Zero offensive touchdowns. Zero seconds with a lead this season. Zero options at quarterback. Zero hope. The Kansas City Chiefs had yet another abysmal afternoon playing football.
Brady Quinn started the game and had two interceptions and no touchdowns, Jamaal Charles was held in check and the defense eventually cracked without much help from the offense.
Although it was a tight game at the half, it ended as a 38-10 trouncing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There were positives for the Chiefs, and that would be a good thing if they weren’t otherwise playing epically bad football. The Chiefs have not led for a single second of any game this season, which takes an incredible combination of offensive and defensive futility.
The Chiefs head into the bye week as one of the worst teams in football, but they were supposed to contend for the AFC West crown in 2012. The division is weak, yet the 1-5 Chiefs are weaker. They will now have to spend the bye week picking up the pieces and trying to figure out what went wrong in the first six games.
It’s been an agonizing first six weeks for Chiefs fans, but there are 10 games left to play, and a turnaround is possible with the talent on Kansas City’s roster. The passing game has been a tragedy, but the team has done enough positive on offense and defense to win games, if not for all the turnovers.
The Chiefs added two interceptions to the turnover total on Sunday thanks to a couple of passes that were tipped into the air. It would be easy to pin all the turnovers on bad luck if it weren’t happening routinely. It’s clear now that the Chiefs are putting themselves in a position to turn the ball over.
The coaching staff has to figure out what the team can execute in offense and stick with it. If the Chiefs have to run the ball 60 times because the quarterbacks can’t even be trusted, they should be running the ball 60 times. The defense and special teams appear to be on the right track, they just can’t hold up when playing from a deficit.
As it was, Quinn attempted 38 passes to 30 runs mixed between Charles, Shaun Draughn and Nate Eachus. That’s not a winning recipe for a team starting a backup quarterback who couldn’t force his way into the starting lineup even when the starter was throwing the ball to the opponent as much as his wide receivers.
Kanas City’s special teams has been the lone bright spot, and it was again on Sunday. The punt team downed several punts deep and blocked one that punter Michael Koenen would attempt to throw away only for Edgar Jones to pluck it from the air and return it for a touchdown.
When examining the issues in Kansas City, it would be unfair not to criticize the playmakers on offense and defense.
Only Justin Houston and Charles are making plays, and they can’t do it alone. Tamba Hali has only showed up in spurts, Eric Berry looks like he’s still playing tentative and Dwayne Bowe is dropping far too many passes.
The Chiefs have problems, but the coaching staff seems to be at a loss for how to correct them. Week after week, it’s the same issues that are costing the Chiefs games.
With an extra week to study tape, the Chiefs have an opportunity to get things corrected with a chance to come out in Week 8 with a new plan of attack against the rival Oakland Raiders.