Fans hoping to see recently acquired quarterback Kyle Orton had their hopes squashed shortly before game time when Orton was listed as inactive. That gave backup Tyler Palko the full confidence from his head coach, but the decision turned out to be ineffective.
Palko had a dreadful night, completing 18 of 28 passes for 167 yards and three interceptions (one on the Chiefs' attempt at game-winning drive). Palko's quarterback rating of 40.9 tells part of the story but fails to summarize the ineptitude of KC's offense as a whole.
Although rookie Rodney Hudson and the rest of the offensive line played an adequate game, the Chiefs' offensive playcallers clearly lost faith in Palko. Late in the game, when the Chiefs trailed by four points, the game was called as if it was early in the first half.
The Chiefs opened up the game with a quick-paced, no huddle, offense that was effective on the first drive. Unfortunately, Palko's interceptions got the offense out of the fast gameplan and the offense never consistently moved the ball again.
Bill Muir and Todd Haley were creative all night trying to get anything going offensively. Recently signed offensive tackle Steve Maneri got involved in the offense early as an eligible receiver. Although Maneri only laid a couple of blocks during his short appearance, he did knock the Steelers' best defensive player, Troy Polamalu, out of the game with a short catch.
Later in the third quarter, defensive back Javier Arenas got involved in the offense on a third and short, which the Chiefs failed to convert. Not to be deterred, Haley had Arenas in on the next play for a direct snap and a five-yard pick up on a fake punt. The drive would end six plays later with a Dustin Colquitt punt.
The story of the night was how well the defense played but without a threatening offense, there was never a sense that the Chiefs had a shot to win this game. The story heading forward will be what to do next. Minus their starting quarterback, safety, running back and tight end, this team has little to look forward to other than 2012. What this team will look like once those players return will not be answered until camp opens up in St. Joseph.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
How wild was Sunday night's game?
For all the news, notes and quotes on the Chiefs, visit WarpaintIllustrated.com