Raiders destroy playoff bound Chiefs
Kansas City allowed 7 sacks and Matt Cassel tossed two interceptions. The Chiefs ran 72 plays for 201 net yards of offense
Yesterday’s loss at Arrowhead Stadium may have been the worst I’ve witnessed in all my years as a Chiefs fan. For a moment there, I actually began to wonder if the NFL could change a rule or two and allow the Oakland Raiders to advance to the playoffs in our stead.
Kansas City allowed 7 sacks and Matt Cassel tossed two interceptions. The Chiefs ran 72 plays for 201 net yards of offense… I’m not even going to dignify that by doing the math. Oakland was clearly the better team, even following the Chiefs’ only touchdown that tied the score at 10 with 8:02 left in the third quarter. Fourteen game minutes later, the score was 31-10 Oakland.
For the first time all season, the Chiefs looked completely inept. At least in San Diego the Chiefs had a few excuses for looking so terrible. Yesterday was a home game that yielded the largest crowd at Arrowhead this season sans the home opener on Monday Night Football. The crowd was charged and the team was coming off their most complete win to date.
So… honestly, what happened?
I’m sure the majority of Chiefs fans want to point blame at Charlie Weis… and they would be right in doing so. We found out from Matt Cassel that Weis told the team of his intent to depart for the University of Florida “earlier in the week”.
For a moment, try to imagine how that went… Did Coach Weis tell Scott Pioli who told Coach Haley who told the team? Did Charlie tell the entire team at once? Did he just tell the offense? Did he tell individual players before the team was notified? Was Pioli contacted by the University of Florida, but never by his old pal Chuck? How exactly did this transpire?
Now, imagine trying to not be distracted by that situation.
The city was taken by storm when news stories broke early Friday afternoon that Weis was the leading candidate for the Offensive Coordinator position at Florida. Twitter went ablaze with speculation, National Bowl commentators started to weigh-in; radio shows both in and out of town led their shows with it. ESPN aired live interviews with Chris Mortensen, one of the two leading reporters on the story, nearly every half hour.
Yet somehow we’re supposed to expect the team for whom he’s currently working to be able to function normally.
Of all the mistakes made yesterday – and trust me, there were plenty – the most significant one may have been allowing Charlie Weis to keep his job as Offensive Coordinator. Doing the honorable thing isn’t always smart. Todd Haley stood in front of the media after the Raiders game and made excuses for Charlie Weis rather than just telling everyone to talk to Weis himself.
When caught in similar lines of questioning, Todd Haley has routinely told the media he would only answer questions about players “on the field”.
Why then, Todd, were you willing to stand at the podium on behalf of Charlie Weis? Why were you so adamant that this situation was not a distraction? Why are you allowing him to remain with this team when he is obviously not going to be a part of it in the very near future? You had your scapegoat and you let him off the hook.
Charlie Weis was – check that, is - a distraction. He’s the elephant in the room, no pun intended. And he needs to be excused.
But herein lies the reason that Scott Pioli and Todd Haley are running this franchise rather than myself, members of the media and/or the Chiefs’ fan base…
While sometimes doing the honorable thing isn’t the correct course of action, being immediately and inappropriately reactionary never is.
We spent a lot of time last week focusing on the importance of rhythm to this young, developing team. Despite the fact that nearly every starter played deep into the fourth quarter, they were mentally handicapped by the fact that one of their most respected teachers had decided to bail on them.
This whole season has been about team, about building something special; there they were, on the cusp of the postseason payoff and the ability to prove that none of this was a fluke or a product of weak scheduling and suddenly, out of nowhere, one of the most significant keys to the team’s turnaround decides to pack-up and leave.
… And then they tried to prove it wasn’t a distraction.