But none of that matters now because at 3-3 the Chiefs are heading back to Arrowhead for three home games that could land them at 6-3 before they step foot on the road again.
It's hard to believe that a man under such immense pressure and job insecurity like Haley has managed to change his fortunes to a place that could see him return as head coach in 2012. So for now, let's put that talk to bed.
On the field over the last three games, the Chiefs have resembled the team that was in the midst of a transformation a year ago that resulted in the team's first AFC West crown since 2003.
With a Monday Night matchup next week against division-leading San Diego, the Chiefs control their own destiny. They will move into a tie with the Chargers with their fourth win in a row. I can't believe I'm saying this to be honest with you, but the Chiefs can defeat the team they narrowly lost to in week three on the road.
Still, one has to ponder how this turnaround really happened. It's as improbable as it gets in the NFL. Already, the 2011 season has seen some strange twists that have resulted in everyone anointing the Detroit Lions as a possible division champion and the darlings of the NFL.
But the Chiefs deserve some immense kudos for not giving up on the season. Anyone who felt they had this in them after they lost to the Chargers to fall to 0-3, would be lying.
I admit I thought they would eventually play better, but didn't think they could win three in a row. Now I'm greedy, and want six in a row.
Can they really do it?
I say they can as long as Haley can continue to lean on his coaching staff and bridge the game between himself and his starting quarterback. And that's really the key.
Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has completely taken over the defense and turned them, even without Pro Bowl Safety Eric Berry, into a top 15 defense. If they can up their sack total, perhaps they can jump into the top 10.
If the Chiefs keep shutting out opponents – they haven't allowed a score in the last six quarters – they'll be well prepared for the stretch run that's coming. Facing the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers won't be easy, but the Chiefs will have some time to gel before then.
But for me, this season still hinges on the play of Cassel, who was so-so Sunday against the Raiders.
However, we have to remember that Oakland, aside from their injury-riddled secondary, still has a solid front seven and they didn't make it easy on Cassel.
So let's not nitpick. Instead, as fans, lets enjoy the fact the Kansas City Chiefs are alive in the AFC West and control their fate with a win next Monday night at home versus the Chargers.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Have the Chiefs turned a corner?
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