The Kansas City Chiefs once again proved that things can, indeed, get worse this season by falling to the San Diego Chargers, 31-13 on national TV. No one knows where rock bottom is for this franchise, but clearly it’s no use saying we’ve found it until things start to turn around.
And talk about adding injury to insult.
Not only are the Chiefs a joke, but they are also a who’s who of walking wounded. RB Jamaal Charles was barely used for a second straight week, but when he did get on the field, he was nearly paralyzed by a helmet-to-helmet hit. Then there was WR Dexter McCluster who also took a huge hit on a tipped pass and likely will be seeing spots this morning.
Kansas City made sure to spread their injuries around instead of just keeping them isolated to the head. DE Glenn Dorsey re aggravated his calf injury that had just cost him five games. We may have see the last of Dorsey in a Chiefs uniform. OT Branden Albert also went down with a leg injury, though his didn’t seem to be nearly a serious as his teammates.
The team is already playing with out starters Brady Quinn and Stanford Routt as well as the only (sort of) fullback on the roster, Nate Eachus.
On top of the injuries, the Chiefs of course handed out their weekly four turnovers, including three fumbles by three different players. After all, why should QB Matt Cassel be the only one that gets to have all the fun.
Special teams nearly got through the game without getting into the action, but McCluster stole a chance from the Kansas City offense to pick up another garbage time TD by muffing a punt. K Ryan Succop also proved to be human, missing a 39-yard field goal that would have cut the Chargers lead to 10-6.
Much like the Chiefs terrible play, it’s getting tougher and tougher to find bright spots in these games. So it’s with much deliberation that I present the best of the worst for Kansas City on offense, defense and special teams.
Offense: Shaun Draughn
This was the most difficult decision of the season. The Chiefs actually put together a couple of nice drives and at times Cassel looked competent. But once again there was no sign of the end zone until straight up garbage time, which brings us to Draughn.
While working on that final drive with the game decided, Draughn had a six yard touchdown, trimming the final score to a measly 31-13. He also deserves points for getting absolutely rocked (what Chiefs player didn’t take a big hit Thursday night?) and living to tell the story.
There was also heavy consideration given to Steve Breason (for proving he is still alive) and Ricky Stanzi’s hair (for being amazing).
Defense: Tamba Hali
For a while on Thursday night I started to wonder if Chargers QB Philip Rivers was wearing one of those red practice jerseys. No Kansas City defender could get anywhere near Rivers, with the most time he spent on the ground being after his interception at the end of the first half. And that fall was only because he lost his balance while pouting.
Finally Hali roughed up Rivers a little in the third, when he beat LT Jared Gaither on back-to-back plays. The first was for the only sack of the game and the second would have been another, but Gaither pulled Hali down, drawing a holding penalty.
If you’re wondering why Hali wasn’t more effective, a big part of it has to do with his partner in crime, Justin Houston, only rushing the passer eight times (!) all night.
Special Teams: Cory Greenwood
This is the easiest decision of the day. The reserve linebacker turned in something that is nearly as rare as wins around these parts: a good play by a coverage unit.
After Cassel and the offense went three-and-out on the first possession of the third quarter, Dustin Colquitt punted away to Chiefs-killer Eric Weddle, who was filling in as a punt returner. He muffed the first attempt, but the play was called back on a Chiefs penalty, but on the second attempt, Weddle caught the ball, but fumbled before he hit the ground.
There was a scrum for the ball and somehow Greenwood ended up with the ball at the bottom of the pile. Unfortunately the Kansas City offense responded to the turnover with three yard on three plays and then a missed field goal.
Your 2012 Kansas City Chiefs!