I know the average fan at Arrowhead this past Sunday was searching for every possible thing they could blame the Chiefs horrible start on. I have heard everything so far this year I think. It started in week one against the Donkeys when most everyone thought our defense resembled a fresh slice of Swiss cheese. Then in week two there was a nasty lack of intensity from our boys in red that showed up suddenly. Finally week three brought a new problem to the 80,000 fans in Arrowhead, the inability to finish drives and to finish off the opponent.
In 2003 the Chiefs had an outstanding red zone offense that was only stopped one time all year inside the 20-yard line. Twice this past Sunday the Chiefs were stopped from scoring at all in the red zone. First, the Chiefs were stopped on a 4th & 2 inside the red zone, and then Trent Green threw a horrible fade pass to Tony Gonzalez in the end zone in another goal to go situation. A conversion there might have finished off the Texans because the Chiefs would have gone up 21-6 and had all the momentum on their side.
I know I will never give up on my Chiefs, but to me right now, it looks like some of the Chiefs themselves are not giving the effort that is needed to win in this league. Let’s just take a look at who is showing up every week, and who is not.
Three weeks into the season and Priest Holmes is well on his way to smashing several more Kansas City rushing records. Priest is averaging 117 yards per game and is on pace for 1,854 yards. He is tied for the lead league with four rushing touchdowns. He is also second (by only two yards) to the Titans’ Chris Brown for the league lead in rushing yards. Priest is more than holding up his end of the offensive bargain.
Now, let’s take a look at our Pro Bowl quarterback Trent Green. Trent with 585 yards passing is 5th in the AFC, not to bad. He is 7th in the AFC in passing touchdowns with three, but keep in mind all those just came this week against a weak Houston secondary. He is 12th in the AFC in passer rating with a 71.7 rating, ahead of Hall of Fame candidates like Kyle Boller, Carson Palmer, A. J. Feely, and Jeff Garcia, not exactly high praise there. I don’t think there is a reason to bring up our receivers is there? Tony Gonzalez finally found a team that was not even good enough to interfere with his pass routes, and had a Tony like game, but still nothing to shout about so far this year.
The defense has been like we all expected, although it has shown improvement every week so far this year. Three weeks into the season the Chiefs D is 23rd in total defense, but dead last in scoring defense, giving up a blistering 28 points a contest. Giving up 150 yards on the ground per game will always hurt you. The good news is the Chiefs are 13th in the league in pass defense, the bad news, big pass plays this past Sunday cost the Chiefs the game, especially on the Texans game winning drive. I am in no way happy with where the Chiefs defense sits ranking wise, but at least they are showing a little effort and improvement every week.
What we all have to ask is are the Chiefs “Down & Out?” One man on offense showing up every week, a improving but still very poor defense, and so far nothing special about our special teams equals an 0-3 start. Monday night in Baltimore is going to show exactly what this team is all about. The Chiefs have to know that they have a nation full of people who think they are totally done, a city who has a growing number of people who think they are done, and a locker room of players, coaches and who knows who else who think the same but are trying to hide it. Going in and stealing a win against a team that is at home on a national stage would be a very good sign, and might be a springboard to something great, maybe even historic. The Chiefs need a complete effort to do it though. Offense, defense, and special teams need to dig up some ’03 magic and slap the Ravens around a little bit. It has to happen now. I am going to be behind the Chiefs all year no matter what, Monday night needs to be the game when the Chiefs themselves rise up and show they are not Down & Out.