The Kansas City Chiefs are a mess.
They currently sit at 0-2, have been outscored 89-10 so far, and lost three of their best players to season-ending injuries. Running back Jamaal Charles, who led the league with a 5.4 yards-per-carry average, and safety Eric Berry, who emerged as an excellent pass defender, are both lost for the season as well as tight end Tony Moeaki.
A major reason for the Chiefs' struggles has been the play of QB Matt Cassel. Cassel threw for 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions last season and made the Pro Bowl, but is off to a slow start and it is looking more and more like last year was a fluke.
Cassel's struggles have also limited the effectiveness of wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston.
While the Chiefs' offense will take a significant hit from the loss of Charles, the team also has running backs Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster who can keep the ground game productive. However, unless Cassell dramatically improves his play, the Chiefs need to look into signing tight end Alge Crumpler.
Crumpler was surprisingly cut by the New England Patriots at the end of the preseason, but he is a solid blocking tight end as well as being a solid pass catcher. He would replace the injured Moeaki and provide veteran leadership to a young Chiefs offense. If Cassell really steps up his play, then signing Crumpler becomes less of a necessity, but based on how their offense has looked these first two weeks, they should take serious look at adding a tight end like Crumpler.
On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs' defense has been terrible so far this season.
They rank last in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 89 points through the first two games. Berry was a major reason for the Chiefs' surprising success last season as he emerged as a terrific young safety, particularly in pass coverage. He was a good ball-hawk who knew where to be on the field in order to make a play.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers is solid on the outside, but the loss of Berry will have a significant effect on how well the Chiefs will be able to defend the pass.
The Chiefs have plenty of talent on defense, including Flowers, linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali, and safety Kendrick Lewis, but they haven't been playing near the potential they could. They haven't been able to stop the run thus far this season and that, paired with the loss of Berry in the secondary, doesn't bode well for this young defense already struggling to contain opposing offenses.
Enter Darren Sharper.
Sharper was a huge factor during the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl run in 2009. He is an experienced veteran who knows what it takes to win and be an excellent mentor for these young Chiefs defensive players. He is a ball-hawking safety who knows where to be on the field and is terrific in pass coverage, much like Berry. He would step in and fill the void left by the loss of Berry as well as provide invaluable veteran leadership for this defense.
Bottom line: this season isn't lost just yet, but if the Chiefs want to save it, they need to make these moves to fill the holes left by the injuries to their key contributors.