I don’t even want to hear it. This is a blame loss. When you go up 38-10 with 13 minutes left in the third quarter and lose 45-44, heads have to roll. It may end being mine when I end this article, but it brings into question why fans have to hope, wait and pray an entire year for another post-season chance for the Chiefs in 2015.
In losing to the Indianapolis Colts again in the playoffs in the most embarrassing of fashion, I better not hear Head Coach, Andy Reid, make up any excuses for this loss. Don’t want to hear about the injuries, missed opportunities or accept the fact this team had a good comeback season. I want far more than that.
In fact, Reid more than anyone else contributed to the position he put his team up 28, 21, 14, 10 and six points in the second half. His play calling and lack of direction using the clock to his advantage with big leads was a major flaw in Philadelphia. The fact he never tried to milk the clock and kept passing the ball even after the Colts made countless adjustments defensively, was his downfall all season long.
That being said, ff he’s intent on really coaching this team next season (and he will), Reid has to learn - the clock is his ally. If he can manage that task, which is debatable based on his previous track record, he must put his stamp on redesigning his defense this off-season. After finishing the season, counting the Colts playoff loss, his defense under the guidance of Bob Sutton went 2-6 after their 9-0 start to the season.
In fact both Sutton and secondary coach, Emmitt Thomas must be given the scapegoat tag in January. Both coaches deserve to loose their jobs especially after they kept backing Safety, Kendrick Lewis, and defending his starting spot on the field.
Granted, Lewis was the biggest culprit Saturday for the Chiefs second half collapse but he was hardly alone as Pro Bowl Safety, Eric Berry, played his worst game in a Chiefs uniform. He has to learn to hit, bring down and tackle in open spaces with more regularity. In other words, he has to be more physical.
But as the coordinator of the defense, despite getting three interceptions, that should have been a fourth had Cornerback, Marcus Cooper, held onto an errant Andrew Luck throw, prior to the touchdown that shrunk the Chiefs lead to 21 points. The secondary approach was horrific down the stretch and Sutton was by far it’s biggest culprit.
Plus you don’t deserve to be the architect of a defense a year after your crew gave up 35 points to a team that was reeling entering the third quarter. Sutton is so old school it’s evident his man on man approach and inability to adjust within a game, tells me he’s a detriment to the long-term development of his defense.
Offensively, even though Quarterback, Alex Smith was great most of the game, the lack of playmaking ability in hitting a wide open Cyrus Gray late in the fourth quarter, that would have given the Chiefs enough margin for victory, had a hand in the loss.
In fact, the error in failing to make one of the simplest of plays in the NFL, hitting a wide open target, must put into question the Chiefs decision to sign him to a long term contract. He’ll enter 2014 on a one-year contract and with Tyler Bray waiting in the wings, signing him to an extension might be risky.
But of far greater importance heading into the off-season, Reid has to begin to display a greater sense of direction and passion on the sidelines. Don’t get me wrong he’s a good coach but the Chiefs need him to be a great coach if they hope to end there 21 year playoff draught next season.
To that end, if this loss doesn’t stick in his crawl until next January and he doesn’t let it eat at him every single minute of the off-season, through the regular season from Sunday to Sunday, driving him to change what simply won’t work in Kansas City like it did in the last few years in Philadelphia, the 2013 season will all be for nothing.
In review, what Reid did this season was turn around a 2-14 bunch; get them to 11-5, a playoff birth and another playoff loss in January. The two items prior to what happened at Indy are very important. But all fans care about right now is this team delivered another one and done post-season loss. That’s all any fan should take away from this season.
I’ve been covering this team since 2000 and as a fan, I’ve never been more upset, disappointed and bothered by a post-season loss as to the one I witnessed on Saturday. The Colts are a good team but they’re not more talented than the Chiefs.
What they are, after this incredible comeback win, the Colts possess far better coaches and it was evident Saturday afternoon their players wanted this game far more than the Chiefs. There are no excuses, even down to your third string running back, second-string linebacker, back-up wide receivers and losing a starting cornerback to injuries, for blowing a 28-point lead. But when it happens in a playoff game, it could set your franchise back for years to come.
Regardless, if you agree with my take or not, until this organization puts a roster together that comprises better overall talent and a coaching staff that refuses to bench players like Eric Fisher and not Lewis, playoff losses will continue to rise during the Reid era in Kansas City.
As fans after this bitter loss, we can’t accept another moral victory from anyone associated within this franchise. We should never settle for that next year line and hope this team will be better and more competitive in November, December and January in 2014 and 2015.
As we sit her today brutally disappointed, we have the right to be upset, angry and should demand absolute accountability after this latest playoff loss. That means coaches, players and those on the personnel side; need to up their game beginning on Sunday.
And if any one of them is unwilling to make the tough choices, then next year is going to be one where this franchise, with a much tougher schedule, will fall back into rebuilding mediocrity.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
As a Chiefs fan, is this the worse NFL loss you've ever seen?
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