The Kansas City Chiefs go from bad to worse to horrible to God awful in a matter of a few weeks. Not an easy task to accomplish but that is Kansas City sports for you. Just when you think they have hit rock bottom they find a new way to go one notch lower. If the Chiefs have zapped the sports life out of you I suggest you look towards the Big 12 to recharge your batteries. I will get to the Big 12 in a minute but first lets get this part out of the way.
1. Offensive offense:
I have said it before and I will say it again. To be successful in the NFL it is all about the QB. If you have a good one you can make it to the playoffs. If you have a really good one you can win a playoff game. If you have an elite one you can win the Super Bowl. It is clear the Chiefs QB has none of the previously mentioned qualities. It is time to pull the rip cord on the Matt Cassel experience in Kansas City.
Through the first four weeks of the NFL season Matt Cassel is responsible for 10 total turnovers and is on pace to have 40 turnovers for the entire. Going into this season I knew that at best Matt Cassel was a slightly above average QB but in no way was I prepared for the massive regression that has occurred this season. He looks lost in every sense of the word. He is pressing and trying to do too much and it shows with the constant over throwing of receivers and the INTs. He needs to be saved from himself and it is time for Romeo Crennel to throw on his red and blue spider tights and treat Cassel like he is Gwen Stacy.
There is no reason for Matt Cassel to start a game for the Chiefs after the bye week. He is who he is and that is a QB that is not good enough to lead the Chiefs to playoff wins. Is Brady Quinn that guy? Probably not but sometimes change for change sake can have a positive impact on a team. The Chiefs are not making the playoffs this season so they might as well see what happens with Brady Quinn or Ricky Stanzi taking some snap in a game. If they are worse than Matt Cassel than at least the Chiefs have a leg up on the Geno Smith sweepstakes. The name I like best for this campaign is Stinko For Geno.
2. The defense rests:
We are almost running out of adjectives to describe how truly horrendous the Chiefs defense has been this season. There are so many issues with the defense that it would almost be quicker and discuss which players are playing well on the Chiefs defense. What happened to this defense? This seasons defense was going to be an improvement on the 11th ranked defense the Chiefs trotted out on the field in 2011. The 2012 Chiefs defense has trailed in every game by at least 18 points and have not lead for a single second of a game. Four games and never once a lead. Let that soak in a for a few minutes. Because it is truly that amazing.
Last season Chiefs safety Eric Berry took a cheap shot from Bills WR Stevie Johnson in the opening game and tore his ACL and was lost for the entire season. Eric Berry's return was cited as one of the main reasons this Chiefs team was going to take the leap from good to elite this season. Well that has not happened. It hasn't been close to happening. And it comes back to Eric Berry. Not to lay the entire defense at his feet but what happened to the Eric Berry from his rookie season?
I am hoping for his and the Chiefs sake it is because he is still not fully recovered from his torn ACL. The first season after an ACL repair is usually the shaky one and in year two is when the player fully recovers. Now, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson are somewhat peeing all over that adage but not every person is the same. Not every knee surgery is the same. To quote Lewis Black "We are all snowflakes."
This past week I started to hear a topic surrounding Eric Berry and his struggles that greatly worries me. The topic was that the struggles in the Chiefs defensive back field are directly related to the absences of safety Kendrick Lewis. I have heard the talk about the unsung awesomeness of Kendrick Lewis since his rookie year in 2010. The voice of the Chiefs Mitch Holthus called him the Peyton Manning of the defense on more than 25 occasions.
This past weekend on our Chiefs podcast Chop Talk the impact Lewis has on Eric Berry and the defense as a whole came up. Mainly that Berry's poor play is because there is no Kendrick Lewis. If the only way Eric Berry can be an elite defensive player and difference maker in the NFL is if he has Kendrick Lewis as his running mate then the Chiefs have a gargantuan bust on their hands.
Look, I like Kendrick Lewis. He is a really nice player that the Chiefs were able to draft in the 5th round. But he was drafted in the 5th round for a reason. Eric Berry was drafted 5th OVERALL IN THE ENTIRE NFL DRAFT. FREAKING 5th!!!!! OVERALL!!!!!! No matter how good Kendrick Lewis is and/or will be Eric Berry should also be better. If Lewis is good then Berry should be great. If Lewis is great Berry should be elite. If Lewis is Spider-man then Berry should be Iron-Spidey.
This has to be excuse making and grasping at straws because there is no way the Kendrick Lewis is somehow the Tom Brady of NFL safeties. Like I said earlier I tend to lean towards the mindset that Berry's knee is still healing.
