Building a Bridge to Nowhere
Not even a lifetime supply of Old Spice Swagger could help the Chiefs return to the glory days of Hank Stram and Len Dawson. Entering week 5, the only silver lining that existed amidst their dismal start to the ’08-’09 season was Tony Gonzalez’s proximity to Shannon Sharpe’s record for most career receiving yards by a tight end. And, if we apply the Palin Rule (*wink*) that means Gonzalez is also an expert on the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens…and future VP of the NFL Players Union? Shit, he’s got my vote!
Despite their surprising thrashing of the Denver Broncos last weekend, odds makers still aren’t impressed, and have tagged them as an 8-point underdog in this weekend’s game against the Carolina Panthers. Trying to pinpoint the exact cause(s) of the Chiefs’ poor performances on the field is like trying to figure out why Clay Aiken thought he was unleashing a bombshell by announcing he is gay. But, I’ll do my best:
You play to win the game. Hello?!?
Herm Edwards is no stranger to sound bytes, and his rant while still the head coach of the NY Jets following a loss to the Cleveland Browns should be utilized by the entire Chiefs’ roster as an instructive tutorial. Instead, the Chiefs have seemingly decided that winning just isn’t worth the trouble, and are content with simply being a team of Joe Six-Packs from Middle America. That’ll show those northeast liberal elitists in New York and Massachusetts – with their fancy winning records and celebrity-producing Super Bowl victories – how real Americans play football.
The Chiefs are secretly awaiting the arrival of Missouri QB Chase Daniel to the NFL in 2009.
If you consider this season a sunk cost, then this strategy isn’t as crazy as it may seem. And, until scientists discover a fountain of youth for Damon Huard to frolic in, Father Time will remain the Chiefs’ most dangerous adversary. Furthermore, Tyler Thigpen (no apparent relation to Yancy) and Brodie Croyle don’t appear to be the quarterbacks of the future. Chase Daniel, on the other hand, owns a freakish brand of accuracy and natural athleticism that can’t necessarily be taught. Not only is Daniel a local hero and front-runner to win this year’s Heisman Trophy, but he has led the Tigers to a 5-0 start this season, and a #3 ranking in the USA Today’s Top 25 Coaches Poll. And, don’t let Daniel’s size fool you – he’s a tough s.o.b. who always looks to hit defenders in the mouth during interception and fumble returns. For those who don’t follow college football, I ask you to humor me by not only considering Daniel’s exceptional career stats, but also the remarkable numbers he has already posted through his first five games of this season: 332 passing ypg, 75.8 completion percentage, 15 TDs, and only 1 INT.
With Patrick Surtain injured, two undrafted rookies have been starting at the cornerback positions.
Cornerback is arguably the most difficult defensive position to play, given that they play the majority of each game with their backs facing the ball. Why the Chiefs would risk starting one undrafted rookie alongside Surtain is already a head scratcher, but using another undrafted rookie as their nickel back causes the part of my brain that controls logic and reason to overheat. Ironically, it is their rush defense that has been hammered thus far (182.2 yards allowed per game), but as the season progresses I’m certain the inexperience of their defensive backfield will be their ultimate fatal flaw. Then again, maybe both corners can field dress the shit out of a moose.
I know we’re just five weeks into the ’08-’09 season, but the outlook for the Chiefs is as depressing as the thought of Sarah Palin aimlessly wandering around the White House on the lookout for Vladimir Putin, and being just a misfired shotgun away from moving her weekly Hockey Mom meetings into the Oval Office. Herm Edwards seemed to think that playing to win was an obvious goal of each game, but so far his team hasn’t supported his thesis. Unless the Chiefs say “thanks, but no thanks” to their losing ways, they will continue building their own bridge to nowhere.