It’s not the kind of victory you want to walk around bragging about, but the Kansas City Chiefs pulled in a moral victory Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium. Sure, they lost to the Denver Broncos, 17-9, but they were able to avoid being embarrassed.
That’s right, the 1-10 Chiefs can hang their hat on just putting in a good effort. It’s sad and pathetic… and true.
As has been the case all season, the offense show the ability to move the ball on the ground for long stretches, but were held back by a combination of poor quarterback play and terrible play calling. But it wasn’t just offensive coordinator Brian Daboll that cost the Chiefs a chance to upset the first place Broncos.
Head coach Romeo Crennel continues to show he has no handle on how to run a team. Between not being able to make up his mind about going for it on one forth down to burning a timeout to talk about NOT going for another to opting for a field goal in place of a touchdown inside the five, Crennel looked lost in front of the few close friends that showed up to Arrowhead.
Say what you want about former head coach Todd Haley, he was never afraid to make tough decisions and was ready to make them immediately. Crennel never seems to know which way he wants to go before almost always making the conservative call anyway.
The one thing Crennel did prove he could do is game plan against Peyton Manning. The Broncos had scored over 30 points in five straight games, but were held to a season-low 17.
Fresh off a joke of a performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Chiefs defense was able to knock Manning around. Even though he was only sacked twice, Manning had his surgically repaired neck knocked to the ground early and often.
Again, when it comes to actual wins and losses, none of this matters. The Chiefs are still closer to locking up the No. 1 overall pick than shaking the title of the worst team in the NFL. On paper they have three winnable games coming up, but do you have any confidence this franchise adds to their current win total?
Didn’t think so.
Before we move onto the next game the Chiefs can just hope to not get blown out in, here are the best players from the loss to Denver on offense, defense and special teams.
Offense: Jamaal Charles
Good luck figuring out how he’ll ever be used, but the one thing you can count on is Charles making big plays. Against the Broncos he managed 107 yards on 23 carries despite the Denver defense giving him little room to operate up front.
Charles’ production was also despite Daboll’s inane game plan. He failed to catch a pass for the third time this season. To put in perspective how terrible that is, in the previous three seasons Charles has never had more than one game without a catch.
If the Chiefs don’t act quickly, Charles will have his prime pass him by without ever getting to play with a real quarterback fully take advantage of his full arsenal of skills.
Defense: Tyson Jackson
There were no shortage of big time players for the Chiefs on defense Sunday. It could have been Justin Houston with his two sacks or Derrick Johnson continuing to lower the boom, but I decided to give the nod to Jackson.
The defensive lineman proved to be quite the tag team partner with Houston, getting in on both of the linebacker’s sacks. He also missed out on his own sack in the third quarter by a fraction of a yard when he pulled Manning down, but it was just beyond the line of scrimmage.
Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt
In the battle of brothers, Dusty clearly was the winner, but he nearly lost this honor with his two ugly touchbacks. Coming into the game, Colquitt had only had three touchbacks all season, so putting up two is very uncharacteristic for him.
Other than the two touchdbacks, Colquitt had four fantastic punts all land inside the 20. The best was a clutch kick in the fourth quarter that pinned Manning and the Broncos offense at the two yard line. Denver finished that drive with a three and out, leading to fantastic field position for the Chiefs that went nowhere after Crennel couldn’t make up his mind about going for it on fourth down.