With the latest loss on Monday night to the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium, the Kansas City Chiefs season unofficially ended. With seven losses in ten games the meltdown is now complete.
Losing to the Patriots is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, and the Chiefs were in the game all the way through, and they clearly played with a sense of urgency. However, it is now time to begin the assessment for what exactly went wrong with the team this season.
All loyal supporters of the Chiefs must now make their voices clear and demand changes! This season has been an embarrassment to anyone associated with the organization, and playing hard and wanting to win are certainly admirable traits, but wanting to win and actually doing what is necessary to win are two different things.
Assessing blame for a season gone awry is sometimes difficult to pinpoint, considering each game has different heroes and goats. But throughout this campaign, there have been constants that cannot be repeated next season if the Chiefs hope to return to prominence.
First and foremost, in my opinion the following players should not return next season; Kawika Mitchell, Julian Battle, William Bartee, Larry Johnson, Dexter McCleon and Jerome Woods. In the case of Jerome Woods and Dexter McCleon, both have had reasonable careers but the old clock on the wall has caught up with them.
Secondly, despite several poor coaching decisions during games, I would like to see the coaching staff return intact. Gunther Cunningham and Al Saunders have proven in the past that they can make the right moves necessary to be productive, both from a personnel perspective and in game planning.
Dick Vermeil has a solid relationship with the players and should be allowed at least one more season to right the ship. With six more games still remaining on this season of discontent, the coaching staff should play most of the reserves on a consistent basis to see if they have what it takes to succeed in the NFL. I’m sure many Chiefs fans would be willing to sacrifice a few of the remaining games to see if we have backup players who could benefit the team next year.
And the final change that has to be made with no reservations whatsoever, is the dismissal of General Manager Carl Peterson. Lamar Hunt would be doing a great disservice to the people of Kansas City if he did not pull the trigger and fire Mr. Peterson at the end of the season, if not sooner.
Going into next April and the annual college draft, the Chiefs cannot afford to have Mr. Peterson make anymore horrible decisions. A case could have been made to release him of his responsibilities a few years ago, and if that would have occurred, something tells me the Chiefs would have a much more formidable defense.
Anyone who saw the game on Monday night against the Patriots, saw a Chiefs defense devoid of talent. Jared Allen and Lional Dalton continue to be a couple of bright spots, however, even the poorest of General Managers will stumble across a player or two who can contribute.
Ownership aside, the contrast of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots front office and the Chiefs front office are glaring indeed. Is there anyway a Chiefs fan could win the lottery and have Scott Pioli instead of Carl Peterson working at Arrowhead next year? The Patriots organization is first class, and the Chiefs would do good to emulate them as much as possible.
I dislike being so hard on one individual, but Carl Peterson had his opportunity in October to do something about this sinking ship, and he chose to stand pat and not do anything to help this pathetic defense. It has been stated in this space before, but I’ll say it once again, not trading Larry Johnson for any kind of defensive help was an enormous mistake.
And if the front office was so enamored with Larry Johnson and did not want to trade him, then why not send a mid to late round selection in next years draft to another struggling team to pick up some new blood on the defensive side of the ball? He didn’t necessarily need to be an impact player, but someone, ANYONE, to at least push the starters to perform better.
So when Carl Peterson is run out of town, and let’s hope it’s soon, the words on his tombstone should read, “Lived Long But Did Not Prosper” and “Left This World With Bullets In Gun!”
So the window on the season is slammed shut, and in closing, did the reader find the presence of Priest Holmes in a luxury suite as opposed to encouraging his teammates on the sideline as disheartening as the writer?