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Kansas City Chiefs: Top Ten Reason They Will Miss the Playoffs

John BartramCorrespondent IINovember 12, 2010

Kansas City Chiefs: Top Ten Reason They Will Miss the Playoffs

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Kansas City Chiefs had a chance to distance themselves from the other AFC West teams.

    They failed to do that, so now they must face the reality that comes with that.

    There is very little chance that a wild card team will come from their division so that leaves only one choice, win it.

    Here are the reason they will fail, this year, in doing so.

Schedule

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    Sound strange?  It is the most common theme that the best thing going for the Chiefs is there schedule.

    That, however, may not be the case at all.  Let's take a closer look.

    Denver:  The Broncos are getting some injured players back.  They have no chance at making the playoffs this year.  They will not be able to climb over three teams.  They are, however, a competitive group of professional athletes with talented players.  They will not roll over for the Chiefs.  This is a division game, and the Chiefs will have to fight very hard to come out with a victory.

    Arizona: This is a game at Arrowhead that the Chiefs should win.  They have been solid at home and the Cardinals have struggled on the road, and home.

    Seattle: A lot of this will depend on the health of their quarterback situation.  That said, it is never easy to play in Seattle.  They have one of the better home field advantages in the NFL.  The Chiefs can make no assumption of walking out of there with a win.

    Denver: At least this one is in Arrowhead, but that means much less with a division opponent.  Denver may very well turn their fortunes around and they have the talent to do it.  They have brought sadness to KC many times.

    San Diego:  Unless they can block a couple of punts (which they might), and do not see the Chiefs winning this game.  Make no mistake, the Chargers are in this race until the end. This game is on the road and Phillip Rivers is hotter than any quarterback in the NFL right now.

    St. Louis:  Another road game that looked like a "W" in the beginning.  Things change in the NFL very quickly.  Sam Bradford is showing he was worth the number one pick and they are playing good football.  Also, like the Chiefs, they are young and getting better.

    Tennessee:  The Titans are looking as good as any team in the NFL.  Now, they've added Randy Moss. It remains to be seen what the effect that will have, but it could be lethal. 

    Oakland:  Last game, at home.  Again, division game.  The Raiders are clearly a team on the rise and could continue to get better as the season continues.  This means the Chiefs might see a much different team than we thought earlier in the season.

     

Injuries

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Every team in the NFL has to deal with injured players.

    Some teams get devastated by them, others get picked apart slowly and steadily.

    One play, as the Patriots learned two years ago, can change the course of an entire season in a matter of seconds.

    If the Chiefs lose Matt Cassel, Jamal Charles, Thomas Jones, Brandon Flowers or any combination for any stretch of time, they will be doomed.

    I do not think this team has the depth to deal with serious injuries.

Rookies

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Was last week against the Raiders and aberration, or are the young players simply showing their inexperience?

    Let's be honest, the Chiefs are going to live or die by the performance of a group of very young, in many cases, rookie players.

    Last week we saw what can happen.  There were penalties, blown coverages, missed assignments, turnovers and all around sloppy play.

    It is not unexpected.  These players are going to be stand out NFL players, but they are young.  They will continue to make mistakes.

    The Chiefs, right now, are not built for a lot or error.

The Coaching Staff

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Much of the current success of the Chiefs is due to their coaching staff, led by head coach, Todd Haley.

    That said, we have all seen some questionable moves, to say the least. 

    In the future, the coaching staff the Chiefs have assembled will be one of their primary strengths.  In my opinion, last weeks loss was due to a failure on the part of the coaching staff.

    They failed to make adjustments.  It cost the Chiefs the game.

    Time and time again, we have all scratched our head at some of the plays called.  How many times do you run straight into a line on 3 third and one, for no gain?

    Even though I am a fan of going for it on fourth down, how many times have we seen "strange", to be kind, play calls?

    Again, these are big enough mistakes to cost the Chiefs games, and it's going to be tight all season.

    That easily could mean the division.

Arrowhead Stadium

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    If the Chiefs lose this week, or maybe two of the next three, will the fans still keep coming out to Arrowhead?

    I've been to Arrowhead Stadium enough times in my life, when the Chiefs were dominant, to know what it means.

    The Chiefs have won 10 games in three years.  The fans are understandably skeptical. 

    It has been a very long time since they have had a consistently successful team to root for.

    Money is tight.  They will fade faster then the team.

The Running Game

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Yes, the Chiefs boast the number one running game in the NFL.

    So, how long do you think it will take the teams they play to figure that out?

    Go back to last week, that should tell you.

    The Raiders did an excellent job of taking care of the run, and they're not known for doing it.

    If you take away the greatest strength of this team, the one it's built around, what happens?  Do they have the flexibility to adjust and win in other ways?

    If last week is any indication, the answer is no.

The Defense

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The defense has been the most pleasant surprise of the season this year.

    It is also starting to show signs of weakness.  The Chiefs have lost three games by a total of 17 points.  That is remarkable.

    Their "bend don't break" defense, however, is starting to show signs of breaking.

    That cannot happen. This is not a team that come back from large deficits. If some of those field goals start turning into touchdowns, they're done.

    They got burned last week in Oakland by Jacoby Ford in every way shape and form.

    If that didn't happen, the Chief would have won that game, fairly easily.  That's a defensive breakdown that cannot happen.

     

Special Teams

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    They started off with a bang.  Now, they're getting banged around.

    Not to be repetitive, but the Chiefs are not built to make many mistakes.  Giving up touchdowns on kickoffs would qualify.

    Missing field goals that should be made also fall into the category.

    Not pinning a team down with a punt when the opportunity presents itself is also part of it.

    Going into the season with McCluster, Arenas, Colquitt and Succop it looked like a strength, and it should be.

    Right now, they are struggling and need to step up.

     

Matt Cassel

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Matt Cassel, everyone's favorite whipping boy.

    All NFL championship quality teams need a championship quality quarterback.  Can Matt Cassel be that guy?

    We've seen him miss passes, check down too much, throw a very costly interception in the end zone and a some other mistakes.

    Most importantly, can he lead this team into the promise land?

    The coaching staff has to have more confidence in him if it's ever going to happen.  Maybe, so does he.

The Wide Receivers

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The number one thing that will doom this team.

    When you have a great running game, as the Chiefs do, you don't need the best passing game on earth.

    You do, however, need an efficient one. The receivers on this team have let them down more than any single position.

    Yes, I'm mostly referring to Dwayne Bowe, but he's not alone.  I also think some of it goes to the coaching staff as well, and Matt Cassel.

    Mostly, it's the receiver.

    We know, for fact, that the Chiefs have lost at least one, if not two games because of dropped passes.

    If the Chiefs play pretty much the way they have this year, which has been solid, one of those dropped passes will end their season.

    Count on it.

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