3. Sunflower mow down:
"You called down the thunder well now you got it!" For some reason that is all I can think about when it comes this year's Sunflower Showdown between KU and K-State. Since being hired as KU's new football coach Charlies Weis has praised what the old man who resides a little west down I-70 has built. Weis praised it while also questioning why that can't be duplicated at KU. To answer Chuck's question it has everything to do with the wizard that roams the sidelines. Saturday morning Weis will get a first hand look at Gandalf and his first taste of how serious K-State and their players take this in-state rivalry.
More fuel was added to this fire earlier this week when Weis said that the offensive system that KSU runs is akin to one you see with the Academy schools. For those scoring at home that is code for its gimmick. I guarantee that comment did not go unnoticed by the boys in Manhattan. Charlies Weis also said this week that he is not going to play conservative to keep the score close. He would rather lose by a 100 trying to win then just playing to save face. Well, it won't be a hundred but a smack down in the Little Apple is coming for the Jayhawks.
If KU somehow pulls the upset this will be one of the greatest wins in the programs history and one of the worst loses in KSU's history. But like I stated earlier the chances of that happening are about slim and none and slim just left town. At least Charlie Weis isn't preoccupying himself with trivial stuff like the student news paper headlines.
4. I was going to play vs. Vanderbilt but then I got high:
You know I actually thought this was going to be a Five-Orite Friday sans the Missouri Tigers. Then the number one recruited player in the nation and current Tiger WR Dorial Green-Beckham got arrested for smoking weed in a Lincoln Navigator next to the stadium. There was a little hubbub about the fact that DGB is the proud owner of a Lincoln Navigator and how an eighteen year old kid can afford that kind of car. Then news came out that is is a 2004 Navigator so all of that noise was put to rest. I mean seriously. That car is eight years old. That car was made back when The Wire was still on HBO.
Following DGB's arrest he is now suspended for tomorrow's homecoming game vs. Vanderbilt. You know, the Vandy game that is the Tigers chance to get their first SEC conference win as a member of the SEC. Just when you think things as starting to calm down around the Tigers something like this pops up.
At least this will put to rest how MU will fit into the SEC. Now all they need is their joke to be $40 Million dollars in debt, have him eat grass and start yelling at reporters to SMILE!
5. The Glass Man speaketh:
Well look at us. Getting graced with the words of the Royals owner twice in two weeks. Must be time to start ice skating to work because Hell must have frozen over. Owner of the Kansas City Royals David Glass spoke during the 3rd inning of the television broadcast on the last game of the season. He filled the air waves with the usual mindless and meaningless dribble about how close the team is to competing and how having a high payroll doesn't equate to post season success.
Mr. Glass' comments were quickly put to the back burner once the Royals had their season ending news conference. I prefer to call this the annual Polish The Turd conference featuring Royals General Manager Dayton Moore and Manager Ned Yost. The news conference started with some fireworks when it was announced that hitting coach Kevin Seitzer would not be brought back next season. The reasoning giving for this move is because manager Ned Yost and the rest of the Royals organization wanted the team to hit more home runs. Yeah....because that makes baseball sense. Especially coming from the King of Bunts Ned Yost.
Another fun nugget from the Polish The Turd fest was the discussion of the Royals future payroll and everyone's least favorite starting pitcher Luke Hochevar. GM Dayton Moore reiterated the company line about the ball club being unable and unwilling to operate at a $100 million payroll. Moore does have a point because it's not like there is a team in your same state that has a payroll over $100 million. Oh wait... Well it's not like there is a team in a similar market size to the Royals who made the playoffs last season and have a $90 Million payroll. Oh wait....that is the Milwaukee Brewers. It can happen if you are willing to make it happen. Or should I say if you are allowed to make it happen.
You have to love that Luke Hochevar was able to make his way into the end of the season news conference. Or if you are like me you loathe it completely. This time we were privileged to hear that the main reason behind Hochevar's struggles is due to how much support and belief he receives. The more we belief in Hochevar the better he plays and if we don't believe in him then he pitches badly.
When I heard that explanation for Hochevar's struggles trotted out there I wanted to vomit. I wanted to gag. I ended up ga-vomiting. Gagging and vomiting at the same time. So the number one overall pick in the MLB draft and a professional athletes' perform is directing affected by whether or not we believe in him? Is there some Believer Meter in the club house? If it gets filled up enough then Hochevar will go out there and pitch well?
I joke on twitter a lot when it comes to how craptastic the Royals are by using the hash tag #GodHatesKC. After news conferences like the one I listened to beginning to end today by the Royals I begin to wonder if it should be changed to #Royalsthinktheirfansarestupid. How else can you explain the organization wasting their breathe to defend this past season's performance by Luke Hochevar.
Follow me on twitter @craig_a_brenner and until next week peace out.