The hammer has to fall. It simply has to. The Kansas City Chiefs laid another egg on the team's road trip to Oakland on Sunday in the form of a 15-0 shutout loss to the Raiders, setting another low point in a season filled with them. At this point, the Chiefs continue to find new ways to show less than the week before when they're already the clear winners for worst team in the NFL.
The question has to be asked, then. How much longer will Romeo Crennel remain as head coach? While the case could be made that he's only been given one season, the results have been so disastrous that the blame has to fall somewhere. Scott Pioli deserves to feel the heat as well, but this team looked solid on paper coming into the season. At the very least, this has been a coaching nightmare since Week 1.
The team reportedly loves to play for their head coach. That was the word that had everyone believing this offseason in Crennel's ability to inspire. The Chiefs beat the Broncos and Packers late in 2011 under Crennel's interim leadership. Despite a previously uninspiring run as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, it was assumed that Crennel had learned and that the Chiefs players were in wholeheartedly.
Instead, the Chiefs have regressed this season. Nothing has gone as planned. Players have been slow to return from injury like Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki. Others like Kevin Boss and Glenn Dorsey have been out most of the year. Some signings haven't panned out like Peyton Hillis and Stanford Routt. Developmental players have not stepped up to fill the void, i.e. Allen Bailey, Jalil Brown.
Still every franchise deals with issues like these and the Chiefs have failed where other teams push forward. There's simply no excuse for getting shut out by a hated rival who is fighting for the top pick in the draft. The team can't say it's a wake-up call, because they've needed one for weeks. The team can't even say they're searching for answers, because they've been digging for them for some time. If they haven't found them by now, then there's no answers in-house. Something must be done.
At this point, the Chiefs are now 2-12 and fans have done everything they can to send a message to Clark Hunt. Every Chiefs beat writer has called for heads to roll. Banners are flown at Arrowhead calling for the same. It's difficult to imagine that Crennel will last any longer than the 2012 season. But could a move come before that time?
The reality is that the Chiefs will compete with other franchises for the top coaches this offseason. Whether that's hot college names like Chip Kelly or David Shaw, older coaches like Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden or assistants like Bruce Arians or Mike McCoy, teams will need time to prepare their offseason plans and yet expediency will be key. The Chiefs, in short, will be one of many options for some of these names.
If the Chiefs want the chance to be first in line for one of these coaches, it behooves them to make a move now. Yet that means that Clark Hunt needs to decide, if he has not already, whether or not Scott Pioli is coming back. One way or another, the Chiefs need to make some decisions soon to prepare for an offseason of change. That could mean an announcement is coming from Arrowhead sooner than later. And perhaps Crennel has coached his last game for the Chiefs.