As mush as I dislike the guy, he made some damn good points.
Chiefs make case for No. 1, too
Just a few scant hours after the Missouri Tigers used Arrowhead Stadium to make a case for No. 1, Kansas City’s professional football franchise used the same setting to argue it deserves to be No. 1, too.
After falling 20-17 to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, there’s little doubt the Chiefs belong in the conversation alongside Miami, St. Louis and Atlanta about which team is most worthy of the 2008 NFL No. 1 draft pick.
The Dolphins might be winless, but are they really plagued with the kind of foundational flaws that cost the Chiefs Sunday’s contest?
There are two primary knocks against Kansas City’s team president Carl Peterson and head coach Herm Edwards: 1. Peterson is loath to admit a mistake of any kind and a personnel decision in particular; 2. Edwards is a poor clock and endgame manager.
Anyone looking for proof of these assertions should pop in a tape of Sunday’s game, Kansas City’s fourth straight loss and the Raiders’ first AFC West victory since 2004.
The Chiefs don’t have a kicker. We’ve known that from the beginning of the season when they started with nervous rookie Justin Medlock, and we’ve watched Dave Rayner botch routine kick after routine kick for the past six weeks.
On Sunday, Rayner misfired on yet another chip-shot field goal, a 33-yarder early in the fourth quarter. That miss caused Edwards to eschew a potential, game-tying field goal from 41 yards with 4 minutes, 26 seconds to play.
On fourth and 1 and facing the choice of sending Rayner back out onto the field or handing the ball to rookie runner Kolby Smith, who had gashed the Raiders for 150 yards, Edwards called timeout to think.
After careful consideration, Edwards doubled his trouble by listening to a misguided coach who radioed down to the sideline that Edwards should challenge the spot of the ball. Edwards acknowledged that the refs explained to him a failed challenge would cost the Chiefs a second timeout.
The challenge did fail, which raised the stakes of Kansas City’s fourth-down decision. Down to just one timeout and given the effectiveness of Oakland’s second-half running game, if the Chiefs didn’t convert on fourth down, the game was over.
The Raiders would have all the emotion, the momentum, the clock and Kansas City’s inept passing game on their side.
The Chiefs chose to run Smith. The Raiders met Smith 1 yard into KC’s backfield. Edwards defended his decisions.
“Three points wasn’t going to help us,” he said.
The lack of timeouts didn’t hurt the Chiefs, in Edwards’ mind, because Kansas City’s defense didn’t stop the Raiders on their ensuing possession.
Whatever, it’s bad football. It’s the kind of football that gets you beat by the Raiders.
Sunday’s performance raised all sorts of questions about Peterson and Edwards.
Why are we just now seeing Kolby Smith? Yes, it was just one game and it was against the Raiders, but Smith looked like the best Kansas City running back we’ve seen this season. He’s shifty, he has good vision and instincts. He can plant and accelerate.
Smith’s success further calls into question Peterson’s Priest Holmes fantasy. Why was Edwards forced to monkey around with Holmes when he could’ve been developing Smith? For years we blasted the Royals for launching youth movements by signing old has-beens. It was a sign that the Royals were poorly run from the top down. We’re witnessing the same thing at Arrowhead.
We’re also witnessing what got Edwards into trouble with Jets fans and New York media.
There was absolutely no reason to challenge the spot of the football after the Eddie Kennison catch that set up fourth and 1. There was no indisputable visual evidence. Some coach in the booth reacted on emotion and a wish and baited Edwards to react.
Edwards’ coaching staff isn’t sharp. Is there a future head coach on the staff? Gunther Cunningham is a legitimate NFL defensive coordinator. Other than that, Edwards has a staff full of position coaches. I’m not sure Kansas City’s special-teams coach Mike Priefer is qualified to coach in the NFL. What phase of KC’s kicking game has improved under Priefer’s direction?
You don’t win championships with position coaches. You win when your quarterback coach is a future offensive coordinator, your linebacker coach is a future defensive coordinator and your coordinators are future head coaches.
It was a black weekend at Arrowhead Stadium. The Tigers and the Raiders wore black, and the Chiefs have set the stage for some season-ending television blackouts.