So Much For Finishing Strong

(photo via David Eulitt)

It’s never been a secret that Todd Haley and his coaching staff has emphasized conditioning in order to help the Chiefs finish games strong.  The late game failures of the past were supposed to be just that, a thing of the past.  In Martin Manley’s latest breakdown, he points out that Kansas City all of a sudden has a 4th quarter problem.

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Kansas City 17 41 33 17
Opponents 10 27 17 38

As you can see, Q4 is the only quarter in which KC trails.  It all began against SF.  Through the first two games and 14:59 seconds, KC hadn’t allowed a fourth-quarter point.  But, SF got the last second TD avoiding a shutout by KC.  Then, Indy outscored Kansas City 10-0 to win by ten.  And, then yesterday, Houston scored the last 14 points to come from behind for the victory.

It was only the third loss in the Chiefs’ 51-season history in which they led by at least 10 points with under four minutes remaining in the game.  The other two defeats were against the Broncos in 1992 and to the Chargers in 2008.

Last week after the Colts pulled out their victory, it was tough to take but I saw the countless positives to take away.  This time around, I still have a sick feeling in my stomach.  It’s a feeling I haven’t had since the last Chiefs playoff loss in 2006.

The Chiefs not only could have won this game, but should have.  Manley mentions Kansas City being up 10 with four minutes to go, but I’ll do that one better.  When Thomas Jones waltzed into the end zone with 7 minutes left, there is no way you can lose that game.  The defense failed, letting the Texans march down the field twice, but so did the offense, going three and out and allowing the game winning drive.

As important as it is to game plan for the Jaguars game, Haley needs to get his team out there first thing and have them running and hopefully doesn’t stop until Thursday.

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