Dolphins Dominate Chiefs, 31-3

US Presswire

When you let a winless journeyman quarterback by the name of Matt Moore play like the second coming of John Elway, one can only conclude that the Kansas City Chiefs' coaching staff and players overlooked their opponent on Sunday. So much so that the Miami Dolphins dashed all hopes of this team's chances to maintain control of the AFC West.

Though head coach Todd Haley warned his team about being focused and not taking the Dolphins lightly, he wasn't able to will his players to believe in that message when they began practicing last week.

That falls on Haley. But maybe it was just bad luck that, after two close losses at home against Denver and on the road against the New York Giants, the Dolphins fell behind the Indianapolis Colts in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Sunday the Chiefs' offense was inept from the opening bell. The offensive line, a consistent positive during the team's four-game winning streak, was woeful against the blistering Miami pass defense. They were equally bad in the running game.

And the result meant that quarterback Matt Cassel was unable to find any success in the passing game. With no time to throw and some horrific play calling and personnel packages, he had no chance to succeed Sunday.

It wasn't like the Dolphins were doing anything special. But they were relentless in collapsing the pocket around Cassel and they knew the only way the Chiefs could get back into the game was to throw the ball.

Thus, with that advantage, Cassel was ineffective all game long and never found the end zone a single time. I still don't know why the KC's best offensive tackle, Jared Gaither, continues to sit on the sidelines. Both starting tackles, Branden Albert and Barry Richardson, were outmanned on virtually every snap Sunday afternoon.

What's more shocking is that Haley, offensive coordinator Bill Muir and quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn can't get on the same page in designing an offensive game plan that Cassel can execute effectively.

With the Dolphins in attack mode, the offense never tried a reverse, screen pass or any real counter plays to offset the speed of Miami's defense. It's not like the Chiefs didn't have the ball enough. Midway through the third quarter, down 28-3, the Chiefs had over 25 minutes of possession time.

Defensively, this team laid its biggest egg of the season. The Chiefs' only pass rusher, Tamba Hali, was double teamed on virtually every passing play and with Moore razor sharp in his passes - especially those to Chiefs killer Brandon Marshall - it was easy to see why he was so effective.

It's shocking to think that KC's defense gave up so many points to a team that was winless in its previous seven games. Granted, the Chiefs were without cornerback Javier Arenas and steady veteran safety Jon McGraw, but that's still no excuse.

After being the lynchpin in the team's resurgence the last five weeks, the defense had no answers for the Dolphins' quick strike offense. I don't buy the excuse that Haley offered after the game, indicating that his team was tired. He took a soft approach to the team's workouts this week.

That aside, I'm not sure what this demoralizing loss means to Haley's future.

With the AFC West on the line at the halfway point of the season, the Chiefs lost a game that should have never been in doubt when the players arrived at the stadium Sunday morning.

For all the work it took to overcome their 0-3 start, losing to the Dolphins the way this team did indicates the turnaround was more mirage than substance. Everyone had a hand in this loss, but all the talk this week will again center on the head coach. The Haley watch is back on. And this time, that flame might not burn out anytime soon.

Is Haley on the hot seat?

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