The Kansas City Chiefs have turned in some terrible stretches in recent history, but we could be in the middle of the worst. As the embarrassing losses pile up, the bright spots are harder and harder to find.
Sunday afternoon as the Chiefs were beaten and battered by their arch rival Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium, 26-16, even the most hardened fans seemed to sour on the home team. Not only was the stadium empty earlier than it usually would be during a loss, but there was little push back against the Raiders fans that remained until the final second.
Things got off to a weird start with newly appointed starting QB Brady Quinn knocked out with a possible concussion in the first quarter. That put the demoted Matt Cassel back under center and left him as the only quarterback dressed with third-stringer Ricky Stanzi inactive.
Even more bizarre than the injury is how the Chiefs coaches responded to being without a backup. When they were asked by CBS during the game who would be the emergency quarterback, they refused to give an answer. Maybe if they focused more on their game plan and less on treating their emergency quarterback as a state secret, this team might not be a joke around the league.
Adding to that joke was the non-stop turnover train the Chiefs offense has become and the lack of work for RB Jamaal Charles. Kansas City’s four turnovers were nearly equal to the number of carries for Charles (five), giving the Chiefs a league-worst 25 over the first seven games of the season.
And insult to injury? The CBS broadcast team was more than happy to point out the Chiefs have still yet to hold a lead during a game (remember, their only win was on an OT field goal), which has not happened since 1940.
If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what possibly could be. So please stick with us as we try to search for the best of the worst for the Chiefs on offense, defense and special teams.
Offense: Dexter McCluster
No one in the NFL knows how to pick up garbage points like the Chiefs and the recipient this week was the shifty McCluster. With the game long since decided, McCluster caught the Chiefs first offensive touchdown in nearly a month when Cassel found him for a 10-yard score with just over two minutes remaining.
McCluster finished with six catches for 54 yards and picked up 15 yards on two carries. He also may — or not — have been next up for the Chiefs at quarterback if Cassel went down with another injury.
Defense: Derrick Johnson
While the Raiders were on their way to racking up nearly 350 yards, there were some Chiefs on defense that wanted to leave in the third quarter along with many of the fans. Making their effort stand out even more was Johnson, who was still running all over the field Sunday.
Johnson finished with a team-high 10 tackles, three tackles for a loss and one pass defensed. If you need a reason to believe the Kansas City defense can be a force going forward, it’s Johnson.
Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt
Both Chiefs specialists turned in solid efforts Sunday as they were matched up against two All-Pro guys on the other side of the field. Kicker Ryan Succop extended his streak of made field goals to 13, including an impressive 52-yarder that easily cleared the cross bar.
It was Colquitt, however, outplaying his equal on the Raiders.
Even though Oakland’s Shane Lechler had one more punt, Colquitt was able to put one more inside the 20 and didn’t have any touchbacks compared to one for the Raiders punter. Colquitt’s 47.2 average was nearly five yards better than Lechler’s.
The battle of the punters isn’t one you want to be the biggest win for a team, but that’s where we are at right now with this Chiefs squad.