For a team that had the look of a real princess about to become a bride, this season has turned from magical to nasty with a capital “N.” As in, “Nasty Boys” by Janet Jackson which says,
“Nasty, nasty boys, don’t mean a thing
Oh you nasty boys
Nasty, nasty boys, don’t ever change
Oh you nasty boys”
There’s just no getting around the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs have squandered an opportunity to take over the AFC West, and the whole AFC, and the whole NFL for all that matters.
For years I used to think the Chiefs were soft and that if they could only acquire some players with “attitude” then they could have a better chance at winning a ring. Well, bringing in a hot head like Marcus Peters, or a talented but volatile guy like Travis Kelce, or a pothead like Demarcus Robinson (although I must admit he’s been no problem), hasn’t helped move the needle towards a championship as far as I can tell.
While the Chiefs have supposedly had one of the best rosters in the league for the better part of three years, they have one playoff win over the Houston Texans to show for their trouble and this year we may not even see any playoff games involving the Chiefs… at all.
While the details of the game yesterday are intriguing in that QB Alex Smith reemerged as the dominant force that he was early in the year (19 of 33, 366 yards passing, 95.3 QBR and a 70 yards run) this game also represents reflection of where the team is at. With four games to go in this season, we can begin to see the image that will be left of this season, when it’s over. Whether K.C. wins the next four in a row and goes 10-6… or losses out and goes 6-10… or somewhere in the middle, we’re beginning to see just exactly who and what this team is.
That appears to be the “Chiefs Gone Wild” alluded to in the title of this piece. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience in life in which we say, “Boy, life just hasn’t gone the way I thought it would.” This Chiefs season would be the anthesis of that praxis.
Who would have guessed that:
- Clark Hunt would fire John Dorsey 8 weeks before training camp?
- The normally languid Tamba Hali would go on a tirade about his playing time in the playoff game vs the Steelers the week before training camp?
- The mild mannered Alex Smith would give an interview early in the season in which he drops the “F-bomb” when asked if he was bothered when the team drafted their QBOTF… and he responded, “F-it, just F-it.”
- The new and improved team leader Travis Kelce would loss his cool — again — and this time by throwing something — it looked like a sock from his pocket — at a referee?
- Marcus Peters’ lay would decline and on top of it, he’d become the team’s worst enemy but walking off the field because he thought he was ejected, thus missing the next important play… then reappearing with no socks on (you can’t make this stuff up).
- Justin Houston would disappear in the last half of the season (he has 2 sacks in the past 7 games and optics are even worse than that).
- Andy Reid would get so lost inside his head like a mindless child when he’s holding his play-card, that he’d forget to monitor game situations (like we’ve never heard him do that before).
- The absence of defensive leader Eric Berry would have such a nasty effect on this defense.
Mind you, a lot of the above could be seen as highly entertaining, from a certain point of view. The Chiefs were given a Prime Time TV opportunity to make the nation stand up and take notice this year but instead, they’ve just been an embarrassment to the city of Kansas City.
What is troubling to the Chiefs is troubling from the top down — discipline. There are too many personnel who lack “personal” discipline… and then the team is lacking a leader (coach) who will discipline them when necessary, in a meaningful way. With my background in education for 39 years, it’s my experience that humans need to have the thing they want most, taken away from them… before there is real change involved.
I doubt the NFL, and Roger Goodell’s office, will do anything about Marcus Peters throwing a ref’s flag into the stands and I don’t think that would be meaningful to him anyway. On the other hand, if his coach (Andy Reid, for those keeping score) was to take a game away from Peters… that would speak volumes to him… and the team. Reid has the power to do it… but I’m sure he won’t. Consequently, Peters will keep on keeping on… being himself, just the way he is: a hot head. If Andy Reid is serious about being a leader — and teacher — of men, then he will teach Peters that there is a right way and wrong way to do things. The only thing he’ll understand is to take the game away from him. Period.
Why make such a big deal of the Marcus Peters situation in this game? Precisely because it is a microcosm of the exact problems this team is having. Little discipline. Close to no shared discipline… leading to nearly no inter-dependence. Consequently, zero accountability. By not making Peters an example… the team see that anything goes. Then, the whole “we’re shooting for a Super Bowl” adage goes away and everyone knows they’re just playing for a paycheck. And the fans are none the wiser.
Andy Reid has said it before himself, each game comes down to a few plays. The Chiefs have been in several of these losses they’ve had but those game turned on but a few critical plays. Why did the Chiefs lose on those plays? Discipline.
Discipline was lacking because:
Someone needs to tell Steven Nelson that Sumo wrestler moves are not allowed in the NFL… especially in the end zone on 3rd-down-and-goal.
Someone needs to ring Beanie-brain Logan’s bell and tell him that you can’t cold-cock a defenseless Center in the helmet on FG tries… especially FG tries on 4th down that lead to a first down for the other team and a chance for them to put even more points on the board. Which is exactly what happened..
Someone needs to explain to Derrick Johnson that when QB Josh McCown tries to fake you out on a 3rd-and-10 when he’s running for his life… that it’s just a fake-fake (it’s like when some people say, “it’s all fake news” when in fact, they’re just faking). The Fairy Tale lesson here: McCown can’t fake anyone out. C’mon, it’s freakin’ 3rd-and-10!
Someone needs to explain to Terrance Mitchell that when you’re going to hold a WR on a 3rd-and-4 at midfield giving the other team a 5-yards token and a first down (he must be horrible at Monopoly: “Here, you may have $200 Dollars and Pass Go, it’s free, just take it”), that THAT’S the reason you were pulled from the field for the next play. It gripes me to no end to see the coaches over there just patting him on the back after a play like that. What’s up with that crapola!
Someone might want to explain to Marcus Peters that when it’s 3rd-and-11 that you might want to cover a little closer SO YOU DON’T GIVE UP A 14 YARD RECEPTION RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU (yes, that me yelling)! And a first down of course. I don’t get it… I thought Peters was “serving turkeys”… last week? Oh well, hard to keep a guy down who is caught up in the spirit of giving.
Someone needs to tell DC Bob Sutton that it’s okay to look like he’s about to yell at you instead of getting ready for a long winter’s nap.
Someone needs to make sure Reggie Ragland gets more snaps (that some one would be Andy Reid… who needs to tell Bob Sutton… if he knows who that is).
You can site that the time of possession (TOP) battle was won by the Jets 42:49 to the Chiefs 17:11 but the real question is, why? Why did the Jets win the TOP? It’s because they were 13-of-20 in 3rd Down Efficiency. If the Chiefs D wins any one of those 3rd down plays — all those plays mentioned above — then this game takes a turn in the Chiefs favor. As would all the other games they’ve lost this season.
The K.C. Chiefs need to hope they can out un-mistake — meaning, out discipline — the Oakland Raiders, their next opponent, or their season is likely over six days from now. If that happens, it won’t be so much a matter of Chiefs Gone Wild… or Chiefs FANS Gone Wild… as it will be, “Chiefs Fans Gone.” Period. End of sentence. End of prison sentence for the fans.
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