For a short time before the Kansas City Chiefs took on the Denver Broncos, someone nearly convinced me I had made a mistake by putting my money on the home team -16. Beyond betting against your team, it was argued that Romeo Crennel would find a way in his finale as a head coach in the NFL to hold down Peyton Manning.
Then the Chiefs opened the game with a three and out that included two yards rushing and -2 yards passing and my money seemed safe again. Safe indeed.
The Broncos went on to embarrass the Chiefs, something hard to do at this point in a miserable season. When the dust settled, Denver had a 38-3 victory, home field advantage throughout the playoffs and more time for their backup QB Brock Osweiler than Kansas City third stringer Ricky Stanzi got all season long.
Sure, the Chiefs averaged an abysmal 1.3 yards per pass and 3.3 yards per rush as they completed the worst season in franchise history, but they did lock up the top pick in April’s NFL Draft!
Now that they are on the clock and will control which way the first round goes, the focus is on who will be making the selection for Kansas City. GM Scott Pioli has given owner Clark Hunt no reason to keep him beyond Monday morning, but as we’ve seen with this franchise since the younger Hunt took over, reason is rarely a factor in these parts.
Before we start arguing over the No. 1 pick, new head coach and (hopefully) new general manager, here is a look at the best of the worst from Sunday’s blowout in Denver.
Offense: Jamaal Charles
There have been a lot of no-shows from the Chiefs offense this season, but their effort against the Cowboys in Sunday’s finale rivals any of them. Sitting here after the games it’s hard to single anyone out, but when in doubt I figure it’s safe to pick the most wasted talent in the league.
Somehow, Charles only finished with 14 carries, a bit of a head scratcher considering how amazing he was last week (and most of the season), but pretty much expected from an offensive coordinator as inept as Brian Daboll. I was all for giving him an early exit, but with Charles getting touches in the fourth quarter, that clearly wasn’t the case.
With his 53 yards (3.8 yard average) the electric running back finished the season with a career-best 1,509 yards, an otherworldly number when you consider he did it without a competent quarterback, coordinator or head coach.
Defense: Javier Arenas
It can get awfully ugly watching the second-year cornerback in coverage, but he did provide the only turnover for the Chiefs Sunday.
As Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman was being taken to the ground by Derrick Johnson, Arenas swiped at the ball and popped it loose. Brandon Flowers scooped up the ball and took it 64 yards to help setup the Chiefs for their only points of the day.
Flowers would have gotten the nod here for the return, but he was tackled on the play by Peyton Manning and that’s simply unacceptable on so many levels.
Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt
If this was the final game for Colquitt as the Chiefs punter, he went out with a bang. Colquitt put three more punts inside the 20 (and a yard away from a fourth), giving him a single-season franchise record of 45 — and short of the NFL single-season record by one. He will also leave Kansas City as the all-time leader for punts inside the 20 with 250.
Before you start scouting punters to replace Colquitt, remember he would be the cheapest player for Hunt to franchise, so he very well could return to the Chiefs even without a long-term deal.