Archive for Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Wild Card

December 31, 2008

The 20-year reign of Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson officially came to an end Sunday. Peterson leaves the Chiefs actually in worse shape than when he first took over in 1989.

For the Chiefs to be in the playoffs anytime soon, owner Clark Hunt has a lot of work to do. Watching Sunday’s 16-6 season finale loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was like watching a horror movie that just wouldn’t end.

The Chiefs showed no passion and no energy to end their season with a win. And, of course, a pretty bad Bengals team dominated them for four quarters. The Chiefs couldn’t tackle all year and Sunday was more of the same but this time there were even more gaffes than usual.

Rookie running back Jamaal Charles misplay on downing a punt inside the 10 pretty much told the story of the entire Chiefs season: the Chiefs were bad in every phase of the game. And speaking of bad special teams play, Chiefs punt returner Kevin Robinson fielded a punt inside the five-yard line. That’s a boo-boo in high school, college and the NFL. But at least he caught the ball, albeit he was promptly smothered by the Bengals punt team.

Oh, the Chiefs were just as bad offensively, too. They gained all of two first downs in the first half. Both of those came in the first quarter of play. But most disappointing in Sunday’s finale was the Chiefs first-and goal at the 1-yard line late in the game.

The Chiefs had driven down the field and nearly scored on a pass to Dwayne Bowe, who was called out just before the ball crossed the goal line. The Chiefs challenged the play that it should be a touchdown, but that challenge went for not.

The Chiefs opted to throw a couple times but they fell incomplete, and Larry Johnson was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. The Chiefs misfired on four plays inside the 1 but were bailed out by a Cincinnati penalty. So the Chiefs again had a first-and-goal situation and finally scored on a Tyler Thigpen strike to Tony Gonzalez pass in the end zone. The Chiefs, at that point, still had a prayer. But their two-point conversion failed and their 2-14 season finally ended after 17 long weeks.

After the game, coach Herm Edwards praised his team, saying it played well at times. Well, the Chiefs recorded just 10 sacks this year, which were the fewest ever in the history of the NFL. And to top that off, Tyler Thigpen has essentially proclaimed himself as the Chiefs’ quarterback of the future. Oh, and Larry Johnson said he wanted out of K.C. and wanted to play for another team.

I could go on but I won’t. Instead I’ll just offer two words that could make the Chiefs instantly better: Bill Cowher.

Cowher was a great football coach and was also the Steelers GM when they won the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs are currently hunting for a new GM, and could well be in the marked for a new head coach before long.

The Chiefs will probably hire a new GM in the next week or two and then decide Herm Edwards’ fate. But Cowher would be a great addition to the organization in any capacity.

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