is at it again!
Chiefs awful right now
By JASON WHITLOCK
Not a good look. Not at all. The Chiefs, a cable TV hit, have been miserable throughout the preseason, and Thursday night they flirted with embarrassing in a 30-7 loss to the Saints.
“They took the stick out and beat us over the head with it,” acknowledged coach Herm Edwards.
Kansas City’s retooled defense, the alleged strength of the team, failed to force a first-half punt in the exhibition game. The Saints ran the ball with relative ease, picking up 72 yards in 15 carries running mostly behind backup left tackle Zach Strief and right at Jared Allen. The Saints, however, found it easiest to travel through the air, completing 20 of 22 first-half passes for 200 yards and one touchdown.
The entire opening 30 minutes appeared to be played inside the Kansas City red zone.
The only thing worse than the Kansas City defense was the Kansas City offense. The Chiefs’ No. 1 unit struggled in nearly every phase — blocking, passing and catching. Kansas City was shut out 13-0 in the first half and held to five first downs (two by penalty).
Michael Bennett ran pretty effectively, which only accentuated the glaring shortcoming that is KC’s passing game. Starter Brodie Croyle completed just three of 14 passes before halftime.
It’s difficult to blame everything on Croyle. His pass protection was shaky, and his receivers dropped a couple of passes. All in all, Damon Huard had a solid night in his bid to be the starter in the season opener at Houston. Even though Huard has yet to lead the Chiefs on a touchdown drive and didn’t play Thursday night, you have to figure Edwards has no choice but to start the veteran at the beginning of the season.
Croyle has failed to win the job. He orchestrated KC’s lone TD drive in three preseason games (except for Jeff Terrell’s in garbage time Thursday), but he’s done little else.
“He struggled some, but he didn’t get any help either,” Edwards said.
The problem for the Chiefs is Larry Johnson’s return doesn’t fix this problem. Again, Bennett gave the Chiefs the threat of a running game. Nope, with Damion McIntosh injured, the Chiefs don’t have a left tackle. The Saints had their way with replacement Will Svitek.
Forgive me, there’s no individual player to blame.
“Offensively, we just can’t get anything going,” Edwards said at halftime.
It’s a bit early for any major criticism, but it’s not too early to be concerned about the play calling of offensive coordinator Mike Solari. Yes, it’s preseason football. Losing in the preseason is no big deal.
But it’s never too early to begin the process of building confidence, especially when the last time you played a real football game your offense was destroyed by an Indianapolis defense that was a league-wide laughingstock.
No team in the league needed to score exhibition points more than Kansas City. The Chiefs have a rebuilt offensive line, a new quarterback, a first-round rookie receiver and a second-year offensive coordinator who is expected to blossom.
Add it all together and we might witness the worst offense in the league and a defense that still looks awfully soft.
Not a good look. The HBO “Hard Knocks” camera, even with an ample editing assist from Carl Peterson and his paid media manipulators, will have a hard time making these Chiefs look pretty. Maybe the “Hard Knocks” crew will turn the sound down this week.
Chief’s fans booed Croyle and the first-team offense. Chiefs’ fans cheered when Casey Printers opened at quarterback in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs are showing all the signs of being a bad football team, and Chiefs fans aren’t inclined to demonstrate much patience.
They’re not wrong. This team should be better. The performance of the defense is most disappointing. Thursday night Jarrad Page, Jared Allen, Napoleon Harris and Derrick Johnson gave the Chiefs very little.
Get ready for a long year.