While there are some positive areas to build on and carry into 2013, it is imperative that changes are made in order for this franchise to be successful again. Look no further than the leadership in the organization—specifically head coach Romeo Crennel.
Crennel led the Chiefs to a 2-1 finish in 2011 after replacing Todd Haley on the sidelines in Kansas City. The way the players rallied around him to close last season played a part in his permanent hire—one that was made with emotional blinders.
It has already been reported that both Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli would not return to the Chiefs next season. Though the team is in denial, it would be a huge mistake to not make these changes—moves that are necessary to save a dejected fanbase.
Here are four ideal candidates to replace Crennel as the Chiefs' head coach in 2013.
What Kyle Shanahan is doing with his quarterback situation with the Washington Redskins this season should not be ignored.
Rookies Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins have both picked up the NFL game well, with RGIII leading the Skins to a 9-6 record and controllers of their own playoff destiny.
With the Chiefs in need of their own overhaul under center, Shanahan could work similar magic in Kansas City—this time around as the lead man.
Though owner Clark Hunt might look for an experienced name who has some previous head coaching success, Shanahan would come in having leaned on his father (Mike) over the years.
The Shanahan name might not be immediately welcomed in Kansas City with Mike having coached the Denver Broncos from 1995 to 2008. But turning this franchise back into a winner is all this fanbase cares about at this point.
Other than being named the Indianapolis Colts interim head coach with Chuck Pagano sidelined with leukemia earlier this season, longtime assistant Bruce Arians has no experience as the lead man in the NFL.
What he has done in Pagano's absence—with a very young team no less—will make his name a hot commodity come the offseason.
Arians was the running backs coach in Kansas City from 1989 to 1992 and has experience coaching with quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck. That familiarity with the position would lend itself to helping fix the Chiefs' dreadful situation under center.
While Oregon's Chip Kelly, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly and even Alabama's Nick Saban are the hottest head coaching names surfacing from the college ranks, Stanford's David Shaw should also be considered.
Shaw has some experience in the NFL having coached either quarterbacks or wide receivers with the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. His father, Willie Shaw, was an assistant coach with the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2000 season.
Shaw's experience with Andrew Luck at Stanford could be the defining part of his resume—whether with his direct work with Luck in the Cardinal offense or leading Stanford to an 11-2 record in the first season in the post-Luck era.
It is definitely a long shot, but Bill Cowher will always be talked about in Kansas City as a possible head coaching candidate.
Cowher has ties to the Chiefs organization as the defensive coordinator from 1989 to 1991.
Out of the NFL since 2006, it may take the perfect situation for Cowher to find his way back into the league. If the Chiefs make the changes they need to become successful again—along with likely the top pick in next April's draft—Kansas City could represent that ideal destination for the current CBS analyst.
Follow Jeremy on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy.