Last season for the Kansas City Chiefs was fantastic. They were one of the biggest surprise teams as they finished the year 10-6 and won the AFC West. That was a six-game improvement from 2009 and the first time they made the playoffs since 2006.
Today the same coach that helped make those improvements was let go after a terrible season. The Chiefs are currently 5-8 and sitting at the bottom of a watered-down AFC West division.
But does that really mean Todd Haley should have received the ax?
The Chiefs really aren't even that talented of a team to begin with. They have no true quarterback, very few weapons on offense and a defense that has very few playmakers. So, making the playoffs last year was a huge surprise to everyone.
But when the majority of the key players go down to injury, it becomes even more difficult to win.
Young linebacker Brandon Siler injured his Achilles before the season started. Starting tight end Toy Moeaki got hurt in the final preseason game and was labeled out for the year. Safety Eric Berry who made the Pro Bowl last season and is the best player on defense for the Chiefs got hurt in Week 1 and has missed the rest of the season.
Then Kansas City suffered the worst injury of all to their bread and butter on offense in Week 2. Running back Jamaal Charles tore a ligament in his knee and has missed the remainder of the year as well. He was the main reason for the Chiefs' success last season as he rushed for 1,467 and five touchdowns last year.
Let's also not forget that quarterback Matt Cassel broke his hand as well and for the last few weeks, they've had to start Tyler Palko—a quarterback who is on his sixth team since 2007 and never started a game until this mess of a season happened in Kansas City.
"This was a difficult decision but one that we feel is best for the future of the Chiefs," Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement released before a scheduled afternoon news conference. "Although there have been bright spots at different points this season, we have not made meaningful progress."
What in the world is meaningful progress?
He improved the team by six wins in just his second season and clinched just the third playoff berth for the franchise since 1997. This team had a chance to build off of their success last year if it all wasn't out for the season with injuries.
What else is the guy supposed to do?
Some may argue that Haley wasn't the right fit to begin with and the Chiefs need a proven winner with actual NFL coaching experience. Good luck finding a coach that wants to take over a franchise that has no quarterback and a revamped offensive line.
It also won't help knowing that a six-win improvement from one year to the next isn't good enough for this franchise. Injuries are also not an excuse, even if it means all of your key players and All-Pro players. They still expect you to win and have a very successful season.
I'm not saying Todd Haley is the greatest coach in the league, but I could count on one hand how many coaches would succeed in his position. And none of those coaches would be willing to take over as coach for the Chiefs.
Kansas City can't blame this season's failures on one guy but unfortunately, they're going to try to.
Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com
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