Acceptance: Chiefs Fans Reach
The 5th Stage Of Grief • by Ransom Hawthorne
Whether you were holding out hope for this season, or hoping for dramatic change next season, it’s time to embrace reality. Andy Reid isn’t going anywhere, the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t winning the Super Bowl and might not win another game this year. We’ve been through denial (they’ll turn this around any day right? RIGHT!?) We’ve been through anger. Yup, lots and lots of anger. Some Chiefs fans have even resorted to bargaining (what can we sacrifice to the football gods to end the curse of mediocrity, bad luck and untimely penalties?). After all that, the depression began to set in. The Chiefs weren’t good, maybe they’d never be good. Maybe we’ll all grow older and die with the Chiefs still failing to return to the Super Bowl. For myself, I’m moving past this. It’s time to accept some things.
Chiefs Roster Lacks Talent, Especially On Defense: Once you really look at this roster, with critical eyes, you realize that the Chiefs don’t have many stars anymore. The closest they have are Justin Houston, Marcus Peters, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Fans are getting tired of Peters and Houston is either not what he once was, or hurt by the lack of any viable support. I can’t name even one other guy who can get consistent pressure. Hill and Kelce’s talent is undeniable. Sadly, the rest of the offense is either being held back, or doing the holding back and it’s been so bad, recently, it’s been hard to tell exactly which players are terrible and which ones are hurt by relying on terrible players.
The positive in all this? We don’t have to be disappointed anymore. I’ve seen more than a few fans express that the 2-14 season was more fun than this. Disappointment comes from unmet expectations. People with realistic expectations, even bad ones, are not disappointed. The other potential positive from this lack of talent, is that maybe the Chiefs coaching staff isn’t as terrible as we think. That’s not a given, but if the roster is the biggest problem for Kansas City, at least Dorsey’s already gone. If coaching is the bigger issue, we’re in for a couple rough years.
Alex Smith Is Good Enough For Who The Chiefs Should Be, But Not For Who They Are: I’ll freely admit I was more down on Smith in the past than, perhaps, was warranted. The offense did enough to come away with a win, but the defense let them down. I think we all recognize that Smith can win in the playoffs with a good/elite defense. The Chiefs don’t have one now, and barring a legendary off-season by Veach, and a full return of Eric Berry, they’re not going to have one any time soon. The main problem with Smith on this Chiefs team, is that Chiefs have to win shoot outs. When they get the ball with two minutes left, they need to be able to drive down the field and score. In the Chiefs last three games, Smith has had three opportunities to do just that. Instead, he’s thrown two picks and nearly threw another one against the Jets. Smith is a good QB. He’s not the problem with this team. He’s also not the solution. The Chiefs should trade him to a team with a defense that gives him a chance at a championship, like Jacksonville. I’m not naive enough to think that Patrick Mahomes will solve Chiefs problems overnight, but K.C needs to enter a rebuild, and, for financial reasons, Smith’s not gonna be a part of that. If Mahomes actually turns out to be the kind of QB who can win shoot outs, maybe the team can get back to being competitive a little sooner. Even if that doesn’t happen, there’s no point keeping Smith around for a defensive rebuild that could span multiple years.
Kansas City Isn’t Good Enough For If Only-s: Stop torturing yourselves with what-ifs. What if Berry had never gotten hurt? The Chiefs still wouldn’t have a pass rush and 3 good CBs. They’d be better, not good. What if the Chiefs hadn’t traded for Mahomes? They might have been able to find an ok pass rusher and CB. That still leaves them with a meh 3rd CB, one good safety and a major lack of push from the DL, which makes it easy for QBs to step up and avoid the rush. Marcus Peters has shown enough cracks in his game, this year, that he might have struggled if teams targeted him instead of Gaines/Mitchell/Revis. What’s more, the offense would still have the same OL and same limitations. Simply put, teams that are two great draft picks away from a championship don’t lose to the Bills, Giants and Jets. These Chiefs were never going to win a championship this year, we just didn’t know it right away.
This might seem like kind of a downer, but I don’t view it that way. I’ve always believed that you can handle any situation if you just know what to expect. Now that Chiefs fans know that, they can avoid the frustration of a loss, in the face of an expected win, and just enjoy the good parts of each game. No need to agonize over missed opportunities. This is where we are, we’ve been through worse, we’ll get through it. Go Chiefs.
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