To say that the Kansas City Chiefs are off to a sluggish start to the 2012 season would be an understatement. Their recent 37-20 drubbing at the hands of the San Diego Chargers further brings to light the team’s foremost deficiencies and gives fans more reason to slowly draw back their trust of the entire organization’s commitment to winning.
Other than Week 3’s 27-24 shocking come-from-behind victory over the New Orleans Saints, there isn’t much to build any hope on for the rest of the season. However, the Chiefs shouldn’t be thinking about mailing it in just yet.
While things don’t look too promising, with the Baltimore Ravens invading Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday, Kansas City’s schedule does slither its way out of the gauntlet after this week.
No one expects the Chiefs to beat the Ravens, but finding a way to simply compete and shedding the image of being the league’s premier laughingstock could provide a window for this team to build on as the season progresses.
Doing so will begin with simplifying things on offense.
It may seem that the offense is running rather smoothly on the surface, averaging 419.5 total yards and 173.5 rushing yards per game. However, that is what being behind on the scoreboard for the majority of games and having one of the league’s most dynamic running backs can do to a team’s numbers.
While Rodgers, Brady and Brees may be talented enough to carry their respective teams on their shoulders, rarely are they asked to do things outside of their comfort zone. Cassel is put into that position far too frequently.
Game situations oftentimes force a team to modify its game plan, but doing so shouldn’t come at the expense of asking players to do too much.
It is painfully obvious to onlookers what exactly Cassel’s limitations are as a quarterback. It is equally as apparent that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll either doesn’t see the same thing or that he simply doesn’t care—or that Daboll doesn’t have the ability to cater to Cassel’s strengths or shy away from his weaknesses either.
The overwhelming sentiment is that Cassel doesn’t have the ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. But he is right now, and the only thing that can be done at this point is to find out a way to make the best out of the current situation.
Simplifying the offense will create fewer chances for Cassel to make mistakes. It will help highlight the strengths of this team and take the attention off of what hasn’t looked so good thus far.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with screen passes, simple outs or hooks, or playing smash-mouth football to control the clock and keep the defense fresh. That is exactly what everyone expected out of this group anyway.
Relying on Charles and Dwayne Bowe will hurt no one’s feelings. But what it will do is put the Chiefs in a position to succeed rather than the failure that we have all witnessed this season.
The Chiefs need to just revert back to “matriculating” down the field. Where is Hank Stram when you need him?