth quarter when they did not have enough defenders on the field (not that it made a difference; New Orleans scored on the next play even though by then the Chiefs had the full complement of 11).

Then you could argue that since the Chiefs are the most-penalized team in the conference, since their defense is every bit as bad as it was the last two seasons, since their offense suddenly has turnover problems and Dante Hall has not scored a touchdown and that Kansas City has been outscored 60-20 in the fourth quarter of their six losses, well, you could argue the Chiefs are just not a very good football team.

And maybe that's why the season is already over.
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Old 11-15-2004, 02:15 AM   #2
Ari Chi3fs Ari Chi3fs is offline
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last year in the first nine games, all the team did was find ways to win... this year... its the exact opposite.
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Old 11-15-2004, 04:36 AM   #3
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Ohhhhhh no it's not! We can collapse much further than this!
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Old 11-15-2004, 05:29 AM   #4
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Old 11-15-2004, 05:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Psicosis
Ohhhhhh no it's not! We can collapse much further than this!
My biggest fear is that we'll now win out since it doesn't matter...
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Old 11-15-2004, 05:35 AM   #6
the Talking Can the Talking Can is offline
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Originally Posted by Rausch
My biggest fear is that we'll now win out since it doesn't matter...
let me calm your fears: we won't, we are truly a terrible team
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Old 11-15-2004, 09:40 AM   #7
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In the moments after the loss, Dick Vermeil walked around the Kansas City Chiefs locker room and hugged every player he could find.

This turns my stomache. In a nutshell this personifies everything I dislike about DV. This team had just choked away what should've been a cakewalk to one of the worst teams in the NFL. DV responds by hugging people!

Asses should've been kicked. Heads should've been taken off. If DV wants to be emotional, fine then at least show the proper emotion; Show some rightous anger. For the love of gawd don't go around hugging these losers like you just actually won something. They embarassed themselves, their team, and their city. Take out that locker room with a flamethrower!!!

But DV hugs them and probably pats them on the head while crying. For those who have never understood, this is the basis for my complete dislike of DV.
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Old 11-15-2004, 09:42 AM   #8
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Old 11-15-2004, 09:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck_IN
In the moments after the loss, Dick Vermeil walked around the Kansas City Chiefs locker room and hugged every player he could find.

This turns my stomache. In a nutshell this personifies everything I dislike about DV. This team had just choked away what should've been a cakewalk to one of the worst teams in the NFL. DV responds by hugging people!

Asses should've been kicked. Heads should've been taken off. If DV wants to be emotional, fine then at least show the proper emotion; Show some rightous anger. For the love of gawd don't go around hugging these losers like you just actually won something. They embarassed themselves, their team, and their city. Take out that locker room with a flamethrower!!!

But DV hugs them and probably pats them on the head while crying. For those who have never understood, this is the basis for my complete dislike of DV.

May I humbly offer some rep?
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Old 11-15-2004, 11:47 AM   #10
Spicy McHaggis Spicy McHaggis is offline
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We're the 2001-02 Bears. 13-3 to the frickin pits the next season. Except we had an O with no D in our previous campaign and they had they opposite. Maybe Jo Po is right. Maybe Priest would have won the game for us. That still doesn't change the fact that the chiefs shouldn't need Priest to beat the Ain'ts.
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Old 11-15-2004, 11:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tribal Warfare
All hail King Carl
At the risk of being a Carlpologist, who do you credit for 13-3 last year? If not Carl, why blame him now. If Carl, why cite him for expecting the same results from a slightly improved team?

#1. I understand we sucked in FA this season, I blame Peterson there.

#2. I don't blame Peterson for stupid turnovers, bad field decisions, or horrid coaching mistakes.

This is an issue from the ground up, not a single person.
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:23 PM   #12
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who do you credit for 13-3 last year?

A good part of it is the league giving us the weakest shedule an NFL fan/coach/player could ask for.

Another part is the fact that the refs handed us at least two games when clipping stopped being a penalty on Hall returns.

Also we flat got lucky and every bounce went our way.

This has been a weak team for some time. It's just bubbling to the surface this year.
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:35 PM   #13
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My biggest fear is that we'll now win out since it doesn't matter...
That would be a miracle in itself, i wouldnt mind seeing it happen cause if we win out we are in i bet.
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:37 PM   #14
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We were a WEAK 13-3 last year, one raiders game comes to mind when it took the chiefs converting a th and 4th and 15 to win
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:49 PM   #15
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Personally, I would lay the "not scoring a TD in 6 plays from the 5" blame on AS, not Blaylock. Holmes would not have scored on either of the plays Blaylock ran in those 6 plays. We have seen Holmes not score on the sweep play before too. Sometimes there is just no where to run.

In the fourth quarter, gave it to Blaylock on consecutive plays, and he was in the endzone easy. The way Blaylock was carving up the Saints, he should have carried it all 6 times form the five. Probably would have only taken a couple though.
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