Their worst? A 68-10 back-to-back embarrassment in games five and six of the 2008 season.
The sad part? At least that 2008 team had legitimate excuses for their horrid start. Technically, it was the first year of a youthful rebuild orchestrated by Edwards and former front office man Bill Kuharich. The Chiefs had a ridiculous number of inexperienced starters, no offensive line, no running game and no pass rush threat. To make matters worse, their starting quarterback (Brodie Croyle) was seriously injured twice in the first six games.
It wasn't a stretch to expect the 2008 Chiefs to come out and embarrass the franchise.
The 2011 Chiefs can't blame 89-10 solely on injuries. What's their excuse for currently being the worst professional sports team in the known universe?
Whatever it is, now that we have some evidence, however slight, that Haley and Pioli's 2011 Chiefs are Worse Than Herm And Carl™, we have to consider the question of just how bad they'll really turn out to be.
If this year's Chiefs team is really awful, they're going to end up making a lot of teams look good, right? It's obvious the Chiefs have been making the Bills and Lions look good the last two weeks, but the stark truth is, they're making them look downright dominant.
In Buffalo, people are forgetting they live in Buffalo. Chris Berman is greeting everyone with a confident "Nobody circles the wagons…," and Ryan Fitzpatrick's confidence is growing to such a degree that he feels comfortable screaming like a little girl in public.
Circling the wagons.
Buffalo's defense, not known for being stellar last season, only had one 2010 game that came close to the showing they put up against the Chiefs two weeks ago. The Bills held the Browns to just six points in that contest. Of course, that game was at home in front of a rowdy crowd accompanied by 30-degree, Buffalo-in-December weather. The Chiefs had sunny skies, a quiet stadium and still couldn't move the football. Buffalo's defense was doing bad things, man.
The Bills' 34-point victory on opening day was their largest margin of victory since an afternoon in 2004. It's worth noting that the team Buffalo destroyed that day was led by NFL legends Ken Dorsey and Kevan Barlow, who passed and rushed the 49ers to a 2-14 record that year. Could the Chiefs really be that awful?
No, they could be worse.
Consider these numbers – 116 passing yards, three points, six turnovers. That was what the Chiefs did last Sunday, and those numbers are basically all records for Gunther Cunningham in Detroit. The only other game that comes close is a rather unfair affair from last season against a Packers team being led by Matt Flynn.
Detroit fielded one of the league's worst defensive units for two seasons under Cunningham, and there's a reason they showered him with Gatorade after holding Kansas City to a field goal. The Chiefs made them look like the '85 Bears. Last Sunday is now the high-water mark for Gunther's tenure in Detroit. They're probably going to build him a statue next to Robocop's.
As if propping up Cunningham wasn't bad enough, the 48 points the Lions scored Sunday is a record for the Jim Schwartz era. Quarterback Matthew Stafford enjoyed the second most prolific game of his entire career from a yardage standpoint, also posting the highest quarterback rating of his career. Of course, Stafford's best statistical game came in a shootout. Against Kansas City, he basically torched the Chiefs' secondary when the mood struck.
And if that doesn't put you in a bad mood, this will. Detroit's 45-point margin of victory over the Chiefs turns out to be vastly more historically significant than Buffalo's mark the previous week.
When was the last time the Lions won by 45 points? A 44-0 shutout over Jacksonville in 1995 comes close. You have to go all the way back to 1957 to find a game in which the Lions beat an opponent by 45 (a 59-14 beatdown of Cleveland). How ancient is this game? Most of the participants are dead. Bobby Lane, R.I.P.
And by the way, the Lions have never beaten anyone by more than 45 points. So, you could argue the 2011 Chiefs are the worst team the Detroit Lions have ever played. Ouch.
At this point, it's pretty obvious – the Chiefs now have the dubious honor of being victim to two of the biggest smackdowns in the history of the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions. You know how Chiefs fans reminisce about beating the crap out of Ryan Leaf at Arrowhead and utterly destroying Jeff George's spirit on a Magical Monday Night, once upon a time? In 10 years, people in Buffalo and Detroit will be saying wistfully, "Hey, that reminds me of the time we really spanked Matt Cassel! What a great day that was."
If things don't change, the 2011 Chiefs could be really, really bad. But wait, it gets worse.
THE WORST CHIEFS TEAM…EVER?
Thanks to the history nerds at the Kansas City Star, it's already been revealed that the Chiefs' 89-10 embarrassment is the fourth-worst start to a season for any NFL team. We can go ahead and pile on the fact that the 48-3 shellacking in the Motor City qualifies as the 36th most lopsided NFL loss of all time. It's also tied for the worst loss in Chiefs history with 45-0 blankings suffered by the 1976 and 1984 Chiefs. How'd those teams do?
The '76 Chiefs won five of 14 games, a winning percentage which roughly equates to six wins. Looking for hope is one thing, but let's be realistic: this team is not winning six of their last 14 games. The 1984 team won eight games. Nothing to see here.
We've already established that this year's Chiefs team is off to a worse start than what is widely considered the worst Chiefs team ever – the 2008 Chiefs – so what does that leave? Is there any historically-based hope that the 2011 Chiefs might not be the most embarrassing team in franchise history? Are there any teams who were destroyed almost as bad as Todd Haley's group was last Sunday, and then went on to be only really below average?
Cassel's days are numbered.
The 1987 Chiefs were led by Bill Kenney, Christian Okoye and Carlos Carson on offense. They had Albert Lewis, Kevin Ross, Lloyd Burruss, Deron Cherry and Art Still on defense. That team got beat 42-0? No way.
The team that was shut out featured Alex Espinoza at quarterback, Robert Parker at running back and Chris Smith at wide receiver. Do these names ring any bells? I haven't seen an Espinoza jersey at Arrowhead in forever! You're drawing a blank, right?
Most of you are, because the team that was shut out was led by replacement players, who played three games during the '87 players strike. Of course, their loss wasn't quite as embarrassing as last Sunday's Detroit debacle. Espinoza turned the ball over just twice, instead of four times, and the '87 Chiefs replacement defense allowed fewer yards than Romeo Crennel's unit.
Do you realize what this means?
If the first two weeks of the season are any indication, the 2011 Chiefs might well be a worse team than a bunch of guys pulled off the street.
Does anyone have Alex Espinoza's phone number? Is Shane Falco available? The Chiefs can immediately upgrade from Matt Cassel.
Of course, Haley and Pioli could just keep losing and draft Andrew Luck. Because no matter how much they reek of losing, a franchise quarterback is the best deodorant.