And so, with a whimper, the Chiefs season may have effectively ended. With the last meaningful offensive play of the game, Herm Edwards decides a draw on 3rd and 18 is the best option to win the game. However, contrary to Herm’s belief, SCORING is the way to win a game when you are tied. No amount of defense (barring an unlikely defensive score) will turn a tie into a win. Even Herm’s dream of a 0-0-16 season would not earn a playoff berth (although you never know with the AFC west this year).
Herm’s philosophy is fundamentally flawed. It can be summed up in one sentence: “Stay in the game and maybe something good will happen.” Sure, this can be a good idea when being outplayed early and trying to come back in a level headed way. But is it a good idea in the second half? Is it a good idea to play down to your opponent and try to keep the score close when you could be dominating the game? These are rhetorical questions with obvious answers to everyone except Herm Edwards.
I’ve tried to keep my mouth shut this season. After all, do you really need another person pointing out the obvious about Herm? Well, there is at least one person who still seems to think Herm is a qualified NFL coach, and since that person has the power to fix the situation, mass dissent is the only possible solution I can find. If Carl Peterson cannot admit his mistake and fix the situation by January 1st, the Hunts need to be convinced to step in.
Perhaps Herm’s biggest flaw is his stubbornness. He refuses to accept blame for any of the Chiefs failures, repeatedly blaming “execution” and “consistency”. If there’s anything our offense is, it’s consistent – and not in a good way. Herm lacks the ability to adapt because he lacks the ability to identify or admit the true problems. For that reason, we can’t even give Herm credit for the defensive improvement. I’d argue that this defense was already in the works before he arrived (e.g. Gunther, Jared, DJ) and any improvements he helped produce are largely luck, for if his defense were failing, he would be unable to adapt and fix it.
Let’s take a look at the half time scores of all the games this season:
Chiefs – Opponent
0 – 10
7 – 17
3 – 10
6 – 16
0 – 10
20 – 7
6 – 0
7 – 6
8 – 6
3 – 3
Only once have the Chiefs scored more than 10 points in the first half. That was against the Bengals, a team that even Herm came into the game admitting that we needed to score points to win (apparently you only need points to win in certain games… who knew?). But that’s not the worst part. The saddest thing is that if you asked Herm, he’d say that most of the first halves were a success because the Chiefs were “in the game”. This is particularly true for the last four games, most of which Herm thinks we lost in the second half. Never mind the fact that the offense repeatedly and severely under-performed in the first half compared to even the lowest NFL standards. Herm thinks a 3-3 score against Indianapolis is an accomplishment. While a tie game at halftime against the defending champs is something most of us would take, that doesn’t make 3 offensive points (which were actually produced by a defensive interception) an accomplishment. Herm’s inability to distinguish between defensive and offensive performance is the primary reason why nothing has improved.
Want some proof? Here’s just the latest nugget from Herm after the game:
“We had a plan coming in. I thought we orchestrated it, for the most part, pretty well.”
Apparently scoring 10 points was, for the most part, their plan for beating the Colts. Enough said.
No one likes to read long rants, so I’ll save some of Herm’s impressive compliment of ineptitudes for future discussions. In the meantime, I’ll end with a list of friendly reminders of basic offensive concepts that Herm seems to have forgotten based on his most recent performance as a head coach:
- 2nd and short is an excellent opportunity to attempt a big play. This is a proven and widely accepted fact around the NFL. I’m sure even your sweater vest doppelganger will tell you this.
- Draw plays are meant to catch the defense by surprise. When used regularly, they are just bad plays.
- 1:15 with 3 timeouts is plenty of time to try and score points at the end of the half. I hate that this even needs to be said, but what’s the difference between trying to drive at the end of the 1st half and trying to do the same thing in the 3rd quarter? No one says you need to throw risky Hail Mary’s, especially with so much time/timeouts left! At least try, even if it’s a conservative attempt.
- 2nd & 10+ and 3rd & 10+. You ARE allowed to pass in these situations. Try it out sometime, it couldn’t hurt. Ask Peyton, he knows.
- After the game you said, “We didn’t want to turn it over on those 3rd and longs.” You do realize it is possible to get 10 yards without throwing an interception, don’t you? In fact, 3rd and long happens quite a lot in football. If you want any hope of winning, you must try.
- You don’t have a good field goal kicker, so you might want to consider continuing to try and move the ball when in field goal range instead of curling up in a ball and waiting for 4th down. Not that you should stop at the 30 even if we had a good kicker.
- I know Eddie Drummond needed to be replaced on kickoffs, but why have him inactive for the first game of transition when the only punt returner is a currently fragile (and apparently shaky) Eddie Kennison?
- If you continue to insist on throwing 3rd down passes that are far short of the 1st down marker, please at least try calling routes where the receiver gets the ball in stride.
- If you can’t score in the 1st half (or whole game), why do you accept a tie and expect to score in the 2nd half (or overtime)?
- Play fakes in obvious passing situations don’t fool anyone. All it accomplishes is giving the QB 2-3 less seconds to see the field.