When the team with the second most takeaways in the NFL (the Chiefs), meets the team with the second…
Defense Dooms Chiefs In 54-31 Loss To Bills
With the return of defensive end Tamba Hali, linebacker Derrick Johnson and cornerback Brandon Flowers, you would have thought a difference would be apparent. Instead, the Bills clobbered the Chiefs 54-31, setting a new watermark for points given up in a single game by this franchise.
The fact the Chiefs, through 11 games, have only six sacks, pretty much sums up the embarrassment fans feel for their defensive football team. Can anyone come up with a reason why a defensive-minded coach (Herm Edwards) and a veteran defensive coordinator (Gunther Cunningham) shouldn't be able to devise a scheme that puts more pressure on the quarterback? Sure, KC's front four can't get any penetration, but the Chiefs don't blitz nearly enough to compensate.
Maybe that's not a recipe for success either, but this defense is going to get beat on virtually every series the way they've been playing, so why not go out in a blaze of glory, throw caution to the wind, and just attack by sending the house over and over again? Bills quarterback Trent Edwards had a field day against the Chiefs' secondary because KC's cornerbacks, for the most part, were playing 10 yards off the wide receivers all game. With no pressure to deal with, Edwards had his pick of any wide receiver, tight end or running back who went out in the pattern.
No defense should be this bad in the NFL these days, especially when you factor in going into this game the Chiefs were plus-nine in the giveaway/takeaway department, good for second in the AFC.
The Chiefs brought in former North Carolina head coach John Bunting to assist with the defense weeks ago, but it hasn't seemed to help a bit. That brings into question what this team does next.
This defense has had ample time to improve with a plethora of draft picks spent on that side of the ball. But because things remain the same, it could mean changes are coming on the defensive coaching staff, presuming Herm Edwards is still the head coach when this season ends on December 28th in Cincinnati.
Team owner Clark Hunt was in Carson, California watching his Columbus Crew soccer team take on the New York Red Bulls for the MLS Championship Sunday. There is no question now that the fate of this organization rests solely on the decisions he has to make in the next five weeks. As the losses mount, Hunt has little choice but to consider even more changes.
The question now, after this lopsided loss, is if he moves his timetable up to December instead of waiting until January.
Four to Remember
1. CB Maurice Leggett - He had one of his better games of the season, and it should give the Chiefs hope he can be a solid nickel back in 2009. Leggett shouldn't be returning kicks anymore, but he's a legitimate corner prospect. This is his first season in Kansas City and he's made great strides. He hits hard and can get the job done when he's asked to play bump and run coverage.
2. RB Larry Johnson - It was good to see Johnson rip off a 63-yard run in the first quarter. It showed he still has his speed and there's some hope he's got gas left in the tank. I'm not sure where Johnson fits on this team next season, but if he can continue to break off those types of runs maybe the Chiefs can snag a first-round draft pick for him in 2009. I'm still on the fence in regards to Johnson but he needs more than seven rushing attempts to get into any kind of rhythm running the ball.
3. QB Tyler Thigpen - Today we saw the best and worst of the young man. Despite the fact he threw two picks and coughed up the ball, Thigpen is certainly the best option at quarterback in 2009. The fact that Thigpen is winless as a starter makes no difference because the football education he's getting right now will be invaluable going into next year. However, the Chiefs still need to draft one of the top college quarterbacks in what could be a talent laden group if the juniors come out.
4. HC Dick Jauron - Normally I don't give props to the opposing coaches but the take no prisoners attitude with which Jauron approached the second half of Sunday's game was refreshing. He rubbed it in, went after it and despite a three-touchdown lead, was throwing the ball all over the place in the latter stages of the fourth quarter.
Sure, there is honor in winning with respect, but Jauron needed to make a statement to the rest of the NFL that the Bills, despite four straight losses, were back in the hunt for the playoffs. The Chiefs fell victim to a team that was going to win at all costs and was never willing to take their cleats off Kansas City's collective throat.
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