Todd Haley: Why Monday Night Will Decide Kansas City Chiefs Coach's Fate

Josh Friesen@ByJoshFriesenContributor IIINovember 14, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 13:  Head coach Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs watches a replay during the game against the Denver Broncos on November 13, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

I am a believer in Kansas City coach Todd Haley, but it seems as though the football gods have thrown him yet another curveball.

According to a recent press conference, Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel may be done for the season after sustaining what Haley called a "significant injury" to his throwing hand. Word has not yet gotten out specifically on what that injury is.

All we know is that it is serious enough to put the rest of Cassel's year in jeopardy.

Cassel managed to have a pretty decent October, where he went 4-0. He didn't play at an elite level by any means, but he managed the game productively and connected where he needed to.

Now that Cassel is allegedly out of the driver's seat, backups Tyler Palko and Ricky Stanzi are in the spotlight.

After star running back Jamaal Charles and star safety Eric Berry were both lost to season-ending ACL injuries, the Chiefs were dead in the water. Yet, somehow, Haley was able to fire up his squad and rattle off four wins in a row, two of them coming against decent teams.

Everyone had Kansas City back on track in the AFC West race, especially considering they had two very winnable games at home.

Kansas City finally crashed back to earth, however, as they were absolutely embarrassed in both outings.

Now, Kansas City faces the AFC East juggernaut New England Patriots in a Monday night showdown that will ultimately decide the future for Haley.

If Haley is able to turn in a victory after two horrific losses, he will be safe.

However, if the Chiefs come up with another miserable dud, Haley will be beginning to feel the pressure of the dreaded media-coined "hotseat."

Monday night begins a harsh five-game stretch where the Chiefs have to play at New England, at home versus Pittsburgh, at Chicago, at New York and at home versus Green Bay. It is imperative that they begin this run of games on a high note, for Haley's sake.